Astronomy, a favorite subject of mine! Hopefully, the kids will find it to be a favorite one day too. J has always loved finding the moon and stars in the sky. Recently it’s been rockets – building them out of blocks, crystal climbers, construction paper, white board. Doesn’t matter the medium, if he can think it, he’ll build it. He’ll even help his sister build one.
We stopped by the library for a space stop. The sun, rockets, planets, constellations, galaxies, and stars.
Our memory verse this week came from Psalms 104, one of my favorite passages. I didn’t get a picture of it, but later on, he copied it down word for word on a piece of paper shaped like a rocket, of course!
We did a phases of the moon experiment (using a balloon and lamp)
and saw how the moon rotates around the Earth (that’s a balloon wrapped up in aluminum foil. It makes the balloon a bit heavier so we could imitate how gravity is different on the moon – when kicked).
He did this rocket by himself, just grabbed the construction paper, streamers, glue, and other items and went to work.
Then we did an experiment with streamers showing angular momentum (why the solar system and galaxies spin flat). The faster you go, the flatter it becomes.
Yes, we used the fan too!
This was a game that my brother and I used to play as kids. We had gotten rid of the game many years back, but I was fortunate enough to find a copy as an adult. We rocketed around the planets and landed on moons, trying to stay out of black holes and eventually making our way back to Earth. It’s a great way to memorize the names of the moons.
We laid out our Solar System with rocks on the sidewalk and he labeled the sun and planets.
No Solar System is complete without all the moons – 1 for Earth, 2 for Mars, 63 for Jupiter, 31 for Saturn…
Spending some time with is daddy, J read all about the robots on Mars.
YouTube has a great (non-talking) video about Curiosity’s landing on Mars. Click here to watch it.
We made a Mars lander of our own, using none other than Wall-E.
J assembled the lander and parachute.
We tried both a paper parachute and a fabric one. The fabric did a bit better, but in neither case did the Wall-E egg crack.
Finally! After about 6 or 7 attempts to try to make it crack, we took it out of the lander and J broke it from just a foot or two in the air on the sidewalk. Yep, it was real!
Craters on the moon! Oh, did they love getting dirty in the flour/salt!
That made one big crater!
It’s hard to see in the picture, but they made a bunch of craters and we could tell in which order some of them were made by which ones overlapped others.
Then things started to get crazy. A galactic war broke out!
Sitting at the dinner table one night, the question came up of what would happen if we “burned” ice? So we tried it. J guessed it would turn black and it did, but it also melted. (Referring back to what makes comets, “dirty snowballs.”)
Onto the other subjects – this was something new I tried for his journal. I wrote a story that J dictated and he drew the picture. It’ll be neat to see how his stories progress through the year.
Writing is going fabulously. This is the first week he was able to write all his lower case letters by himself, without looking or asking for help.
New words this week were the “ck” ending family.
We played with some centimeter cubes making patterns. (E played with random patterns.)
Swish is a fun game of visual perception, basically matching opposite shapes. J was able to get a few once he got the rules, but I was surprised how quickly E was able to pick out so many matches so quickly.
You might think October is a bit late to go camping and for our poor toes at night it was, but during the day it was a perfect 74 degrees. We went to Chatfield, which is pretty close to the mountains. Beautiful!
This guy gave me a great picture from overhead.
We watched the moon and stars and night. (Speaking of which, there’s an eclipse of the moon “blood moon” coming up on early Wednesday morning (October 8th at 4am-ish) if you can watch it.)
And that ended another great week of exploring God’s creation!