Today we got to try out if we could make smoke rings with a Vortex Canon and smoke bombs. It worked! We had seen it at a Maker Space arrangement, and thought it could be so cool to try. The Vortex Canon works with air pressure. It is very simple, you pull back an elastic inside the cylinder.
People often ask us to tell about a typical home school day. So here we go. The main thing about home schooling, is that there is no such thing, as a typical day/week. You have the freedom to have a new plan everyday. But for us, there is a need to have a plan and the security of repetition.
Many years ago our oldest daughter asked to have a weekly schedule put up on the wall every week, so she would know what our plans were. So every week I make a new schedule and put up Sunday evening. Some things will continue to be on the schedule for a long time and others, are only one of events.
The subjects on the schedule is a mix of adult and child wishes. I have chosen that they do general subjects that keep their learning above public school level, so it would be easy academically to enter a public school, if we no longer are able to home school. But also to prepare them for high school or other later education of their choice. Then the children have chosen to have additional subjects, like Spanish, Latin and Chinese. Subjects and how often we have them can vary on our schedule. We can also have weeks where we do project work intensively.
Well, back to a typical day. Let’s start with today. Today we had a day at home. We try to ballance days out of the house and days at home. We often get to plan too much, especially trips and activities out of the house. That often leaves us exhausted and longing for a day at home to get back our energy and catch up on basic stuff. We also really like to get good food and to have time to eat. As a general rule, we try to stay at home in the daytime every second day.
We usually get up at around 7 am-8 am. Then we all do our chores, do our exercises and positive confirmations. The kids empty the dishwasher, they put away any clean dry laundry, they open the windows and air out the house to start of with a fresh oxygen filled house. In the evening I have put their books ready on the table, so they can start working when they are dressed and have done their personal hygiene. I hang up any wet laundry to dry and put on the washing machine with a new load. Then I do my exercises, while the kids do their individual schoolwork like math, Danish, English and German. I go to and from my exercises to help them when they get stuck and so goes the time until around 9 am-9:30. Then I usually get time to get dressed and get ready. I make breakfast, alone or with a kid who needs a break from school work. Then we sit down together and eat.
We usually then do our common school work. That is the rest of the subjects, mentioned above. Today we did biology, Latin and biology project.
For Latin we are currently using https://www.clc.cambridgescp.com/sites/www.cambridgescpcom/files/legacy_root_files/clc/webbooks/book1/index.html?p=1
I prepared bread in the kitchen while they worked on the Latin exercises, and then corrected them together with them.
Then the children worked on a movie for their youtube channel, while I prepared lunch together with the smallest child in the kitchen.
Then we watched their work on the computer while eating, and decided on redoing it after eating. So we shot another section of the movie, until we were happy with the result.
Then the youngest child and I made a beetroot chocolate cake in the kitchen, while the oldest child edited the movie together and worked on her musical as well. The two middle children sewed on their costumes for a dance show they are planning.
Then we were expecting two good friends to come over for a sleepover, but unfortunately they had gotten the flu, so we had to eat the cake on our own. Don’t worry friends, if you read this, we will make a new one for you.
The at 3 pm we have quiet time until 4 pm. At that time you can do what you want to do – play on the computer, watch movies, talk to your friends on the phone, read, play outside or go where your imagination takes you. I meditate and drink tea.
Today we have a quiet evening. No spare time activities or work. We all enjoy having our meals together and being able to talk and relax in the evening with a movie or game together. The kids often work on creative projects in the evening, writing, sewing, knitting or drawing. They often also just play and make lots of noise and play music and dance.
So how does a typical week look?
A general example of our weekly schedule could look like this:
The subjects at the bottom has stayed the same for a while, because it work well. We have a language a day, as the kids like languages. We have math and danish three days a week, because they got fed up with having it every day. We finish our books already in april every year anyway, so we manage to do enough work anyway, to be ahead of general curriculum. My work is on the schedule, so the kids know when I am not at home in the evening or daytime. The childrens newspaper route is also on the schedule, so we are able to make everything work out with the time we have available. Creative subjects are not on the schedule, as they are present in most things we do, and they infiltrate most other subjects. Project on thursday and friday is a new thing we are trying after the kids started a knowledge based youtube channel called : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ECOh462jxQraolPZ53evw
At the middle of the schedule you see events that vary from week to week, like playdates, trips, hobbies, meetings and so on. The kids attend different sparetime activities outside the house like physics and chemistry, drama and ballet. They figure on the schedule on and off, when they have their seasons.
The weekend is also included, as we often go on educational trips together as a family in the weekend or visit friends and family.
Next week will be the winter holiday. Originally, when starting out home schooling, we did not separate school and spare time, but we have found that we have a need to do this. So we now have the same holidays as schools. The difference is just that we do not do the usual subjects, but mostly do trips and project work. This winter holiday we will work intensively on costumes, painting the barrel and go pick branches for our fastelavn celebrations. We are so looking forward!
Today we did an experiement with static electricity. So simple, but so effective! Our daughter rubbed the balloon with a piece of wool and created static electricity. The water was then pulled over by the balloon.
My oldest daughter found these very motivating videos on youtube. How great to have youtube while home schooling. So many great people out there! She can sing a great part of it now. Learning can always be fun. You just have to be a little creative.
Great to dance to and think about. We look up the things we don’t understand and learn about new areas.
Today our daughter designed this cat in tinkercad. It is a program you can use for free on their website. If you have a 3D printer you can print out your design. She had not tried that programme before, but designed it on her own. We have a friend who has a 3D printer visiting and he told her a few things to improve, and she then did that on her own.
This is what it looks like on the screen.
Our friend then sent the design to his 3D printer at home. He has a camera hooked up to the printer, so we could follow her design being printed on our phone.
Put an egg in water and observ that it does not float.
Put salt in the water and see the egg start to float on the water. Mix more water in, and see it sink again.
This is an easy experiment to do in the kitchen, but such a great part of how density works.
When we swim in the ocean we will find it easier to float or swim, than in freshwater. This is because the water density is higher in saltwater, than in freshwater.
If we would try to swim in oil, which has a lower density than freshwater and saltwater, we would find it very hard to stay above the surface.
If you have some old speakers lying around, a good way to say goodbye to them, is making a Corn Starch Monster on them.
Maizena (corn flour) or Potato Starch works well. Mix it with water until it becomes a liquid base.
Then pour the mixture on the speaker and start it on a low frequency, around 20 Hz. The Starch will then start dancing.
The water and cornstarch mixture is a non-Newtonian fluid, and this means it behaves very oddly. You can pick it up, and if you keep moving it about so it’s under stress, it stays solid. But as soon as you let it rest, it goes back into a liquid.
We have really great friends. Some of them are that kind of friends that call you and say:”Hi, I just got hold of 20 kilo of dry ice, wan’t me to come by and make some experiments?”
“Sure we do! Let’s have fun and explode the childrens Swimming Pool at the same time!” We said.
The children learned about cold temperatures and the power of dry ice. It is just as dangerous as hot things.
What happens is that the dry ice melts and turns into CO₂ gas. The gas takes up more space than the ice did, and the pressure in the bottle increases. As the lid of the bottle isn’t strong enough to hold such hig pressure, it is shut of the bottle like a bullet.
“Can you take a water molecule apart?” the children asked. “Yes you can, but you have to use Electrolysis”, my husbond said.
The talk came from talking about, how much Hydrogen there is in the universe. Actually 73% of the universe consists of Hydrogen and the children wondered why it doesn’t explode.
They also wondered why water puts out fire, when it contains that flammable Hydrogen.
So we decided to try separating hydrogen and oxygen from water through Electrolysis.
Hydrogen is released by the minus pole, also called the cathode.
Oxygen (oxygen) is released at the plus pole, also called the anode.