Science Camp

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This week, Monday-Friday, 9am-12noon, at the Lutheran Church on Pullen Road in Sevierville, our children are attending a science camp. Several science teachers from the local community college and from the public school system put this program together for free, in order to revive the old way of teaching science: through experiments.

Children looking into a microscope

Looking at rocks up close

The camp director said she has been a lifelong educator and has noticed that over the years the school system has transitioned to worksheets and away from hands-on experiences. For children, science is fun if you show them experiments and let them handle substances. That’s how they develop an inquisitive mind and they learn to think outside the box.

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About 22 children showed up, grades 1-8. They were split into three groups by age. My children were together in the K-3 group, which was perfect. These groups rotated between four stations and worked with four different teachers. There was a snack in the middle of the morning. We usually do not snack, but I let the kids do this because it is easier this way. Plus, it buys me time to get home and get lunch ready once camp is over.

Science camp for children

Learning about nutrition and reading labels

So the day began with Pastor Portier sharing some thoughts on how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. On the first day, for instance, he focused on cells. From there, my children’s group went into a classroom to study geology. They handled different rocks and listened to the classification of rocks. They looked into a microscope at different rocks.

Water molecules glued together experiment for children

Look, the water does not flow out!

On the next rotation, they watched the teacher blow up a balloon mainly with carbon dioxide and then got to play with it, noticing that it was much heavier than a balloon filled up with oxygen. The greatest experiment, which shocked most kids, was the classic with the water molecules glued together in a mason jar. By sliding a piece of paper under the mouth of the jar and waiting a few seconds, the molecules have time to gel and water will not flow out of the jar once the paper is removed.

Next, it was on to the nutrition table and last but not least, the engineering table, where they built different structures out of 3×5 index cards and tested their solidity with a beanie baby. We are very pleased with the program and though I know it tires us to get there early every day, we will benefit from being there.

Story of the World, Vol. 2, Chapter 35

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Chapter 35 dealt with the Renaissance – another dear topic to my heart. I liked how Ms. Bauer explained the new way of thinking and the scientific method. Observation is at the heart of this new way of thinking and one of my children in particular, who loves science, really tuned in for these concepts.

Paper Maker Coloring Page

The printing press is the most influential innovation in the history of humanity.

Narration went well and so did the questions. Sharing the markers for coloring – not so much. Sibling rivalry takes on new heights in the afternoon, when they are tired and have had a full day. This week they attend Soccer Camp in the morning. Then, today, it just so happened they had their weekly violin lesson via Skype.  Continue reading »

Even though I allowed them plenty of free time between these two activities, they still came to the history lesson with an attitude lacking gratitude. I have learned to just bow my head and hold my tongue when they start arguing. Sometimes I pray, other times I just desperately hold my tongue and think of better times, when they declare their love and devotion for each other. I visualize them getting along.

Today I told them, with a kind and earnest tone, that Jesus still loves them and that He would not behave like this. It did not change anything. After another round of the same, I felt inspired to tell them that the angels Jesus sent to our house to guard us and to keep us from harm are weeping. The angels know these two kids love each other, but right now it looks like they hate each other. So the angels are sad and they are crying.

One of the children did not want to show emotions, but another one actually bowed the head and you could tell they were visibly touched by the picture of the crying angels. This child ended up standing up from the table and walking away. I asked what they were doing. They replied, “I’m going to my room.”

They needed some time to think things over. I allowed it and paused the reading until they came back. I did not hear another bickering tone after that from this child. The other one kept on and on, but this time there was no fighting back from the other one, so it died down. I’m sharing this so you know it’s not always easy to go through these history lessons and I am teaching real kids, who get in each other’s face at times.

The printing press is one of my favorite subjects in the development of human civilization and Gutenberg gets a special mention here, in this chapter.