Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I didn't make Boss' light myself for those of you who think I am remotely that talented. You would have known if I had made it by the globules of dust encrusted glue, cellotape and naffness, and by the fact that it would have, by now, fallen, been ripped, crushed, trashed, digested and dicarded about four years ago (or precisely a day after I had made it). This lovely creation was purchased at John Lewis.

For Joyce et al. Sorry about the word verification U-Turn. I turned it off and immediately got spam. If you can all tolerate spam I will turn word verification off again. If no one speaks up I'll leave it on. Already have one for "for". I would LOVE to read your blog and have your password and also know how they got your phone number, although TBH for even a semi-serious hacker that wouldn't be too hard. If you could email me your passwords? Contact in the sidebar. Ta, chuck.

Finally finished Charlotte's Web. I liked it. It was a pleasant enough amble into animal type life. The story was easy enough to follow and I think Boss engaged very much with it. Didn't cry when Charlotte died but was very quiet. Oh well. Next is Charlie Chocolate. Can't wait. Any ideas for further reading??

After a late start after the sheer excitement of having a real workman come in and change our landline to a different provider we got started. Wanted to explain the concept of echolocation and went to work on that, starting with what sound is - very difficult to teach abstracts at this age and wasn't sure I really wanted to, but you know, you have to know something about how sound works before you get "echo". But it was very basic.

Covered what "air" was and how it is "made up" and then showed him a diagram of what air is, then what happens when we "make a noise", so we clapped.

Then using some plastic balls because we just dont have marbles in this house we did the thing where you roll a ball into a line of them and see the end one move. Kind of shows you how energy transforms and passes along.

Can you hear that? I get that noise ALL day. He was being a lion-hippo-rhino-thing

Then we looked at things that made a noise - our voices, a triangles, a whistle and a drum and worked out what they did to make a noise. Using a drum a piece of something (was meant to be rice but I just didn't want to hoover up today) we banged the drum and saw it move and felt our voices tingle our fingers. Yes, yes they all had to vibrate to make a noise. Good. Well done.

Quickly showed a picture of the human ear so he knew how sound made sound in our head.

So at this point I introduce the slinky - to much oohing and ahhing all round. By taping one end of the slinky to the wall I moved it so he saw the "wave" move down the line. Did the slinky move? No. It moved the "sound" by banging it down the line. Good good. Then by moving it harder we saw the wave hit the wall and bounce back! Ooooh, what happened? The wave came back.

Thus a quick introduction to what an echo was and into how whales send out sound and wait for the echo to bounce off their food/objects. Hm, but how do they understand this information I can hear you ask. Weeeeeeeell hold your horses because I was only just about to tell you, wasn't I?

Moving onto our *next* experiment we took a tennis ball, a clock and a tape measure and measured 50cm from the wall. We aimed the ball at the wall (sounds like Dr. Seuss book) and timed how long it took to come back. Then we moved further and further away. What did we learn? We learned the further away you are the longer the ball takes to come back, intro to a conversation about waves and echolocation - and how the whales know how far things are away by how quickly their echo returns.

Good stuff. You still reading? OK.

Then to further understand the quality of sound we did a little experiment to see if by hearing alone we could determine direction.

I blindfolded Boss (to much protestation) and moved around the room while he had to point where I was when I talked. He got it right. Then we covered his ears and he didn't get them all right. What did we learn - the ears can determine location and whales can determine location and distance when their echoes return. Hurrah! Echolocation *can* be taught after all!!

I don't like this. I'm telling Dad. I'm leaving. You have something wrong with you you do. I want to go now.

The happy children in the book playing with glee

We looked at a picture wot I made and discussed what was going on.

Echolocation in *action*

Then we had lunch ;-) and talked about echolocation to his Dad who obviously knows NOTHING ... about ANYTHING ...

Then we moved on the Right whales and read about them in his book, on the net, printed stuff off, cut and stuck.

We discussed the differences with this whale from what we have so far been looking at - it wasn't a rorqual, had barnacles over its head (!) and has no dorsal fin, then he played with play doh making whales.

Then I shopped whilst he and his Dad and brother bonded over animal stories, I showed him Charlie Chocolate and he told his brother what happened in Charlotte's Web.

Good stuff. Need to go checkout now.


At 8:28 pm, Blogger Jax said...

all of that before lunch? I think you take the "and then we had lunch" crown.

That is fabulous stuff, and I'm ripping it off - thought of doing project worksheets for ppl to follow? (not that they would have to follow them line by line, but just so that they had the framework).

My verification image isn't showing up. Wonder if it will post this anyway.

At 9:09 pm, Blogger Elder Faery said...

*phew*. That's heducation! I'm gonna go back over it again...Meadow's gonna love this post.

At 9:30 pm, Blogger amanda said...

Wow... I too am going to rip this off... just fantastic.

At 9:53 pm, Blogger 4 girls and 3 boys said...

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am stunned. Very impressive ( we have the ear picture too lol).

At 10:02 pm, Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

Dad's never know nothing about anything.

You are one clever teacher. That is genuinely awesome.

Jax has had a look at your blog n said "Why couldn't I have home schooling?"

(I blamed Little Caz)

At 8:44 am, Blogger earth said...

YOU are so good u make it look so easy .keep up the good work you got any tips as to how i can home educate my 2 in islam all will be appriciated thanks

At 8:54 am, Blogger Joyce said...

That was great. We've been doing echolocation as well recently, but that really brought it to life. I've sent you my log in details.

At 9:14 am, Blogger milkmumma said...

you can borrow the borrowers from us if you like.

At 6:01 pm, Blogger d34dpuppy said...

its always good 2 start out young i guess tha brain takes more in then


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