Category Archives: science

Texas Bucket List – S: Sonora Caverns ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

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Caverns are always interesting to me and I find myself drawn to visit them. Of course, I don’t get to as often as I would like. We have lived not too far from several well-known caverns for a while now and I still have not visited them.

Sonora Caverns is some of those sites I would love to visit. Technically called the Caverns of Sonora, they are supposed to be lovely. The formations are found all over the caverns and some are even overhanging the trails. There are several options for tours into the caverns.

Found outside of Sonora, TX, the caverns are on land that is rich in limestone. The caverns were found on land owned by a ranching family, the Mayfields. A small opening was found first. As folks began exploring, bit by bit, they found larger and more beautiful areas of the caverns.

In 1957, one of the cavers noticed that humans were beginning to impact the cave. He pushed for preservation and protection of the cave. He was successful and after steps were taken to protect the cavern, it was opened to the public in 1960.

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – M: Mammoth Site ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

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Today’s place to visit – the Waco Mammoth Site. I absolutely enjoy visiting this site each chance I get. I will enjoy it even more when they begin additional excavations in the coming year or two. I can’t wait to see what else is uncovered.

The Waco Mammoth Site is part of the National Park Service. It is the site of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths. There have been 24 mammoths have been uncovered, as well as a camel and the tooth of a baby saber tooth cat. Most of the mammoths discovered are females or a juveniles. There has been a bull mammoth identified. There is much speculation about why these animals are here and whether it was a single incident or multiple incidents that left the remains in this area.

It is really quite interesting to hear the guides talk about the possibilities and to show what they have discovered.

We have enjoyed visiting three or four times, as it is not a long drive for our family. I recommend a stop by if you have opportunity. See a couple of posts that I wrote about with previous visits and activities we did.

T . . . Talking About Mammoths – Part 1 and Part 2

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Geology and Apologetics ~ a Crew review

Geology and Apologetics

Several years ago, I was introduced to Northwest Treasures. I have spent much time wandering over their site and thinking that so many of their materials and courses looked so good. When I was offered an opportunity to review one of the online courses, I jumped at the chance. I was so excited to receive Geology and Apologetics. We also received Taking the Mystery Out of Geology.

Northwest Treasures is a company that was born out of a passion for truth and understanding of the world we live in. Patrick Nurre began by sharing his own finds and understandings with others. More and more folks were interested in understanding how it all fits together so he found himself sharing in more places and in more ways. This is how Northwest Treasures was born and it is quite a resource!

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Taking the Mystery Out of Geology

This is a single video that runs about 20 minutes and is recommended for grade 5 and up. Because geology is the foundation of science, it is something we should be familiar with. In this video, Mr. Nurre walks us through some of the Biblical framework for geology, as well as all sciences. He reminds us that we need to begin with understanding God’s word; it should be our starting point and we should not deviate from it. Second, he encourage all science to be taught from a Biblical worldview, so that all grow up understanding God’s infallible truths. He then covers 13 different terms that really clarify the scientific discussions. By understanding these terms, one can speak more clearly and confidently. Some of the terms that are important include science (not history but is something that can be tested, observed, or repeated), history (things that have taken place), and a number of others.

Y’all the minute we had finished this video, all three of the girls were already speaking more confidently about what they were hearing and understanding. I have heard a number of times since we watched this video the statement “That isn’t science!” When asked why it wasn’t, the response was “It cannot be tested, observed and/or repeated.” If the girls understand nothing else from this video, it is enough. It provides a confidence in understanding all science.

We will be watching this video again but I will do it differently the next time. I am going to create a worksheet or have the girls take notes about each of the terms, as defined in this video. Just listening to the terms really was not enough. I stopped the video after each term and we discussed it. But the terms were new to most of us so one time through was not enough. A list of the terms to take notes with or a notebook page to write about the terms will help in that regard.

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Geology and Apologetics

This is a series of six video lessons. They run from about 11 minutes to 25 minutes each. Each lesson address a different part of understanding the Biblical approach to geology and how it differs from the secular teaching so prevalent in geology. The teachings of modern geology leave out belief and religion. This removal takes us very far from the Bible and led to a number of issues. By understanding, clarifying the issues, and setting the record straight, we can speak confidently.

This class is recommended for grades 8 – adult. I feel this is a fairly good age recommendation for complete understanding but I have found that my 9 year old has gained quite a bit from these videos. Don’t count out that younger students can pick up some information by listening.

images from videos

Lesson 1 addresses apologetics. If you cannot stand solidly by the Bible as the word of God, he has some recommendations about how to work through that using scripture. If you do not have this point confidently in hand, you will not be prepared to engage in discussions regarding modern geology and where it deviates from scripture.

Lesson 2 works on “clarifying the coflict between science and the Bible.” The conflict is about a view of the earth, not about facts or science, according to Mr. Nurre.  Modern science puts forth that science is right and myth-believing Christians are wrong. He focuses quite a bit on the definitions of science, history, and philosophy.

Lesson 3 works through the chronologies and genealogies of Genesis. Mr. Nurre specifically looks at Genesis and how they are approached in scripture. This relates back to where he ended lesson 1 – are you fully standing behind the Bible as being fully true? Using the scriptures of Genesis, Mr. Nurre helps us look at and understand what is read. Understanding this is helpful in discussions about the age of the earth and completion of the records.

Lesson 4 discusses the gaps in the fossil record and how they are addressed in modern geology. Much of modern geology has not been observed and so the interpretation of information is a philosophy. This lack of written records leaves us relying on the rocks and fossils to understand history of the earth. The gaps in the fossil record are well addressed in this video, really addressing the fallacies of evolution. He compares beliefs of modern geology with Biblical beliefs.

Lesson 5 specifically addresses evolution and how modern science argues for dinosaur to bird evolution. It builds off of lesson 4 and the gaps that are found in the fossil record. It is a fascinating look at how many people inaccurately argue for their understanding or position. The information presented in this lesson will help you state why the fossil record does not support this example of evolution.

Lesson 6 helps to understand time and chronology better, specifically how modern science represents it. The contrast of the geologic column and time spectrums is interesitng and Mr. Nurre does a really good job of helping us see the fallacies in the arguments that are presented by modern geologists.

These videos are fascinating and really are a wonderful tool to use to help students see the fallacies presented by modern science. When you understand the terminology and apply it with understanding to the Bible, there is little room left for accepting many of the positions of modern science, specifically geology.

scriptures for defense

What I Think

If you can’t tell, I have been thrilled with these videos. I have watched them twice now, myself and plan to have my girls watch them again, also. There were some issues with trying to play them through our computer, as they would freeze or just be really slow and jerky with the buffering. However, I found that I could access Vimeo (the platform the lessons are on) through our TV and the videos run perfectly on there.

I highly recommend these videos from Northwest Treasures for anyone who wants to better understand the issues that modern geology presents and how to counter those issues. Knowing the scriptures is first of all what you have to do. But understanding the terminology that goes along with that and how they say it all fits together will help you speak more confidently on the issues. I am hoping that we can use their course on Dinosaurs and the Bible at some point soon. They also have classes, curriculum, and guided trips about the National Parks that I find really interesting. Perhaps we can work that in somewhere, as well. I know it would be fascinating.

Blessings,
At Home.

Northwest Treasures sent us both of these video series but some other Crew members received Dinosaurs and the Bible. Read about what other families thought by clicking on the banner below. Connect with Northwest Treasures through Facebook and Pinterest.

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Texas Bucket List – Gulf Coast ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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Honestly, I am not a water person. I don’t enjoy swimming. I don’t desire to sit by the water and “just enjoy” it. I would rather be in the shade with a book. But, with a family that loves to ocean and swimming and all that comes with it, I am learning to appreciate the joy and the beauty of the coast. The Texas Gulf Coast has tons of lovely beaches and we have been able to experience several of them.

Each spring the question begins getting asked “when are we going to the beach this year?”

Gulf Coast 2

Some years we make it a spur of the moment trip. Other times, we plan well ahead for it. Either way, we always rent a small house so that the girls can run and play and we don’t have to worry about disturbing those above or below us in a hotel or condo. It has always worked well (except for the time we found out after we got there that the water was unsuitable for drinking or cooking and we had to go find a store to buy water).

Playing in the surf is always a joy for the girls. Now that they are getting older, I imagine I will enjoy it more since I won’t worry quite so much about them in the water.

My favorite part is always the lovely sounds and the animals we get to find and observe. There is so much life on the coast and we always see something new.

Gulf Coast

A trip to the coast is always worth it.

Blessings,
At Home.

Previous Letters in the series:
A – Abilene’s Storybook Sculpture Project 
B – Big Bend
C – Congress Avenue Bridge and the Bat Colony
D – Dr Pepper Museum
E – Enchanted Rock
F – Flowers

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

The Critical Thinking Co.™ ~ a review

Over the past few years, we have had the privilege to review a few different products from The Critical Thinking Co.™ We have truly enjoyed them but I think the product we received this time around has been the trump card. Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha was a blast to work through.

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Miss L has recently been reading a science book on forensics. When The Critical Thinking Co.™ review came up, I jumped at the chance to ask for Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha because it would follow the book she was reading perfectly, providing a nice and tidy wrap-up project for her forensics study.

Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha is designed for students ages 5th grade and up. It is a full criminal case for the student to investigate, studying reports and applying forensics knowledge to solve the crime and make informed decisions about who should be the Person of Interest for the case. It can be done individually or in a group setting.

working on Something's Fishy

Miss L tackled this on her own, with help from her “assistant” – At Home Dad. He has fairly extensive knowledge of crime scene investigation, gathering evidence, and forensic knowledge application. He was a very valuable assistant and made us realize that this would definitely work better in a group setting in order to have others to bounce thoughts and ideas off of, though this individual setting worked fine.

Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha
This is about a crime that needs solved. There was a fire that brought to the attention of the authorities a bundle of counterfeit money, a body, bullets and guns. What happened at Lake Iwannafisha? Who is the dead man? Why was there so much cash in the cabin? Where did all the money come from? All these questions and more will be solved by the investigation into the crime(s) committed at the fishing cabin. Or at least that is the goal. However, not all questions will have neat, clear answers.

lots of evidence to work through

Miss L started out by reading the information about different types of forensic evidence and how each type is gathered and used. The forensics evidence part should be focused on pretty well before tackling the actual case, as knowing a good bit about this is helpful in deducing information at times. Miss L read through it but did not ask any questions. In hindsight, it would have been good to spend a bit of time with her, making sure she understood it. We did got back to it often and she needed those pages to reference throughout the investigation.

Miss L, as lead investigator, was given the crime scene report and a page to guide her in taking notes on the report. From there she could ask for any type of report that she thought would help. There were lots of helpful reports for the case, but there were also a couple of “dummy reports” in there – reports that had no true impact on the case. As she noted different names, she would ask for the witness statement for that person. This got her started in thinking through the possibilities and making connections.

reports list

Witness statements were just one of the many types of reports that she could ask for. There were finger print reports and reports on counterfeit money. There were ballistics test, medical reports, anthropological reports, DMV reports, and more.

This does require lots of copies or using your book. The Critical Thinking Co.™ has a generous copyright policy that allows the original purchase to make copies for their home or classroom. The pages are perforated to make them easy to remove from the book if you need to. In order to ease the making of copies of the reports, The Critical Thinking Co has tried to make the PDFs available online. I found in trying to use this resource, though, that only the first page of any of the reports was in the file. So, I still had to make copies from the book. It was easier to do them all from the book, though if the files online were complete that would be such a time saver! Perhaps that can be easily fixed.

examining the crime scene report

It took Miss L approximately 9-10 hours to work through this case on her own with some input from her assistant. This included spending an hour or so on learning about forensic science and the different branches of it. The writing of this forensics case study was very well done and enjoyably challenging.

This is a product that was truly interesting to work through. It was completely different than anything we had ever used and was a perfect final project for the forensics unit.

Blessings,
At Home.

There were multiple products being reviewed during this Crew run from The Critical Thinking Co.™ Check out each of their products that were part of this review series –

Understanding Pre-Algebra

Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 

Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha

Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary

Dare to Compare Level 1

Vocabulary Riddles Book 1

There is currently a coupon available to the readers of the Homeschool Review Crew. Through 12/31/2018, you can get free shipping PLUS 15% off any size order when you use the coupon code TOSCREW18. You can also get free Critical Thinking Puzzles – a $75 value – delivered weekly to your inbox. Sign Up Now!
https://www.criticalthinking.com/toscrew

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Read the reviews of these products or other families who work on the case file for Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha by clicking the banner below.

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Ghost Science – part 2

Ghost Science part 2

Ghost Science is lots of fun and is aptly titled for several reasons. One – you can’t always see the processes taking place. Two – sometimes the items just are gone, right in front of your eyes. Three – sometimes they appear right in front of your eyes, out of nowhere.

We talked about the ghost eggs in part one so this time we are going to talk about the ghost poop. (You have no idea how much I hate writing that but it is what this part of the kit was called.) This is essentially packing peanuts.

ghost poop experiment

When these are put into water, they quickly disappear. In just seconds, they were gone, no trace left. The pamphlet that is included in the kit explains why – these are made of corn starch and so they dissolve in room temperature water.

ghost poop dissolving

When Miss J heard that, it sparked her mind and she asked THE question – does it have to be just regular water? Guess where that led . . . experimentation.

Miss J spent the next hour or so finding different liquids or making them different temperatures to see if the packing peanuts would dissolve at the same rate as it did during the original activity.

ghost poop gone

She kept some things the same, as any good scientist will. She always used 4 oz of the liquid, as measured in a measuring cup. She used the same type spoon each time and tried to stir at the same rate. Here are the different liquids she used:

  • tap water
  • vinegar (white)
  • tap water with 2 ice cubes
  • very hot tap water
  • cold lemon juice
  • cold Dr. Pepper
  • cold milk
  • tea (room temperature)
  • olive oil

Results:

  • tap water – dissolved
  • vinegar – dissolved but not as quickly
  • tap water with ice – dissolved much slower
  • very hot water – dissolved very, very fast
  • lemon juice – dissolved slower than the ice water
  • Dr. Pepper – did not dissolve
  • milk – did not fully dissolve but did dissolve some
  • tea – dissolved fast but not as fast as the hot water
  • olive oil – did not dissolve

It was fun to talk about the types of liquids she chose. We talked a bit about acids, bases, and neutral. We talked about hot and cold. All of these observations were fun for her to make.  I was really proud of her for being curious about it and wanting to follow through to test those curiosities.

Ghost Science was a super neat kit and I’d definitely recommend it. It was from the Steve Spangler Science company, which has lots of different kits and materials. It is a resource I will keep my eye on for the future.

Blessings,
At Home.

Ghost Science – part 1

Ghost Science part 1

Ghost Science sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? It was.


Miss J received a neat kit for her birthday titled Ghost Science. There were two experiments included, which will be shared in two different posts so I can share plenty of pictures. The package came with plenty of materials to do the experiments several times.

ghost eggs after a few hours

 

The first one was Ghost Eggs. For this experiment, we used ghost eggs (water marbles). They sat in water for several hours, getting checked by the girls quite often to see how much they had expanded. As they expanded, they seemed to disappear in the water. We took a look at why that was happening and read about what caused it. Miss J played around a bit with different light angles to see what happened. She also noticed how the light affected it as the day went on and as the marbles grew in size.

 

ghost eggs disappearing

 

ghost eggs are gone

After they had sat in the water for quite a while, we placed some of them in a different glass bowl and added a few drops of a liquid that came with them. This liquid caused them to glow when a black light was applied. (It came with a little keychain sized blacklight.) We took the bowl into a dark room and Miss J – and sisters – experimented with how they could apply the blacklight to see the “ghost eggs” better, to make them disappear, and more. They had quite a bit of fun with the blacklight and the glowing eggs.

ghost eggs with glow added to water

 

ghost eggs glowing

We kept the ghost eggs in a bowl with water for a while and each day the girls would play with them a little bit – seeing how they squished, how they bounced, if they would take pressure and how much, could you juggle them, etc. Something new every time. Plus, they just felt interesting to move around in your hands and to hold.

 

ghost egg size

After a while, we drained them and placed them in a shallow dish to see how long it would take for them to dry out. Turns out – a very long time. They took about three weeks to dry out, back down to their original teensy-tinsy size.

ghost eggs shrunken back down

After they had completely dried out, we sacked them up and rehydrated (again) three of them to see if they would stand up to being wet. Turns out, not so much. They were much more fragile the second time we put them in water. They did get just as big but they broke very easily. In fact, one of them broke just in the growth process.

The ghost eggs were lots of fun and the experimentation and observation was fun, too. Definitely worth the time and having them sit on the counter for so long.

Blessings,
At Home.

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