We finally made it – the week of the Science Fair!! We did a little bit of Sonlight along with some math, Latin, and Spanish, but the main event of the week was the Science Fair.
Wild Man’s topic was “Which Configuration of Trebuchet or Catapult Launches a Projectile Further?”. We had ordered a trebuchet/catapult kit online several weeks ago, and he and Mr. Math Tutor put it together. One of the cool things about the kit is that it was put together with dowels and rubber bands except for the cup which was glued. Wild Man and Mr. Math Tutor took the measurements a few weeks ago. This week, when they were analyzing the results, they decided that they wanted to try another configuration of catapult, so they did some more measurements on Wednesday morning – when it was 20 degrees and windy outside!
Wild Man and I read several chapters in his Physics book to learn about forces and energy and also read several websites to learn the history of the catapult and trebuchet. He did do a paper this year by dictating to me. The biggest challenge for his project was that I had to do the reading to him and then type up his dictation because of his dyslexia. After that, though, he did the display completely by himself.
Ga’hoole Girl chose to do her project on “How Much Did Solomon’s Temple Cost?” She used the Bible as well as several reference books and websites to figure the cost of the things that she could. There were several things that she was unable to figure the cost because the Bible said things like “the amount of bronze was so much that it could not be counted.” Her calculations required learning about Biblical measurements and learning to convert from one kind of measurement to another. The best thing about her project is that the board was incredibly artistically done. I may be biased, but I thought it was the best one at the Science Fair.
One thing I learned about Ga’hoole Girl’s education is that she has not really been taught to do a research project. I was frustrated that she waited until the last minute to do the bulk of the work. Mr. Math Tutor, though, reminded me that eighth graders in public school are constantly walked through every step of every project. They are not given a week’s worth of work with the expectation of having it done by the end of the week like I do with Ga’hoole Girl. Ga’hoole Girl is very smart and communicates very well, but she is still just 13 years old and is not quite ready to handle an 8-12 week project without more guidance than I gave her on this project. So, to that end, I am going to have her to an end of year project on a history topic, but we are going to go through it step by step. There won’t be any procrastinating because I’m going to have all the steps broken down for her. If I have a bad headache week, Mr. Math Tutor has agreed to step in and help out.
So, that was our week. Back to more mundane things next week! Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see how others spent their weeks.