Category Archives: Learning

Giving Thanks: Make a Gratitude Wall

This yer my family has been very lucky and privileged to do a lot of traveling and see a lot of different places. We made it to two big cities on our travel bucket list. We did a lot of sight seeing and learned a lot of historical things about the cities, and our country.

As with any travel we spent a lot of money, more than I would have chosen to spend. But we are very lucky to work hard and had the opportunity to put money away for these trips. Not everyone can do that. While on our trips we also saw a lot of people, people from all sorts of different walks of life. Since we visited big cities we also so a lot of people that live in abundance, and those that live with nothing. It brought up some questions with my kids. They were curious. They had seen homeless and people that lived on the streets before. But big cities have so many it is hard not to feel and see the difference.

When we returned home we began talking about things that can be done for people who are not as fortunate as we are. My children’s school does a toy drive for less fortunate kids every holiday season. We have already chosen to donate for each child attending the school. However, we also wanted to do something to remind us just why we are as fortunate as we are. We wanted to thank the universe for the life we have been lucky enough to live.

In the past we have done a thankful turkey, we put little paper feathers in it that we all write something we are thankful for every day of November. However, a mouse invaded our attic this year and our poor turkey was destroyed. So this year I was in search of something new. And lo and behold I found the Gratitude Wall, thank you to Livingly.com for the incredible inspiration.

Livingly.com created this simple version here. We have a large chalkboard in our living room and have chosen to use it as our board. But we have chosen to write something we are grateful for every day. Today I wrote that I was thankful for my healthy family. Health has always been a struggle this time of year, and this year I am thankful that we are able to enjoy the season with our health intact. What would you write for today?

 

Best Books: Her Right Foot

The Statue of Liberty has been an icon to the American people for centuries. We all know her history, she was a gift from the French and she stands tall in New York City. But do we know her story?

Dave Eggers introduces the story of the Statue of Liberty in this tongue-in-cheek tale, Her Right Foot. Eggers brings the Statue to life and with pieces from her history shapes a story of her background giving us all a little taste of what it truly means to be American.

Her Right Foot

Lady Liberty has been a symbol to American’s for centuries. She has greeted immigrants from the sea. American’s and other visitors from around the world have traveled to visit this distinguished lady in her home on the small island near New York. She has been there to greet everyone since she was placed there so long ago. But now we can hear her own story, how she came to be here, who she is, and why she is there to greet all who come to see her.

Her right foot is a poignant tale that will open up a world of topics to your kids. Why did our country form? Why is America so unique and so special? Where do we come from? When did our family come to America? Use this fun story to teach a little about the history of America, Lady Liberty, and your own family.

Science is Fun: Oil and Water Experiment

Science is fun. When a child is able to put their hands on something and find out how it works and why it works they learn so much better. What is more exciting than trying something out on your own? This month we want to share a fun science experiment that will allow your kids to discover the difference between oil and water.

Thank you to Growing a Jeweled Rose for creating such a fun and unique way to interact with water and oil. This new experiment will allow you show your kids the property differences of oil and water with a glowing experiment. You and your kids will be excited to create a glowing magical world with oil and water.

Head on over to Growing a Jeweled Rose to learn exactly how to create this magical experiment at home.

Check out just why oil and water are so different below. While you and your kids create the magical glowing world you can share all your knowledge of oil and water and their similar yet different properties.

Oil and Water:

Oil and water are two liquids that are immiscible, meaning they will not mix together. Liquids tend to be immiscible when the force of attraction between the molecules of the same liquid is greater than the force of attraction between the two different liquids.

Although this experiment uses the same volume of oil as water, the two liquids have different masses and therefore, different densities. Density is a measure of how much of a substance is contained in a specific volume of liquid. A liquid that is less dense than water will float on the water; a liquid that has a greater density will sink.

To gain an understanding of density, think of two zippered plastic bags of the same size (same volume). Imagine that one bag contains 10 marbles and the other 20 marbles. The bag containing 20 marbles is denser than the bag containing 10 marbles because it contains more material – even though it is the same material. This analogy describes the relative densities of different concentrations of the same substance.

Also, imagine that there is a third bag containing 10 very large marbles. The volume of the material is the same, the number of molecules (marbles) are the same but again, the bag of large marbles contains more material – it has a greater mass and so a greater density. This analogy represents the experiment above since two different materials are used.

The objects added to the container will float at different levels according to their density. If the density of the object is similar to that of water, the object will float in the water. If similar to the oil, the object will float in the oil.

What does it matter?

Getting oil and water to mix is at the very heart of cleaning dishes and clothes. A lot of agents that make dishes and clothes dirty are greasy or contain oil. Water alone is not attracted to these compounds. However, because a detergent has one end that is attracted to oil-like molecules, detergents tend to bind to dirt, grease and oil. The other half of the detergent binds to water molecules, allowing the soiling agent to be washed away.