Science Sunday: Indy 500

Science Sunday
019Or, how to make 5 boys insanely happy.  All throughout our geography coop last week I let the boys, when they were done with other projects work on creating a race car out of Legos.

The only rules were it had to be able to move on its own, beyond that it was all in what they decided.

At first there was a lot of “My car has guns and a shield…….”  However as they tried out all of these uber weaponized race cars and discovered they didn’t go as far, they started taking off the weapons.

Before we raced the cars we took time to write what made each of their cars special.  Or in Princess’ case, draw pictures of different parts of her car.

It was interesting what each kid thought was special about their cars.  I think that’s one of the most amusing parts of teaching, seeing how their minds work.


As the very final activity for the day we raced them.

And of course we all have to pose for it!

We divided into two groups to race, andthe big kid race was tied between Superman and another kid.


The little kid race Princess won, and hers got the most distance of all.  Her secret weapon?

It was a SLED!  I didn’t think it was going to go far at all, but apparently it slid super well.

You learn something new every day!

Let’s see what others did this week:

Highhill Homeschool shared a water wheel her kids made (I’m really hoping she tells more about this, it’d be perfect for Mississippi).  UPDATED: She included more detailed instructions on making it, so here it comes for Mississippi.

Homeschool Mo writes about their earthworm unit (including an art project).  I don’t know if I’d order earthworms.

Teach Beside Me shared a food chain printable that looks fun.

Science Sunday button Science Sunday

Indiana: A Place Called Freedom Widgets


This is one of those books that left us adults with almost as many questions as the kids.  It’s a story of a family of slaves who are set free.  They travel North to Indiana, as time passes the father goes back down several times to get more of their family, aunts, uncles, cousins, and eventually a town is founded there.


014It’s got an almost lyrical quality in the writing, and we all really enjoyed it.  The adults were left wondering did he go down and help them escape to freedom, or did he slowly buy their freedom?


Either way, it’s a good book.  In the end, they name the new town they’ve created “Freedom,” so of course we had to draw our own idea of FREEDOM.




We tried to mimic the illustration style of the book, which looked to me to be a fun combination of watercolors and colored pencil.  I wasn’t quite sure if it was watercolor pencils, it seemed slightly different.


This is Princess before spilling the entire cup of water on herself……  Sigh…..  She got to spend the rest of the time in a swim suit.



I love Superman’s expression in this picture.  The picture next to his is Batman’s illustration, he apparently had trains on his mind, or was remembering the scene in the book with trains.  The bottom right is Princess’, I think those are flowers, but aren’t they pretty?


Shibley Smiles

Indiana: Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy

Did you know these cute dolls were first made in Indiana?  I didn’t either until I started looking up facts on the state.

That of course requires reading one of their stories.  This particular one is the story of how they found their friend who had been stolen and rescue her from pirates.  Very saccharine sweet. Widgets


My kids didn’t quite think this was a requirement, they wanted to get to the craft project.



Not that you can tell from Princess’ sour face.  She was not in a good mood that day.


I found a paper doll template on Kidley, I think it was one of the first blogs I discovered, and sadly it’s not writing anymore.

Then I turned them loose with a box of crayons, colored pencils, scissors, glue, and a box of scrapbook paper.  Their only instruction was to make a boy doll and a girl doll, an unpopular instruction with everyone.


And here’s what I got:


I love the look on the boy’s face in the top picture, that really is his personality.  My kids never gave me a chance to get a picture of them with their pictures.  I love the variety, from the all colored to the some colored some paper.  All of them were unique.


The bottom right corner is one of my boys’ pictures.  I’d guess Superman from the one guy being all blue.

Shibley Smiles

Indiana: The Floating House Widgets


You hear a lot about people going West in a Covered Wagon.  You don’t really hear as much about them going West other ways.  This book was a great example of another way.  This family floated West on a house boat.


“A house boat?” you say.  Yes, and there are dangers I didn’t think about connected with a house boat.


After reading this I decided it’d be fun to make our own house boat.  Two fun and easy ways to do this would have been using a milk carton or juice boxes.


I thought of this pretty much 10:00 the night before, and I don’t have 10 boxes saved to use right now.  I have a lot of egg cartons….. Not so useful for this.




I used my Silhouette to cut out some boxes, if you don’t have something to cut them for you, here’s a template I found that will do that.


I then set them to coloring boxes with crayons to decorate their boats.

And then they colored a peg doll for their person in the boat.  Simple, fun, and sadly not waterproof.


I emphasized that several times.



Isn’t he cute?