Thank You Cosmos! What could I possibly add that has not already been said about this show?
This was our year for science, for sure. After we finished the television series I decided to start our lessons from the beginning bringing science and history together the way it should be.
I couldn’t believe how lucky I got that The Big History Project thought to do the same. So many wonderful discussions emerged from this year. All I know to do really is jump right in and get started.
We touched on so many topics this year that I’ve tried to organize them the best way I could.
We learned about the big bang and formation of the Earth by watching Discovery’s How the Universe Works and BBC’s Earth, The Biography. We also watched Stephen Hawking’s Did God Create the Universe and let’s not forget those Green brothers and their Big History Crash Course videos.
We talked about Earth’s gravity and rotation, structure of layers, and magnetic field. Thanks to Magic Tree House’s Tsunamis Research Guide we discussed Pangaea, plate tectonics, volcanoes, hot spots, the ring of fire, and earthquakes. We also watched NOVA’s Killer Typhoon episode. This led to discussions on the formation of mountains, Earth’s crust, the rock cycle, and we did a little cave exploring.
Which led us to discussions on weathering and erosion,
ice and glaciers. We did a jellybean erosion experiment
where the girls discovered 7 up eroded the jellybean fastest.
We had discussions on fossils, fossil fuels, coal and oil, the geological column, and read the Magic Tree House Research Guide about Dinosaurs.
Thanks to our garden we learned about soil, tested our soil’s acidity,
and did an experiment to see if our soil had more sand, clay or silt.
We also watched Dirt, The Movie. We learned about the water cycle (the Ziplock bag representing Earth),
measured how fast 4 cups of water poured on the driveway would evaporate,
and traced the water flow and evaporation from our peonies.
Speaking of evaporation, we discovered we could use it to separate solutions too.
We also learned about filtration.
Before I move too far away from Earth science and our garden we made a bug hotel
and identified many insects like the praying mantis, grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and stink bugs. We discussed the lifecycle of ladybugs, and aphids.
We watched PBS Nature episodes about the Private Life of Deer, Ireland’s Wild River, and the Coywolf. We also watched Pure Nature Special, Camel’s Empire, Animal Atlas, Zoo Clue ,and visited our local zoo.
We also watched NOVA’s The Last Great Ape and discussed evolution. Which brought us to the Ice Age and reading The Magic Tree House Research Guide.
We touched briefly on space with Cosmos , NOVA’s Detecting Life On Other Planets episode, spotting Jupiter and 2014’s Friday the 13th honey moon.
Other shows that played a part in our homeschool were Bill Nye the Science Guy episodes and watching him and Ken Ham debate. We also watched the movie Life of Pi again from a science vs. religion point of view and caught a few spectrum of light shows.
Chemistry, Matter and Reactions:
We discussed the states of matter,
atoms, molecules, mixtures and solutions,
solids, liquids or both.
We made a chemical indicator using purple cabbage,
created carbon dioxide by making a CO2 sandwich in a bag, a volcano,
and chocolate cake.
Last but not least we mummified an apple.
Books (not already mentioned):
The Dorling Kindersley Science Encyclopedia, this was one of the best book investments and Goodwill finds ever! I also love our painless learning placemats. There is one for almost everything. We live in a small house (under 1000 square feet) so I am very cautious of what we bring in. These fit perfect in the little corner nook of our kitchen table making them easily assessable at all times and are laminated.
Science for Fun experiments and the DK encyclopedia of Cat Breeds came in handy this year. Honestly though, Little Sis wanted the painless placemat of popular cats anyway which gets pulled out way more than the book and I’m pretty sure most all these experiments can be found by doing a search on-line.
Alright, 2014 you were a great year but I am ready to see what awaits us in 2015.