Saturday, 7 October 2017


We've lost our wonderful Monkey Girl to the world of 'serious' study. She joins her big sister in a four/five year study plan to gain an American High School Diploma. I'll miss you, Monkey! I know you're only studying in the other room but I've loved your smiley input when we studied together over the years. Good luck, my Darling! You can do this!

And then there were two!

Meteorology with Panda Girl and The Boy. This was a fun unit and one we haven't really covered before. We spent most of our time observing and experimenting and now we have cool conversations in the car about weather and clouds etc.

I purchased a couple of weather station and experiment sets to help us on our way. I'd thoroughly recommend them.

We began with our own miniature weather station which included a thermometer, an anemometer, weather vane and rain gauge. The kiddies measured and took notes of their findings over the weeks.

We learnt how lightning works and we made our own. We made negative charges by rubbing a plastic tube containing polystyrene balls against wool jumpers and then we drained the negative charges by placing our fingers on the tube. The negatively charged balls pinged off elsewhere looking for positive charges, which is how lightning strikes.

We learnt how water divides light into its compound colours and we made a rainbow using a sunlight, water and a mirror.

Making a miniature water cycle.

Maths weather game

Understanding how hot and cold ocean currents work.

A tilt on the axis means we have seasons.

Understanding climates

A homemade sundial.

The Greenhouse effect -  a thermometer inside a plastic bag and exposed to sunlight and another also exposed to sunlight but without the bag. 

Icebergs and water density

We learnt about acid rain  -how it is formed by sulphur dioxide from burning fossil fuels and its effect on buildings and plants. The kiddies experimented with acid and alkaline liquids.

Then we planted beans and made two solutions to water them with: plain water, and a vinegar/water solution to represent acid rain. See how we got on later!

We made a barometer to measure air pressure.

And followed instructions to make a thermometer but it totally failed!

Nothing happened!

Homemade anemometer and weather vane

Learning about, and then explaining how snow, hail and sleet are formed.

Weather and climate videos

Making a rainbow city-scape

Painting over wax crayon umbrellas: water slides off umbrellas and paint slides off wax.

We learnt about different atmospheres and their temperatures/heights.

The kiddies researched their own weather information and made posters

Acid rain by The Boy.

How we see rainbow colours, by Panda Girl.

Learning the names of cloud formations

We've talked a lot about recent Hurricane Irma and I wanted the kiddies to be able to understand the workings of a hurricane. I researched images online and found many to be hurricane cross sections, so we made a hurricane cake to get the 3D effect. Weird but true.

Hurricanes are formed by colliding warm ocean currents

We had a fun morning learning the symbols and codes a meteorologist uses.

We copied this cool poster (adding our own twists) from a site online. The children learnt that meteorologists are scientists who use maths and science to study weather patterns and make weather predictions.

Sunsets are mostly red because as the sun sets its rays have to travel through more atmospheric dust and particles to reach earth. The longest colour in the spectrum is red and so that is often the one that we can see.

We made another greenhouse effect experiment with equally interesting results.

The Boy's bean watered by vinegar (acid rain) hasn't grown at all, but Panda Girl's beanstalk watered by pure water has grown...

...and grown...

...and grown!

We spent a morning studying tornadoes and wrote out the Fujita scale which measures the ferocity of tornadoes, from F0 - F5.

We came to the end of our project by making weather station satellites with all sorts of weather-gauging and data-collecting gadgets.

And we finished the whole thing off with a walk in the sunshine. We found North, spotted cirrus clouds, trees formed by a constant wind direction, the temperature was 16-18C and there was very little wind.

Yay for weather! And yay for sunny Autumn days :)