Sunday, January 23, 2011

Acid, Base or Nuetral?

When I was in school, science curriculums were basically about memorizing.  Well, for me at least.  I couldn't picture this stuff and no one was doing experiments.  In tenth grade, I had my first science lab, but by then I already thought of science as really difficult and confusing.

When we began homeschooling, I spent hours researching writing and reading and spelling and math curriculums.  I figured I would start with the basics and add in the extras.  We've tweaked things here and there, abandoned spelling and phonics, mixed three separate writing curriculums to achieve our goals and have alternated between several approaches to reading.  We are still trying to find a good math fit for A.  In the early fall after completing a unit on our state, we ordered Story of the World for History and we LOVE it.  I am hard-pressed, however to find  a suitable science curriculum.  I want something with a lot of hands on experiments to make it make sense.  I don't want it too cartoony or immature.  Also, I find a lot of programs go up to fifth grade and then there are a whole new set of things for middle school.  A is in fifth grade NOW, so I don't want to start a program this year only to abandon it for something else next year.

We have been using science kits and LOVING them.

Since Christmas, we have worked our way through Mind Blowing Science.  We have been learning all about pH.

Then, you collect things from all over your house and test them to see if they are an acid, a base or balanced.

The girls had a lot of fun finding things they wanted to test.

The girls created a little chart as we went along:

I won't bore you with pictures of EVERYTHING we tested.  But here are a few:

Lemon Juice turned red therefore it is acidic.

The lubricant stayed purple, thus it is neutral.

Shampoo turned blue.

We concluded that the food stuffs we tested were acidic, and the toiletries were basic or neutral.

If my girls were in school, they would not have had the opportunity to test anything and everything that they wanted.  They may have had a turn in class, but not been front and center for the whole thing.  

Sure, we could do this at home sometime, but we were so busy completing everything they needed to complete from school and they were so "fried" most of the time that this would never have been as well received or fun!