Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Blogging through Apologia's Physical Science for Homeschool - Part 3

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See my previous posts on this here and here.

Last week we studied the atmosphere in Chapter 3 of Apologia's Physical Science textbook. 

Physical Science by Apologia

This would have been a fairly easy set of experiments to perform if I was just doing this at home in my kitchen. I have a burner on my stove and ice in refrigerator and plenty of bowls!  It would have been super easy.

But in the co-op setting, it was trickier. First I had to bring in my burner from home. I also had to bring a cooler with ice, some metal bowls, balloons, pop cans, and plastic pop bottles. I was really bringing a full suitcase full of stuff to co-op!

In the first experiment, we were making a barometer of sorts. We were supposed to get all of the atmosphere out of the can and when the can gets plunged into icy cold water it was supposed to collapse. Here are a couple of tips- put the cans right on top of the burner. If you put it in a frying pan like they show in the book, you'll waste time getting the water in the cans to turn to steam. If I were at home I would, of course, put them in a pan, but in the classroom, the direct contact with the burner was faster. 


We tried three times and our cans never collapsed. They did fill up with water though so that shows we did get all of the air out of it and the pressure pushed the water into the empty can. To make it up to my class, I had some awesome videos on my Youtube channel of things imploding, like a steel drum and a tanker truck! They loved that. 

The second experiment required plastic bottles, balloons, ice and hot water. The bottle with a balloon tightly secured was  plunged into ice


 and then into super hot tap water. This had to be done in a kitchen because there was no way I was hauling super hot water down to my classroom! That experiment was successful!

The molecules of air were so excited, they started to inflate the balloon. 

To finish out the hour, I had a few extra videos to show the class. Some things about this chapter bugged me. They spent a lot of time on the ozone layer. The author, Jay Wile, really, REALLY wants the students not to buy into man-made climate change. I get it. But I think he sacrifices a lot of the available lesson space to that cause. It would have been much more interesting to talk about the perils of mountain climbing at super high altitudes, the old Concord air crafts and about things burning up on re-entry into the atmosphere. I'm on his side even! and I still find it annoying. Let's stick to science in the science book!!

Let me balance that by saying I LOVE how we can do all of these experiments without fancy expensive equipment AND I am loving the student workbooks for the course. I know you don't need them, but they sure make organizing the student's work a dream to check and easier for them to do their work as well.

If you want my syllabus for this class, or a link to my Physical Science Youtube channel, sign up for my newsletter here. 

High School Science