Friday, April 1, 2011

Our 29th week: March 28-April 1 with Investigation 12A:Earthquakes

Happy April Fool's Day!  We had snow this morning...most definitely not a funny joke.

Last week I mentioned that having a "regular" week with no unusual events was such a pleasure.  This week has been the opposite with an extremely irregular schedule!  Daisy had ITBS testing through a homeschool academy Monday through Wednesday which with travel time took up most of the days.  Tonight and tomorrow are ballet "Persephone" performances so she's had rehearsal from 5-9pm this week.

History and science are the only school subjects touched this week:

Vikings were the topic o' the week---the geography of the region, ships, raiders and traders, Eric the Red, Leif the Lucky, exploration, everyday village life of women and children.  Resources used this week were Human Odyssey Chapter 6 (of part 4), Oxford's The European World 400-1450 (the first bit of chapter 4), and DK/Eyewitness Viking.

For literature, Daisy read The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle (seen here on Amazon).  This book is based on the life of Aethelflead (imagine the smushed together ae please), the daughter of King Alfred of Wessex who successfully fought off the invading Vikings during the late 800s.  Highly recommended by Daisy!

All earthquakes this week :)  We read and discussed, in detail, section 12.1 of CPO Earth Science, researched North American faults online, and watched a National Geographic dvd on tsunamis and a Nova dvd on earthquakes.  I don't recommend either dvd as the material was quite dated with lots of graphic news footage of disasters.  Daisy almost cried several times :(  The dvds from last week were much more interesting, engaging, and educational.

Only one lab was done this week, Investigation 12A: Earthquakes.  Overall, this lab did not require much adaptation but I do wish I had gathered and pre-assembled some of the supplies to save time.  We went through four rubberbands before I found one that was both short enough for the "stress gauge" and new enough that it didn't lengthen during the procedure.  You will need a very small rubberband, preferably one that is brand new.  The gauge was made from a 2cm wide strip of a 3x5 index card.  We needed to have at least 7cm after the rubberband.  As the index card itself was only 12.5cm long you can see how a small rubberband and small paperclips are necessary!

You will need a very small hardcover book for the lab as written.  These strips of sandpaper are only 5.5" wide.  The sandpaper base and the sandpaper book cover represent two adjacent tectonic plates with the space between the two representing the fault.  Earthquakes are simulated by pulling the string connected to the rubberband stress gauge.  The timing, duration, and intensity of earthquakes were studied.

You can read the lab procedure on this CPO pdf .  Scroll down to pages 8-14.

The following pictures are from the last portion of the lab, simulating earthquake intensity.  Sugarcubes were stacked in increasing amounts to determine the effect of the earthquake.

After the lab was completed, Daisy experimented with various sugarcube structures to see which was the most stable.  Below is a short video with her most stable creation:

Another fun science week for us!

Best of the week:  After all the scholarship offers were in, The Boy chose which university to attend!!!!!!!!!  His Eagle project is moving forward!!!!!!!!!  I forsee less stressful days in the future :)

Worst of the week: The nasty cold weather tied with the extra driving this week.  Yuck.

And looking ahead to next week: Daisy and I will be back on a normal schedule, thank goodness.  We'll move back to Europe in history, study volcanoes in science, and do a bunch of other stuff that I can't remember without looking at my planning book LOL 

With warmer (and hopefully drier) weather in the forecast, I plan on gardening during my free time----dividing and moving perennials, trading perennials with my sister, cleaning out the veggie beds, and perhaps planting some lettuce!

Tech week for Older Sister means altered dinner and driving schedules, but I'm looking forward to watching the "Bye Bye Birdie" performances on the weekend.  Our new Kodak PlaySport video camera arrived yesterday.  I'll have plenty of time to become accustomed to the features before recording the show.

I think next week is going to be fun :)  Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. It sounds like another great week!I love seeing all that you are doing in science.

  2. TY for your post on my blog!

    My DDs would be over the moon if we had a history & science week! Sadly, those are the two subjects that I always shove to the back burner if we don't get "the other stuff" done!

  3. It sounds like a very productive week, despite the disruptions! Your CPO Earth Science posts are great, I'm almost wishing we had gone with it for next year rather than Life Science.