Fun with science: gears, wheels, axles

The science order from Rainbow Resource arrived today. Yeah! It looks just perfect for us this year. We’ll be studying matter & physics for science and the human body for health.

Rather than just reading the books and taking tests or doing worksheets, we will be making practical applications whenever possible. So today we started playing with science. He read 2 lessons in Machines & Motion on axles, wheels, and gears. We then examined several examples of gears in a music box before going  outside. We looked at the different gears on his bicycle and discussed why the front and rear gears are different sizes. Then we went into the garage to look at the various gears on my mountain bike. We discussed how different combinations of gears would be useful. He then got to explore how his gears work for 20 minutes (ride his bike). Tomorrow he will look at and diagram the an auger and gears in a coal heating system.

We will be using books from 2 sets which compliment each other well, God’s Design and Real Science 4 Kids. I really like how the God’s Design series are laid out. Each subject like chemistry, biology, physics, etc is broken down into 3-4 smaller texts. They’re now in color. For this year we have Heat & Energy, Machines & Motion, Properties of Matter, and Human Body. The covers are color coded so you can tell which belong to what set. Each lesson has vocab words, fun facts, and investigations to do. Plus, they’re multi-age depending upon how you use the information so Karen can get an introduction from the Beginners pages to concepts at the same time Richard gets more detail in the regular lesson plus there’s challenge questions to stretch him.

From RS4K we have Physics Level 1 which has 10 chapters with experiments and write-ups. There’s also activities in the God’s Design books that are a lot of fun playing with science. They both have a Biblical view backed by mainstream scientific facts.

We do reading, language arts, and handwriting every day. Then we do focus subjects the rest of the day. That way we can spend more time rather than little bits each day of everything. I haven’t quite figured out what each day will be. Tuesday and Thursday are math. That leaves science/health, history, and Bible. I will probably double up on those so each gets covered at least twice a week. Which days would depend upon his interests. We may rotate by weeks if it’s something he’s really interested in.

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