volcano 3

The string had to get wound through the cardboard to form the base of the volcano. The tube is where the magma would go (baking soda and vinegar).

I pick and choose what we study. Sometimes we jump around – a lot. Sometimes we follow a time line. Our volcano study came about because I happen to like volcanoes, we had a volcano kit,  and I needed to fill a few hours.

First we made the volcano. The neat thing about the Smithsonian kits is that they have good directions. If you have ever done science kits before, you know that directions can be hit or miss. I haven’t had a problem with the Smithsonian ones. So we did everything except paint the volcano in one day. We built it, we studied them, we did our words – and then the next day we painted and erupted it.

Our practice words were: lava, rock, magma, crust, volcano, explosion, and explode.

We write our practice words three times and define them all. That way we get some writing and practice time in.

Then we did some interesting things.

First we spent time on the Internet reading about volcanoes. My favorite was this page – it’s all about volcanoes and it is neat looking.

volcano 4

He had a lot of fun cutting the plaster strips and then making them stick onto the string to form his volcano. He even learned the difference between different types of volcanoes – so he would know what type his was.

Next we played a game called “Volcano Explorer.” Go to the “games” page and choose “Volcano Explorer.” It’s a fun game, and kept my son occupied for a while.

Then we Googled, “volcano explosions,” – mainly because we had just practiced that word so having Nicholas type it was a good reminder of the word – to find some videos to watch. We found tons of videos.

And here’s why I like homeschooling – the expression on Nicholas’ face. He had such a blast watching the volcanoes erupt. Because we had just studied them (spent time reading about them, named the parts of the volcano while making it) – he was able to speak about what was happening with amazing insight. He was jumping around and watching them. It was so exciting to see him be so excited about learning something. I love to watch that amazement and happiness. It makes all the hassle of homeschooling worthwhile.

Abby was able to help paint the volcano. She did so under the direction of her older brother – who had to practice giving directions in a nice voice. We multi-task in our lessons to incorporate more than one life skill.

Lastly, we drew volcanoes. It’s fun to draw with him because of the things he draws. He wanted blue paper so they could be underwater volcanoes.

A few days later I found, on Amazon Instant Video, a series about life on the side of volcanoes. We’ve been working our way through that one at night – and he’s actually enjoying it.  It is made for adults, but the science vocabulary is such that Nicholas really enjoys it. Plus, there is a lot of animation about volcanoes, pictures of eruptions, and good photography. I’ll take good photography over cartoons anytime.

As you can see, we did a lot of crossing skills and lessons with one themed lesson. I know that some homeschool programs teach you to do this. But the truth is that you can do it yourself. Simply find activities that are funa nd enjoyable that relate to your lesson.

Instead of choosing spelling words from a spelling program, pick ones that work with your lesson. Same for vocabulary. With enough reading and cross-disciplinary studies, the kids will learn all that they need to know.




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