How to do a Homeschool Bird Unit Study This Fall.

October 21, 2009

Gull

Do you remember coating pine cones in peanut butter and bird seed, hanging them outside, and then pressing your nose against the back window waiting for the birds to come?

  1. Here’s another article with lots of easy bird feeder ideas and what birds eat what.
  2. A couple of years ago, we filled a few bird feeders, perched them on the railing of our deck and had a great time watching the birds come and go.  I was at a loss to figure out which birds were which until we checked out this great bird guide from the library that is perfect for beginners.  I love that it is organized by color, so when the kids saw a yellow bird, they would flip to that section in the book and then search for ‘our’ bird.
  3. Here are the ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ versions of the bird guide:

  4. Another amazing resource I just discovered is What Bird.com.  This site has so much bird information it can be overwhelming.  For a start, check out some of these links:

Enjoy!

Do you have any fun bird-schooling stories or favorite bird study resources?  I’d love more ideas.  Thanks!

Posted under Science Curriculum, Science Websites

How many spiders on your body does it take to break the record?

May 22, 2009

spider

If you haven’t checked out National Geographic Kids’ Site, you’re missing out.

Do you know what the record is for number of spiders on a human body in 30 seconds?  It was 75, until the 11-year-old “Spider Boy” broke the record with 125 orb spiders!  Check out the video.

I don’t know how they come up with these records, but they’re pretty fun to watch, unless you’re arachnophobic :-()

Check out the other website sections for TONS of great content:

Posted under Science Websites

Enjoy Science Experiment Videos Online (without the mess)

May 2, 2009

krampf

Do you need a break from doing science in your kitchen?  My son loves to watch the fun Robert Krampf’s science videos.  He does great science experiment videos and posts them online.  Some are free, and you can get access to the entire collection for $20 a year, which is very reasonable if you have a curious middle schooler who will enjoy clicking through the videos on his/her own.

You can also sign up for his free “Experiment of the Week” newletter here.

Enjoy!

Posted under Science Websites

Ology – a Fun Science Website to Explore!

April 22, 2009

test_tubes_s

Need some ideas to make science fun?  Or ideas for a science project?

Check out Ology, a science website done by the American Museum of Natural History (get it? -ology as in bi-ology, arche-ology?)

There are tons of catagory pages including:

Plus for each topic, there are activities in fun categories including:

  • Scientist at Work
  • Inside Story – “Ask a Scientist”
  • Quiz Games
  • Make It – fun activities with supply lists and instructions
  • Interviews with Scientists
  • Explore the Evidence

Enjoy!

Posted under Science Websites

Is Chemistry Confusing You? Try Chem4Kids.

March 13, 2009

test_tubes_sWould you like to see a picture of crystalline iron found only in meteorites?  Check out these real word examples of elements on Chem4Kids website – a site dedicated to helping teach chemistry concepts to kids.

Here is some of what Chem4Kids has:

Enjoy browsing their site!

As always, though, I think science for kids is best experienced first hand with experiments.  Do you have any good ‘kitchen table’ chemistry ideas?

Posted under Science Curriculum, Science Websites

Looking for Answers to Your Homeschooling Nature Questions?

February 25, 2009

elephant_s
Isn’t this a great picture of an ‘E-fant’?  (my 3-year-old’s favorite animal)  Learning about animals is a favorite part of early education and teaches children science, reading, comprehension, and lots more.

Check out Exploring Nature, a great natural science website with:

Much of the site is free, but there is also a nominal $25/yr to access some of their member only resources.  Enjoy!

Posted under Science Curriculum, Science Websites

Wierd Science is Fun! Free Videos and Experiments.

January 23, 2009

test_tube_s

Looking for fun science experiments?

Check out Weird Science, a website that offers a nice list of science experiments you can try at home, along with videos you can watch before you try the experiment yourself.  The videos are great, too, if you just want to avoid another messy science kitchen day.  Now if I could just find a science experiment that magically cleaned the kitchen table, counter, and sink full of dirty dishes 🙂

Have you found a fun science site for homeschooling?  You’re welcome to post a link in the comment section to share with us!

Posted under Science Curriculum, Science Websites

Why Planes Fly, Space Science, and NASA Freebies.

October 22, 2008

Do you have kids interested in space ships, rockets, airplanes, or the solar system?  Would you like some detailed, well-organized teaching guides for free?  Well, you might as well go to the experts:  check out NASA’s For Educators Website.

Here are some of my favorite resources they offer:

Thank you NASA for giving back to teachers and homeschoolers! 

Please share your favorite space and science resources with us in the comment section.

Posted under Science Websites

Screaming Balloons – A Fun Science Experiment!

October 17, 2008

Looking for a fun and easy science experiment to spice up your homeschool day?

We love Steve Spangler’s science website!  We especially like the science experimentssection, where the experiments are grouped by category and have great instructions, pictures, and videos. 

The site is commercial and sells all kinds of science equipment, but they offer excellent free resources.  Plus, I think the products are great gift ideas as alternatives to more toys. 

This morning we did the very easy and fun “Screaming Balloons” experiment.  All you need are a few balloons, various hex nuts, and a penny for contrast:

 

 

 

(The kids were dancing because the deck was cold and they are in bare feet – Autumn, please don’t go yet!)

‘Make it a lesson’ ideas:

  • Discuss what force is and how it is generated using mass and acceleration.  Demonstrate by hitting one of the balloons. 
  • Discuss how changing the mass, changes the force:  Vary the mass you hit it with but keep the acceleration the same – for example, hit the ballon with a small paper clip versus a book. 
  • Discuss how changing the acceleration changes the force:  Vary the acceleration – hit it slowly with your hand and then quickly.
  • To introduce how vibration is generated in this experiment, roll a plate on it’s edge across the table and listen to the lack of noise it makes versus trying to roll a clunky object like a book, end-over-end across the table.  Put a penny in one of the balloons to demonstrate the lack of vibration.

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Posted under Science Websites