Sunday, 25 April 2021

Project 181: Cars

 As we had just bought our first car, it seemed a good idea to make cars the topic of this week's project.

Along with learning about the history of the car, the children learned about how the engine works and the sorts of regular checks you need to make, checking the oil, coolant fluid, brake fluid, and tyre tread. 

They put together a couple of k'nex cars that used different types of power:

And they did a wide range of Twinkl worksheets on cars, including crosswords, wordsearches, designing cars of the future, and a woven police car craft

We also managed to squeeze in watching Cars and Cars 2.

Next week's project: Trees

Project 180: The Stuarts

It seemed about time we did another history project. Although history has been incorporated into other projects (e.g., Project 166: Animal Farm) and we'd done Project 139: A History of Music, the last project that looked explicitly at a historical period was almost a year ago with Project 134: World War II

 We decided to look at the Stuarts as we had previously looked at the surrounding periods (see Project 69: The Tudors and Project 104: The Georgians), and it gave an opportunity to consolidate and revisit some of the other projects we did before Sam started home education (e.g., Project 108: The Great Fire of London, Project 77: Shakespeare, Project 5: English Civil War).

As well as making use of a lot of history books, we incorporated science, literature and music. 

We read about the gunpowder plot, and then followed some instructions from the Horrible Science kit (see Project 19: Science and Chemistry) to make our own 'fireworks' with food colouring:

We read an abridged Othello, and made use of the the BBC resources to learn and sing songs about Macbeth. Finally we watched a fictional account of Shakespeare's early years from the team behind Horrible Histories. It wasn't as family friendly as we'd hoped, but that's what we get for straying into the Tudor period!

Next Project: Cars

Project 179: Materials

We like to keep a vague eye on the national curriculum, and make sure we're not missing any of the big topics, and as we hadn't done much on materials (although we had touched upon it in Project 163: Rocks and Minerals and Project 147: Sculpture), we decided that should be the focus of this week's project. 

We started the week by learning about different materials and their properties using the Schofield & Sims Science Revision Guide (key stages 1 & 2), looking at wood, stone, paper, metal, glass, pottery, plastic, cotton, and wool,  and introducing words such as brittle, transparent, opaque, absorbent, polished. We did a hunt around the house to find items for each category, and we investigated why certain materials are used for certain jobs using Sam's bike and a worksheet from the Bikeability site.
We watched videos to find out how bricks, glass, paper, metal, and plastic are made.

We discussed thermal conductors and thermal insulators, and then the kids came up with their own experiment to see which was the best thermal conductor out of wood and cardboard. We then finished the week by having a go at making some paper without specialised equipment.

Next project: The Stuarts

Monday, 12 April 2021

Project 178: Easter IV

It was our fourth Easter as home educators, so an opportunity to revisit some of the previous crafts and activities, as well as doing some new ones (see Project 29: Easter and Spring, Project 81: Easter II, Project 130: Easter III). 

There were the usual chocolate nests, as well as our first simnel cake, which everyone enjoyed:

We added to our Easter bunting (for the third year running), made some Easter cards, and even attempted to make a Lego hatching egg:

We also revisited the Easter story, explained the traditions of Holy Week, from palm crosses to the washing of feet, and watched a couple of Easter(-ish) films. We watched Ben Hur (the 2003 cartoon version on Amazon Prime):

And the 2016 film Risen

Risen has a 12A rating, and Amazon suggests 13+ for Ben Hur, although neither are particularly inappropriate for younger children. The ratings primarily reflect the fact that they deal with the subject of Christ's crucifixion in a more violent time. 

Next project: Materials