#12 Testing Charles’s Gas Law

October 20th, 2014

charles's-gas-lawThis post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

My kids tested Charles’s Gas Law with a fun experiment involving a glass soda bottle and a balloon. We are using Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Bright Ideas Press. This is one of the experiments in the book.

What is Charles’s Gas Law?

I suppose we should define Charles’s Gas Law before we conduct our experiment. Charles’s Gas Law: If the temperature of a gas is increased, the volume of the gas will increase.

Knowing this law will help you predict what will happen when you place a glass bottle in the refrigerator, then set it in a bowl of boiling water with a balloon over it. The gas inside the bottle went from cold to hot, which means the air inside the bottle is expanding. This is the reason the balloon immediately stands up, because the expanding air needs to go somewhere.


Then you place the bottle into ice water, and see the balloon deflate again. You might need to place it in the refrigerator to see the full effect of the deflated balloon.

Steps for Charles’s Gas Law Experiment

  1. Place a glass bottle into the refrigerator for at least one hour so the air inside it is nice and cold.
  2. Place some hot (not boiling–it melted our first balloon!) water in a bowl, and place ice water in another bowl.
  3. Grab the bottle out of the refrigerator and put the balloon on the top of it.
  4. Place the bottle into the hot water and watch the balloon stick up suddenly.
  5. Now place it into the ice water. Wait for a while, and notice there is less air pressure in the balloon.
  6. Place the bottle back into the fridge, and an hour later, voila! A limp balloon will cause your kids to squeal and point. Indeed, Charles’s Gas Law is correct!

Video of the Experiment

Take a look at the experiment:

The bottle is too small to actually inflate the balloon for real, but I’ve done a similar experiment, throwing dry ice into the bottle and placing a balloon over the top. The air expands way more explosively, and the balloon actually inflates!

*Always make sure to wear gloves when touching dry ice.*

Old Testament Drawing and Overview

October 17th, 2014

old-testament-drawing-overviewOne of my sons did an Old Testament drawing that combined many different stories from the Old Testament. He added to his drawing over the months as we were studying the Old Testament. He included the parting of the Red Sea, Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed by fire from heaven, a rainbow and a dove from Noah’s ark, the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors, and Elijah going up into the clouds in a golden chariot.

Hands-on Activities for Old Testament Overview

If you are about to begin a study of the Old Testament, it’s great to give an overview. Also, at the end of a study of the Old Testament, there are many hands-on activities that you can do:

  • Draw a picture demonstrating your favorite story from the Old Testament
  • Learn the themes of the Old Testament with hand motions
  • Do a series of skits to demonstrate the stories from the Old Testament
  • Display crafts made throughout your study of the Old Testament
  • Cook food from Old Testament times
  • Celebrate one of the Jewish feasts
  • Watch a DVD about the land of Israel
  • Learn the books of the Bible in order

Summary of the Old Testament

Here is a fun video that will summarize the entire Old Testament in 5 minutes:

Learn the Books of the Bible

Why not learn the books of the Bible while studying the Old Testament? This is the song my children used to learn the books of the Bible:

We have finally finished creating unit studies for every single book of the Old Testament, and you will find these unit studies in the Unit Study Treasure Vault!

Homeschooling Multiple Ages

October 15th, 2014


How do you homeschool multiple ages? Here is a webinar that describes what you can do when you are homeschooling multiple ages:

Is it possible to teach children of all ages at the same time? How do you modify assignments for different ages?

With unit studies, you can easily teach your children of multiple ages. This applies to history, science, literature, geography, and even writing. One time my kids were making a homemade botany field guide. A young child who could barely form his letters wrote the name of the plant under the cut-out magazine picture for each page. A slightly older child wrote one sentence under each plant picture. An older child wrote a full paragraph about the plant, using botanical terms that we had learned. So each child was able to complete the writing assignment on his or her level, and yet we were all studying the same topic.

I did a series on my blog about unit studies, where I explain how to teach all of your students at the same time, cutting down on the amount of teaching time for you and fostering family unity. You can find the 5-day unit studies series here: Unit Studies 101.

How do you keep babies and toddlers busy while teaching older children?

You can keep younger children occupied with age-appropriate activities at the table where you are working with your other students. If you can give them something that can keep their hands busy and keep them from interrupting your teaching, this is what you want. Here are some open-ended ideas for preschoolers: wooden puzzles, lacing cards, Play Doh, paint-with-water, coloring books, interlocking beads, tangrams, etc.

Another method that worked for keeping preschoolers occupied while teaching older kids was a fenced area with a CD with either my voice or classical music, or an educational CD. Hearing the mother or father’s voices or familiar songs can be comforting to babies and toddlers, and they are more likely to be quiet and listen. My toddlers and preschoolers were able to play quietly on their own for longer periods of time using this method. I always put open-ended toys in the room so that my kids could play for a while, not just for five minutes. If you need more ideas on how to keep babies and toddlers occupied while teaching older kids, watch the free webinar  A Routine for Young Children.

How does organizing your time help you to get all your homeschooling done with children of different ages?

You do need to sit down and decide how you want to structure your day if you want to homeschool with success. At minimum you need some sort of routine where you begin the day with math, for example, and then move on to your unit study. If you are doing 4 or 5 subjects in your homeschool, it’s easier if you plan ahead of time which order you will be covering the subjects so that your students can develop a natural rhythm to their day. This makes the day run more smoothly and enables your students to get everything done.

If you need help with organizing your day, you can take a look at my articles and videos about Homeschool Organization. You can also sign up for a free Homeschool Room Makeover video workshop, which will help you to feel more organized in your homeschool.

#11 Measuring the Volume of a Solid

October 13th, 2014


This post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

What happens when you have weird-shaped objects, and you want to know their volume? Find out a clever way to do just that! We will be measuring the volume of a solid in our experiment today. My younger two children are using Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Bright Ideas Press, and this is one of the fun experiments in the book.

Grab three interesting-shaped rocks from your backyard, and label them A, B, and C with a permanent marker. Grab a glass measuring cup and pour 300 ml of water into it. Now you will want to place one rock into the water. Measure how much the water went up. How high is the water now? Write it down. Then subtract the number from the original number (300 ml). You will find out the volume of the rock! Whatever amount of water the rock displaced is the amount of space it filled up, or its volume.

Remove Rock A from the water and measure Rock B in the same way. Was the rock smaller, larger, or the same volume? What about Rock C? Our third rock had the largest volume of the three rocks.

Measuring the Volume of a Solid Experiment

Now you can see how we performed this fun experiment:

Make sure to write down each of your measurements on the chart provided in the book. It helps if you clip the page to a clip board so that you can write your measurements as you are doing the experiment. If you want, you can doodle all over the rest of your page, as if you were a mad scientist!


Jonah Unit Study

October 10th, 2014

jonah-unit-studyMy kids had a great time with our Jonah Unit Study. We re-enacted the entire story on video, which you can watch inside the Unit Study Treasure Vault.

First Jonah was on a ship trying to escape from the Lord, going the opposite way of where God told him to go, to Tarshish instead of Nineveh. The ship was the back deck, and when Jonah was discovered sleeping, the captain woke him up. Everyone on the ship picked straws to see whose fault the storm was. Jonah picked the shortest straw (or pine needle, in our case). Then the kids threw Jonah gently off the side of the deck, where he splashed into the grass water. He swam for a while in the grass water of our backyard.

jonah-drawingJonah sank lower and lower into the water until he was swallowed by a large fish. In our case, it was the dining room table with a dark blue sheet over it. The children cut out teeth and taped them to the top of the table. The bottom teeth were taped together and taped to the sides of the table legs. We added a decorative spray that you can buy around the Fourth of July. We stuck the spray into a narrow flower vase.

jonah-drawing-for-kidsJonah prayed while he was in the belly of the great fish or whale. God spared his life for 3 days and 3 nights, and then the whale vomited Jonah onto land. Ptooey!

My son vomited himself out of the whale by jumping through the teeth. I told him not to be afraid to tear through the teeth. Jonah looked up as God commanded him once more to go to Nineveh. He finally obeyed.

jonah-and-the-whaleJonah preached one sentence, “In 40 days, God will destroy this city.”

He walked away. The people all repented in dust and ashes, so God relented and did not bring calamity. Jonah was upset with God because of His mercy toward these brutal Assyrians. He sat at the top of a hill overlooking Nineveh, and God caused a plant to grow overnight and give him shade. Suddenly a caterpillar ate the plant, and Jonah cursed the heat and wanted to die. God was mad at Jonah for being sad at the demise of a plant that grew up overnight, but not at the impending destruction of a city. Thus ends the book of Jonah.

jonah-drawing-for-childrenIf you enjoyed this Jonah unit study, you will love the Unit Study Treasure Vault. It will bring every book of the Bible to life for your children! Plus, you support my family, and my family supports missions. A win-win situation for everyone!

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