impromptu learning

one of the reasons I choose to homeschool is I simply enjoy having my boy around.  :)   I like sharing his excitement in what he learns.

Yesterday while I was out doing some gardening I kept being interrupted by "mommy, come see this!"   So I'd trundle over to see what the lad had learned, done, accomplished, discovered and such forth.  Mind, I'd interrupt his play with "lad, can you come help me with...." and he'd come and help.  So turn about is fair play.

He was busy with a tub he's put together that is half water, and part sand and dirt.   He worked quite hard at dividing it up so that water stayed on one side, and the dirt on another.

First he discovered what a water table is. 
he dug down into various parts of his dirt section and learned that in most areas the dirt was damp but there was no water, but the closer he got to the water the more water there would be in the bottom of his hole.

Second he learned that doodle bugs (pill bugs) can float on a boat!     This made for marvellous story telling and laughter as we guessed what the pill bug thought of it all.

Then came the experiments with the pill bugs themselves.  
If he made an island would they stay on it?
Can they swim?
What happens if you roll them into a ball and drop them in?
What happens if they land on their backs?

We discovered they can swim for short sections of time.
They float really well.
They can not climb when they are in the water.
The big ones are smarter than the little ones, and the middle sized ones just bolt without looking and land up in the water ALL THE TIME (the little ones moved more slowly and the big ones tested things out first).   It was actually quite interesting watching the big ones.  They'd move to various parts of the island and lean WAY down and take a good look at the water, and then come back up and trundle to a different section and test it out to.   BUT once they fell in, they would do it all the time so I"m not sure what was up with that.
The small ones and big ones stayed on the island the longest, and only the small ones would stay on the boat for any length of time.

 this picture came from this site.

no pill bugs were harmed in these experiments.  :)

1 comment

  1. Very fun! My girls are having lots of fun with hands-on, life science stuff outdoors too. They are busy creating little ecosystems for the critters they are finding.


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