Home-School Projects & Lessons For Every Family

By Annette Walters January 14, 2021

Our projects this past week included a couple winter science experiments. We learned that some antarctic fish have glycopeptides in their blood to keep themselves from freezing. The glycopeptide acts as an antifreeze so the blood in the fish does not turn to ice. We experimented using sugar water. We filled two plastic cups with water and added a tablespoon of sugar to one cup, then labeled it. We placed the cups in the freezer for the day (or you can do it overnight) and at the end of the day, we took them out to test the consistency. We found that the plain water was frozen solid but the sugar water was softer. We also discussed how that pertained to frozen treats like popsicles. Our other experiment was to learn about a lunar corona. We discussed how, given the right conditions you can see a rainbow at night. When a high, thin cloud moves in front of the moon, the light rays from the moon diffract around the droplets in the cloud, creating a circle of colors around the moon. We put an empty, clear plastic cup in the freezer for a few minutes and placed a desk lamp across the room. We then removed the cup from the freezer and held it up in front of us in the direction of the lamp, breathed hotly on it, and peered through it at the light. We mostly saw the color blue, but a few other colors as well. 

Another day we followed directions from a YouTube video to build a Da Vinci bridge out of popsicle sticks. The kids broke up into teams to try it out. We had to pause the video a lot and discuss but it was great fun. The oldest of the kids decided to test the stability of their bridge by lightly pushing on it or walking their fingers across it. Then they added to it to make it more efficient for walking across (if you were a very tiny person). Next they used the popsicle sticks and another YouTube video to build a house and it came out very nicely. It still sits on my son’s desk today. 

It’s been awfully cold but we still try to bundle up and spend as much time outdoors as possible. The kids are usually more enthusiastic about it than I am but I like giving them a lot of space to run around. We spent a short day at Acadiana park running through the trails. I asked the kids to observe how winter had changed the surroundings since the last time we’d been. They pointed out the lack of leaves and green but most of all we noticed how very quiet it was and we discussed all the possible reasons for that. Winter is not my favorite season in Louisiana but I’m learning to enjoy it through the kids. 

About Annette: 

I’m a homeschool mom of two, ages 11 and 5. We’ve been homeschooling from the beginning for 6 years and our preferred method is unschooling with a Charlotte Mason twist. I love homeschooling for the freedom it gives us and because I enjoy learning alongside my kids. Our favorite ways to indulge our interests are by exploring the world around us, doing experiments and activities, talking to people who are passionate about their fields, and reading well written books. I believe so much in what we do, I’ve kept it through divorce and now working full time from home. It’s my hope to continue our journey until college or whatever next step my kids choose to take. 

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