Saturday, February 13, 2010

Minerals, Rocks and Stones Oh My!

We are now studing Geology in our homeschool.  While Ethan and I have semi-hobbieshed collected rocks from various places over the last few years, we are now able to delve into the topic with a bit more scientific zest.

I always loved this topic.  For a fashion gal I just see it as an extention of beautiful gemstones - as in jewelry.  See, just look for the positive, it makes everything easier.

My best and first tool is my trusted Usborne Spotter Cards called "100 Rocks and Minerals to Spot." (ISBN 978-0-7945-2255-1)

These cards are great!  They have wonderful visuals plus contain general information about the rocks as well as specifics on Rock Classification, Mineral Content, Colors, Textures and How they are Formed.

Here is Ethan inspecting some of the characteristics of rocks via a magnifying glass.

Love the colors of this stone.

Here is a close up.

We had a good time trying to figure out which stones were which and then numbering them.

These Usborne cards  sell for $9.99 and can be used for years within a family whether you homeschool or not and are recommended for ages 6 and up.

After studying the different rock samples for a while I decided to leave them in an open "lab" format for a few days.  Yes, I love have things cluttering up my dining room table. (Note sarcasm here.)  But in the name of science I shall survive.  Since Ethan has the attention span of an eight year old boy, he likes to look at things and read about them in small doses before jumping to another interest.

Therefore, by leaving them out a couple of days allows him the opportunity to pick a card and research it online and/or in books, whichever he chooses. Plus he can share them with his dad or any other victim that may unwittingly step foot in our house.  God help them.

I'm going to order in another book from Usborne today on the subjext, it is called Rocks & Fossils (ISBN - 978-0-7945-1526-3 for $6.99.) 

They also have the same item as a kit (ISBN - 978-1-60130-024-9) for $15.99.  

We also tried an experiment to learn about the softness of some rocks and minerals and how chemicals can change and affect them.

Sorry about the slight blur :(

When you homeschool your kitchen often doubles as a science lab.

We used a piece of blue sidewalk chalk...

Sorry, another blur.  I'm still learning.

...then added vinegar.

Nothing happened.  So we waited and still nothing happened.  After a couple of hours still - nothing!

But that is okay.  Part of science is learning why something didn't work just a much as learning why.

So this gave us a great opportunity to explore and discuss why it may not have worked.

Since most of you are sick of seeing winter pictures all over everyones blog, you can check out now, I won't be offended.  These next photos are for my family up north so they can make fun of us and my sister-in-law Linda in Florida who (believe it or not) actually misses this stuff.

I went out last night when it started to snow and used it as an opportunity to practice my photographic skills.

Or lack there of.  Please do not judge too harshly, I'm
 only using a Canon Powershot camera.  Someday I'll work up to a "real" camera.

Then this is what we woke up to this morning.

Thank goodness not as bad as the last one.  Hopefully it will be gone by tomorrow.

Here is a birdnest in a tree behind our house.

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for coming and seeing me. I love those gemstone cards, I am rock collector and my grand children love to bring me rocks they have found out on their adventures. Love your snow photos too. We have had a very mild snow winter in the Pacific NW. Florence


Oh I'm so happy you checked out my blog. I absolutely love hearing from each and every one of you - it truely makes my day! Jamie