Besides regular book work for math and language, my boys learn pretty much everything else by living the homesteading life. But in the winter, when the farm chores are few, their inspiration for learning needs to come from other places. Enter books.
Last week my nine-year-old was in the mood for science. He wanted to do experiments. He would have been happy to blow things up, burn things down, or otherwise be destructive, too. But since mama was in bed with the flu, I just handed him a couple books that I knew were safe.
Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials by Muriel Mandell and Amazing Science Experiments with Everyday Materials by E. Richard Churchill have been in my “school closet” since forever. Or at least since my soon-to-be-a-father son wanted to blow things up all by himself, too. That’s so long, I don’t think you can buy them any more. But you can get a newer version that looks even cooler called 365 Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials.
What did the nine-year-old choose to experiment with? He coated a nail with copper. If you look closely, you can see the nail in this jar full of pennies. The experiment really did work and it led to even greater discussions of whether we could coat a nail with gold or silver in the same fashion. Trouble is, no one wanted to cough up a piece of jewelry (and possibly have it ruined) for the experiment.
The boy spent several days doing experiments out of these books while mama fought the flu. They are easy to read and understand, and are something that an 8-12 year old would enjoy doing independently. I highly recommend them.
What have you done for science lately? I’d love for you to share in the comments.