Saturday, February 21, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Aerodynamics and Chinese New Year

We took a break from Ancient History and did a unit on aerodynamics this week. I don't have a science curriculum we are following, I'm just going with topics that Monkey has expressed an interest in. So for any topic, I take out books from the library, look up videos on line, and do web searches for other ideas homeschoolers used for that topics, sometimes using lapbooks, or experiments, etc. I don't know how people homeschooled before the internet age!

Unfortunately, aerodynamics wasn't such a common homeschool topic for elementary-aged kids... There was a lot about airplanes and flight, so I used some of that, but Monkey wasn't so much into types of airplanes or the history of flight, he was mostly interested in the science of it, but a lot of the stuff I found on aerodynamics was too advanced, so I had to piece together an assortment of ideas. We ended up using a  Bill Nye video on Flight, some books from the library (including Up, Up, and Away: The Science of FlightAerospace Engineering and the Principles of Flight) and did some demos/experiments on Bernoulli's principle.

Of course, making paper airplanes and experimenting with how they flew based on wing shape/size was part of our hands-on learning, and boy, did they have fun with this! They got quite a collection of paper airplanes(this is less than half of what they made):

Because Chinese New Year was this past week, we also decided to add that to our studies. This was very last minute but I pulled together this Chinese New Year unit study. I'll have to plan more in advance next year. These are the decorations they made for the house, as I reviewed the names of the animals in Chinese and introduced them to the written characters (so far, most of our Chinese lessons have only covered speaking/listening, not writing/reading). They drew pictures of animals, but not using the 'how to draw' link from what I planned for the unit study:

We also made homemade dumplings, one of the traditional foods eaten for the New Year celebration, on New Year's Eve:
Weekly Wrap-Up