Grammar Stage Physics: UPDATED!

WTM's recommended book, Physics Experiments for Children came in the mail the other day... I was pleasantly surprised when I looked through the table of contents. It's organized by topic:
  1. air
  2. water
  3. energy and machines
  4. heat
  5. sound
  6. light
  7. magnetism and electricity
It would be easy to do a unit on each one, or try to hit all of them by doing the first experiment in each group, and then the second, etc. WTM says this is the only book she has seen that includes all 7 topics in one book. This book is a tad annoying sometimes because the experiments are soo old school. Completely do-able, but somewhat... I don't know how to phrase it. For instance, in the section on "Heat" you are instructed to knead softened candle wax into lumps and stick them onto a metal rod or knitting needle. As the heat from hot chocolate travels up the knitting needle the wax will melt. Couldn't we just stir our hot chocolate with our spoon to see the heat move? (This is actually the first part of the same experiment!) A few other experiments can get talked about for just a few minutes and my daughter understands the concept. She has experienced many of the principles in real life and can recall them, and understand the idea behind it, without re-enacting it.

Physics has been a little intimidating to many because they didn't master it themselves in school. I have been looking forward to it so that I can master the principles- I figure a fourth grade level physics will be ok! However I have been quite intimidated by the figures I come up with when I try to budget for all the gear I want to get. That's right, want. I know it's done every day with way less, but that's the rub with homeschooling- you get to look at all those gorgeous glossy catalogs.
If, like me, you're coming from a "schooled" past yourself, you can easily remember the gear and equipment you used when you were young. Of course we want the best for our kids, and we can become distracted by all that we want to give them. A one-on-one ratio is better than equipment any day! Wants vs needs and all that.

Here's my wish list of wants.
Many homeschoolers enjoy Janice VanCleave's Physics for Every Kid: 101 Easy Experiments in Motion, Heat, Light, Machines, and Sound also. The one I rec'd above is recommended by SWB in WTM because it has all the topics in one book and uses generally available household items.

However, if you want to get your salivary glands pumping (but that's biology, I guess) you can click here to get Delta's (free) Science and Math catalog.

If you are enjoying Elemental Science's lesson plans, here is her book list. Many are duplicates of the books above, because she is also WTM-based.

I'm so pleased you are utilizing Classical Curriculum!

Teresa (Tracy) Dear

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