The Swiss Family Robinson

I feel like we have done nothing but play for weeks then we go shopping and Zoe picks up a kg of flour and says 'This is the weight of an owl that we were looking at the other day on youtube.' So all three had to carry around the 1kg of flour saying 'This is what an owl weighs!' We researched owls before Christmas because one of them was curious about them. I wasn't sure how much they took in but carrying around a bag of flour pretending it was an owl perhaps proves they learned something! Maybe it is not that difficult for them to just learn as we go...

Today we started a unit on The Swiss Family Robinson. We read the first chapter and while the language is quite different from what the children are used to, it only took a page or so for them to be enthralled in the story. They asked a few times what certain words meant and I was glad they didn't ask me the words I didn't know! I wrote them down so I could define them later. They all coloured in the Switzerland flag while listening to me read. I am amazed at Henry's comprehension and he was able to tell me what was happening as we finished the chapter, even though I was sure he had not heard most of the words in the story before today.
Heath come upstairs for a break just in time for the discussion on Archimedes and his lever machine. We went outside to put together own own lever using a couple of bricks and a long piece of wood. The kids loved taking turns to lift the heavy brick in the air with only a little effort.
After that the girls did their first copy work - copying some of my handwriting as neat as they can. There was a little whinging but once I pointed out that they are only copying what I have already done and nothing more, it didn't seem that difficult to them. So far neither of them have been into the boring writing or comprehension workbooks. I don't blame them! Reading cool books and doing grammar, spelling and writing relating to those books will teach them much more than a workbook. I think it is more enjoyable too. 
We followed this with a small amount of maths then it was on to experiments! In the story there was a discussion on buoyancy so the first experiment was seeing if an orange floats. They were fascinated that the orange with the skin intact, which seemed heavier, actually floated and the peeled orange sank. I explained that the skin on the orange had lots of tiny air pockets which made it more buoyant. Then Henry ate the orange and ended that experiment.
Next we looked at how we could make an egg float. The predicted that a regular egg would float on its own in plain water. When it sank straight to the bottom of the jug they wondered why. We then had a discussion on the density of water and how we can make the water more dense using salt. I drew a little diagram explaining how there are more and bigger molecules in salt water than in regular water. It was then that Lily grabbed the nearest piece of paper and began to draw what she was watching. I didn't ask them to keep a record of what they were doing and I think if I had, Lily would not have done it. In future I might just keep a journal near them when doing experiments just in case they want to record anything. 

Next we filled the sink and they took turns in building a Lego boat to see how many coins it would hold. Lily was last to go and seemed the most stable but Zoe redesigned hers bigger and better and beat her. Then it turned into some kind of game I couldn't follow then of course water went everywhere so they were all sent outside to play.
We fit in a couple of songs via YouTube and later I think we might see what we can find on how salt is made which was one of Henry's questions today. Lily wanted to know how it got into the sea so we might have to look in to that as well. Zoe said a few times today 'This is so much more fun!' I am not real sure what she meant by that but I have lots more fun stuff to come!