Wednesday, March 2, 2016


We are still very much enjoying our BFSU lessons, but sadly I got too busy and stopped blogging about them. 

Today we did the lesson on differentiating materials today and had a good time imagining hinges and doorknobs made of fabric instead of metal, and trying to play sports with wooden or metal balls. We also described the sounds of plastic (thunk), glass (clink),  metal (clang), and fabric (swish). We then watched several segments of How Its Made on YouTube (fabric, winter coats, glass bottles, footballs). We also made a chart of the different materials and examples of each (mainly ones that can be found at our house). 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

BFSU A-3: Air is a Substance and the Concept of the Atmosphere

I neglected to take any pictures today. Oops.

Yesterday we had something come up that interrupted our planned science day, but we did have time to watch some videos, so we watched the BrainPop video on Atmosphere and took the quiz. My kids really enjoy doing the quizzes (so much so that they fight over who gets to answer the questions..sigh) and I like the chance to review the concepts taught. Today we did the lesson from the book. One thing we didn't do was make a ruler balance and test the empty balloon vs. inflated balloon weight. I got out our digital gram scale and thought that would be sensitive enough. It wasn't. We did do the experiment where you crumple paper in the bottom of a cup and then submerse it (straight down, with the opening facing down) and the paper stays dry because of the air pocket that forms.

We finished up by watching the Bill Nye episode about Atmosphere. It was kind of a simpler lesson than some of the others, as we have done experiments with air before in our co-op.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Media/Experiment Day

These sciences lessons are great, but there is a lot to cover. I think I'll have to be better at splitting up longer ones. Today I decided we would do a Media Day and watch some relevant videos/read books that we hadn't had a chance to get to yet. We also got our first Tinker Crate delivery and it was somewhat relevant (carbon dioxide activities) so we decided to do a couple of those as well. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Story of the World, Volume 2

We started volume 2 today, having quickly finished up the last several chapters of volume 1 last week. It started with a recap of the end of the Roman Empire, so I wanted to do an activity to make it a little more fun. I chose the "Make a Roman Signum" suggestion from the Activity Book. It was quite a hit, and really didn't require too much. I think I'm going to try and do history crafts more often. The kids enjoy them and it seems to bring an energy into our homeschool that isn't otherwise there. The kids were in good spirits and joking quite a lot today. Of course they may not be related, but it's worth experimenting with. The boys had a little too much fun making their dopiest faces for the picture. Zion pretty much nailed the idea of leading troops into battle, though! 😀

Solids, Liquids, and Gases and Change with Temperature (A-2)

We did this lesson after A-1/B-1, but I guess I forgot to post about it. 

Started by asking the kids what the three states of matter were, which the older two knew. Then we went through and listed examples of each. 

We talked about the molecules and how they are arranged differently in each state, and did a little activity I saw online where we all linked arms in a circle and wiggled a bit to represent the solid, kept arms linked and flowed around the house to represent the liquid, and unlinked arms and just moved independently to represent the gas. That was silly but they all liked it. 

We watched a BrainPop movie about Matter Changing States, the Crash Course Kids 3.1 video "What's Matter?" and later watched the Bill Nye episode Phases of Matter. 

I got worksheets from a website (I'll try and find the name) and had Zion & Clive complete the worksheet and had Leif do a sorting worksheet of pictures. They all seemed to rather enjoy the worksheets, which was a bit surprising. 

Then Zion and I did Notebook pages (which I still need to get punched and put in a notebook...) 

I also sang them a silly song about solids/liquids/gases to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus. 

We talked about how most liquids are water based, and how states of matter  change based on temperature. We used water and candle wax as our main examples, but also talked about metal and glass and lava/rock. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Distinguishing Living/Biological, Natural Earth, and Human-Made Things (B-2)

We did the bulk of this lesson outside on our front porch so it was easy to observe a mix of biological, natural earth, and human-made things. We started out by reviewing what we covered last week (states of matter), and then I said we were going to learn about another way of organizing things and introduced the idea of living/biological things. Right then a spider crawled by our feet, so that was a fun introduction. We saw a bird fly by, and also talked about the trees and plants. I talked about how items made by living things are also biological, and of course Leif eventually mentioned poop. We then moved into talking about natural earth items and found them a little harder to come up with than biological things. Dirt, rocks, mountains (which Zion pointed out are made of dirt and rocks), volcanoes...I mentioned air and water. Then we talked about human-made items and after a bit it came up that all things are made of either biological or natural earth materials. Zion was surprised to learn that rubber comes from a tree, but Clive and Leif seemed to know that already (maybe from Wild Kratts). Each kid had a paper with three sections labeled with each of the groups and they took notes or drew pictures of the different items we mentioned.

We came inside and watched this video: Cookie Monster discusses living vs. non-living . I was hoping for a BrainPop or Bill Nye video on the subject, but hadn't been able to find one. We then brought up the remaining characteristics of living things listed in the book.

Final point I brought up was technology and we discussed early human technology (arrowheads, spears, pottery) and modern day technology. We looked at the tags of everyone's tee shirts to see where they were made. Each of them were made in a different place. Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala, and the USA. We looked through this article about inventions inspired by nature. We skipped over some of the more detailed/complicated examples.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Finished up A/B1

Yesterday we wrapped up our discussion on classification by talking about how things are organized at Costco (a familiar store for us). We brought up how they don't just have all the dairy products together because some need to be refrigerated and some need to be frozen. I hopefully made the point that different organizational systems are chosen because they work. We talked about possible ways to organize clothes. 

We watched the BrainPop video on Classification and took the quiz. We also watched the Crash Course Biology video on Taxonomy. My 6 yo commented that he didn't really understand much of the Crash Course video, but I figure it is still exposure and good for something. Plus I'm sure that the older two picked up more from it. There is also a BrainPop Jr video that we didn't watch but might as a review next week.