Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Colloids, Suspensions, Solutions and 'Stink'

I'm loosening the reigns a bit, trying to keep the pendulum from swinging to far into school-at-home territory. Catherine's been doing more sit down work but enjoying it far less. So we started today when Catherine was ready and that was at about 10:30 am. She did a couple of big pages from Key to Fractions. They were packed with work and one page had quite a bit of writing so we counted that as copy work. It was a long slog with lots of complaints so after she was done I told her I was proud of her determination to finish the paper despite the complaints and we looked over her printing and admired how much it had improved in the past couple of weeks. Even though she'd hated the work she ended up feeling good about it.

The afternoon was filled with hour after hour of She-Ra.

I'd forgotten how bad, how good, that series was.

Yes, It was schlocky. The voice acting was a little hokey, the dialogue full of clunky jokes and one-liners but it was She-Ra. This was He-Man's sister who had every bit of his power, plus a bit. She could lift huge boulders over her head and dispatch Hordak's troups with ease. She led a rebellion and fought for honour and freedom.

This is the era of girl's TV shows where plots revolve around shopping and fashion. The closest you get to female superheroes is often something like Winx where the heroics come after a trip to the mall and between talks about cute boys. So when my daughter finishes a She-Ra marathon with big bright eyes, rosy cheeks and a mile-wide smile I know it's had an effect on her the Bratz girls could never have.

Then it's back to the kitchen table to do the experiments we had read about yesterday. We put out a bunch of glasses, filled them with water, reserved one for a control and then started adding stuff to the water to see if we could make suspensions, colloids and water. That was fun but what was more fun was when I brought out the food colouring and it began to turn from a science lesson into a sciense free-for-all. Harry joined us and they began dumping colours in their water. Then salt, flour, cocoa, eventually came the peppermint and almond extract and still later some different cooking oils. Every sense except taste was engaged in this activity and the two of them had a ball. Harry eventually refered to his concoction as 'stink' and he had good reason to.

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