Monday, April 4, 2011

Salt and sugar

During dinner, W asked about the differences between salt and sugar, so we thought up a few experiments and executed these after our main course. 

We began with the sensual experiences of each: how does each look and feel?  How does each smell and taste?  Thinking back, we should have also tried putting our ears up to the little heaps, but I guess we were not expecting any auditory properties.

Having established that sugar tastes sugary and salt tastes salty, we explored how they behave with water.  What happens when a tablespoon of each is mixed into a glass of water?  What happens when a little of each is placed onto an ice cube?

Then we searched ingredient lists to see if various food items had one, both, or neither of salt or sugar as an ingredient.  After a few items, and perhaps a pattern established, we turned it into a game to try to predict the inclusion of salt or sugar.    

Friday, April 1, 2011

snow day (no fooling!)

Today was probably the longest that C has been happy playing in the snow. The power was off and on this morning but with most of the snow off the tree limbs I would be surprised if it goes out again. The temperature was warmer than it has been after most of the snow falls this year considering it is April after all. The boys enjoyed making snow angels and running around in the snow. I saw some wild turkey foot prints in our driveway but this time no other evidence of the bird was left. At least this snow should melt soon and potentially be beneficial to the maple syrup producers.

Last week we rowed The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf for FIAR Volume 2. Check out this post from last year about Ferdinand which recently celebrated it's 75th birthday, and check out the cartoon based on the story. The book is one of my favorites.

Last week we also took a field trip to Parker's Maple Barn with a homeschool group to see how maple syrup is made, and the trip finished off with a delicious pancake and cocoa. We will likely make this a tradition since it is a fun place to visit and there is nothing like the smell of a sugarhouse. W celebrated his 6th birthday with a party this past weekend and spent some time this week writing thank-you notes to his family and friends. Unfortunately this week the boys have had runny noses so I hope no colds were spread to the other little ones during the party. They had insisted on going outside and running around in the cold much to the dismay of the parents.

This week we have been reading The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift (what a name, love it!) W has been recalling some of our big trip to NYC last spring and learning about lighthouses, rivers and geography among other subjects. He has finished chapter 25 in the Math-U-See Primer and we have the Alpha curriculum waiting in the wings for later this spring. We are in the planning stages of our next vacation later this spring to SC, with perhaps some stops on the way back north in VA & PA. :)