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Monday, April 11, 2011

April Showers.

April showers will likely bring May flowers. That's if they aren't super swamped from the sudden snow melt mixed with rain. Well there isn't much to do except wait for the strong winds we get to dry things up. And while we wait we have decided to undertake our 'Eggs-travaganza Eggs' month. It also includes Earth Day and Easter of course. I wanted a break for all of us from our heavy workbook work we had been doing for the past couple of months. So I put together some Easter related worksheets in booklets for the kids for the month. I thought surely there is enough work in these to keep them busyily learning along with our science eggs-periments and so on. Well here we are at the beginning of the second week and they have virtually completed their books. I am thinking I will have to stretch the science lessons to make them last. But then again once we get to the really fun eggs-periment of hatching chicks in our urban home we may just have a lot to learn there. Either way I am pleased with the way their art projects of faux sugar eggs turned out. We used balloons and covered them with glue covered tissue. The craft actually required paper mache. But I have little to no luck creating a good mache recipe. So I opted for white glue instead. It was sticky but oh so fun. After the glue dried over night we cut holes in the side. Now here's the rub, we really should have put more layers of tissue on the balloons. As the balloons popped the latex began to retreat and crumpled the balloons a tad. Making for a less the perfect egg shape. But they held up enough to fill with the easter grass and chicks.

Our eggs-periments got of to a curious start. I told the kids we were going to soak an egg in vinegar overnight. They were eager to learn what was happening. Why was the egg making bubbles? (It was the acetic acid reacting to the calcium carbonate in the shell making CO2). They wanted to know why there was foam on the egg. (Also a byproduct of the chemical reaction.) By the next day they were really wondering what was happening as I explained I was now going to very gently wash it under cold water. Of course I asked them to touch the egg very gently before I washed the shell off. I admit when I first came across this experiment I was a bit skeptical of the final results. Well it works people. Well worth the wait. We now had an egg that was raw and covered by the membrane.

As I passed it to the kids we discussed how the membrane protected the egg and why it was so strong. I also had them add the experiment to their science notebooks. When they did we discussed how an egg is really an exterior womb. It was all very fascinating. And then as if the shelless egg weren't a curious enough sight we placed it gingerly into a dish of cold water for two days. The goal of this experiment was to see the effect of osmosis, the egg grew larger as the water passed through the membrane.

After two days of soaking we removed the egg towelled it off and bounced it. Yes raw eggs can bounce.....just don't expect it to be a rubber ball. Our eggs membrane started to leak its water at the three inch drop and at the 12" drop it burst completely. Luckily we have tile floor so clean up was easy.
I am also looking forward to starting our egg hatching. We have eggs to pick up on the weekend and I hope to start them by next week. Once hatched we will take them to our relatives farm to live out the rest of their lives in comfort.
DS is currently working on a lesson plan from the NOAA about polar bears. The assignment requires he make a poster illustrating the current plight of the polar bears and what if any other pertinent information should be included. He is also taking on learning pre-algebraic equations in preparation for next years curriculum.
And DD is learning about ordinal numbers and mastering telling of time. She likes to draw so much that I have her draw on the whiteboard while I teach DS. I am hoping that she will pick up some of the information he is learning as well through hearing the lessons.
It's an interesting process this home schooling business. But I am learning that with each passing season there is so much more to teach and instill in them, my wonderful little birds.

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