Category Archives: Homeschool Science

Learning About The Partial Solar Eclipse . . .

So, last week there was a partial solar eclipse, which was visible here in NM. When I showed my kids how easily we could make a pinhole projector, they were totally on board!

Here is our pinhole projector!
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We went outside at about 3:40 our time, and watched it for a while, and then went back out close to 4:30, which we’d been told on the news would be peak time.

We tried doing it with the blank card stock on the ground, but it wasn’t working very well . . .

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So we ended up having one child hold the pinhole projector, and another hold the blank card stock. They took turns, so that everyone who wanted to, got a chance to do both, and everyone got a chance to just look, as well.

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Their dad got home from work while we were still outside and decided to get in on the action, too!
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Here is a short video of the action for your enjoyment!

addendum: I totally forgot to mention that one of the boys next door got off the school bus (arms full of books and homework) as we were doing this, and stopped to see what we were doing. he thought it was pretty cool, as did the lady on the other side of our house, who was leaving to go somewhere, but wandered over first to see. Homeschooling rocks! 🙂

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Filed under Homeschool Science, Kids, NM, Partial Solar Eclipse

Go Science DVD’s . . . A T. O. S. Review

We recently had the opportunity to check out part of the Go Science DVD Series 2, which were made available to us by Library and Educational Services. The Go Science DVD’s retail at $14.95 each, but are available from Library and Educational Services for $8.97 each. Having watched them with my family, I think is a pretty good deal. The Go Science DVD’s
are recommended for ages 4 – 12, but honestly, our entire family really enjoyed them.

Library and Educational Services is a company I have been familiar with for a long time, and though I have never ordered anything from them, I have regularly received their catalogs. You can read about them on their site, but I’m going to give you some highlights here.

Library and Educational Services is a small family business which, much to my surprise, is actually in Michigan, the state my family lived in until two years ago! This company is a wholesale distributer, and they sell to libraries, schools, resellers, specialty stores, churches, missionaries, daycare centers, and ministry leaders. They also, unlike many wholesale education sellers, allow home school families to purchase from them, yay! They work hard to keep their products in line with Christian values and morals, and offer a great deal of evolution free science materials.

We were asked to choose two volumes of the Go Science (Series 2) DVD’s, and after much deliberation, decided to go with Volume 2, Life Science and Weather, along with Volume 4, Motion, Friction, Electricity and Light. Each DVD was about one hour in length, with a number of different science experiments demonstrated by Ben Roy. Mr. Roy teaches science methods at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is also a former director of a television science program.

In Life Science and Weather, I think my boys were most excited by the demonstrations of weather experiments. Some of them were pretty cool, for example, in one, which had a definite WOW factor for my boys, Mr. Roy made a liquid nitrogen cloud. To do this, he poured liquid nitrogen into a large plastic tub, and then poured in hot water. The HUGE cloud which erupted was very exciting, to my boys, and to all the kids in the segment. Mr. Roy related this to The Lord coming back with a giant cloud and taking us to heaven.

In Motion, Friction, Electricity and Light, I liked the demonstration using food coloring and bubbles. In this demonstration, Mr. Roy filled a container about halfway with water and then added red food coloring to make all of the water red. Then, liquid dish soap was added, and mixed in by hand to make as many bubbles as possible. Surprisingly, the bubbles were not clear, like when you blow a bubble with a wand, they were white! He then had the kids who were helping take clear wrap and fold it several times, at which point it became white, not clear. He explained that this is because the light is refracted by all of the layers. He related this to God forgiving our sin and making our soul white as snow.

Each and every segment in these DVD’s has an experiment which Mr. Roy takes time to relate to something Biblical. He also ends each segment with the words “Every time we learn something about science, we learn something about our Creator…GOD!” I do like that. For example, here is a sample segment from Volume 1, Sound, Gravity and Space.

Make no mistake, these are definitely Christian DVD’s. We watched Life Science and Weather one evening with my husband along for the ride, and then we watched Motion, Friction, Electricity and Light during the day while he was at work. My kids really enjoyed them, and so did my husband and I. We even talked about perhaps ordering the other volumes for the kids to watch whenever they like. 🙂

There are a total of 100 Review Crew members who checked out a variety of Go Science DVD’s, so I do urge you to click the graphic below. It will take you to all of their reviews so that you can see what everyone thought of all of the different volumes that were chosen.
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Filed under homeschool products, Homeschool Science, TOS Review

Amazing Science, Volume 1 . . . A T.O.S. Review

Anyone who knows me well, KNOWS I am simply NOT good at science (right, Charlene? lol!) So, when I saw that this particular review of Amazing Science, Volume 1 would have SIMPLE experiments, explained by the instructor, Jason Gibson, in a way that even *I* could understand (never mind the children), I decided to go for it!

Jason Gibson has earned advanced degrees in Engineering and Physics, has worked as a Rocket Scientist for NASA, and loves teaching Science and Math (don’t even get me going on how much I have always hated Math, lol!).

The product we received for review is, as I said above, Amazing Science, Volume 1, which comes from ScienceandMath.com.

It comes in one DVD case, which holds two separate DVD’s. On those two DVD’s, we found 23 different science experiments to watch, learn about, and actually do, in very little time, as long as we had the needed materials around the house.

For this review, I am going to focus in on the Color Changing Milk experiment, because all of the boys thought it was cool! I heard plenty of “oooohhh’s” even from the one kid (“that would be “The Batman”) who was complaining about watching when he wanted to play a video game, lol!

Here, we see the instructor on our TV screen, talking about one of the experiments, and explaining the science behind it.
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All four boys, watching with definite interest, while Mr. Gibson explains what he is doing, and why.
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The Color Changing Milk experiment, which was absolutely the top vote getter for which one to put on this blog post, was a hit. All four boys really loved how it came out! Here are some pictures of the process while getting things ready to go.
This is me, getting things started . . .
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Now, we add the four food colors into the milk.
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We honestly thought it might not work, because the only food coloring we had was the gel kind, and Mr. Gibson was using the liquid sort, however, if you will watch the video below, you’ll see how well it worked!

You can see how much fun they had, right? 🙂

Here is how our plate of milk looked when they had really finished up as much as possible.
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At this point, all of the fat in the milk had clung to the dish soap, so the only way to do it again would be to start over with a new batch. So, we have learned how it is that the soap works better than just water when we wash our hands or our dishes, especially if we are trying to wash off something with fat in it.

Here is “Mr. Loquacious”, rinsing the plate off with cold water, but all of the boys loved what he discovered when he dumped the milk into the sink, BEFORE he actually began rinsing it . . .
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Here are some samples provided on the company’s website for the following experiments . . .

“Balloon in a Candle Flame”

“Amazing Magnetic Force” . . .

And if you go to Amazing Science, Volume 1, you will find links to a couple of other samples, as well as the complete DVD chapter index of all that you will get on this set of DVD’s.

Amazing Science, Volume 1 is available as a DVD set for the cost of $ 17.95 (a discount off of the retail price of $24.95), and as a digital download for $14.99. I do think this product is at a very good price point for what you get!

I am supposed to tell you that the intended age range for this product is grades 1 through 3, but let me just tell you, every single one of my boys love it, and so do I. And I am WELL past grade 1 – 3, lol! In fact, there would literally be only one thing that I don’t care for about this package. I wish the company would make a little mini booklet to insert into the DVD case, sort of like the liner notes that you see in music DVD’s, listing the materials needed for each experiment. That would make it much easier to collect the materials needed BEFORE watching the DVD. My kids wanted to do some things for which I really did not have the materials on hand (like copper pipe, a bicycle tire pump, etc), but we did have materials on hand for a few things.

This DVD set would be wonderful for any homeschooling family, but I think it would also be great as a supplement for students who are in public or private school. In short, it’s great for anyone!

I also want to acknowledge my husband Mike, who took all of the pictures, and the video as well, while working on learning to use his new camera. Didn’t he do a great job? 🙂

If you’d like to read what other crewmates thought of Amazing Science, Volume 1 and other products (Mastering 5th Grade Math – Volume 1 – Essentials of Fractions, Algebra 1: Volume 1, & Fractions Thru Algebra Companion Worksheet CD) from ScienceandMath.com, please click the graphic below . . .
ScienceandMath.com Review
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Filed under Amazing Science! Volume 1, education, home education, homeschool products, Homeschool Science, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post