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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, Chapter 4

























We took two weeks to get through Chapter 4 of Apologia's Physical Science text. I had to purchase a few items for my class.

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Experiment 4.1:

Test tubes


9-volt batteries



and some Epsom salts.  

Now here's the thing- the book says test tubes but they really don't say what size. Our experiment wasn't outstandingly successful and I think it's because we could have used smaller test tubes to prevent more of the gasses from escaping. That's what I would do next time. 


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Experiment 4.2 required plastic combs, vegetable oil, and water. We put a hole in a styrofoam cup and then poured water through it. While we were getting the cup ready, a student brushed his/her hair with the comb. When we poured the water through the cup we held the comb close to the stream and the water literally bent towards the water!

It did not bend when we substituted the water with cooking oil. You can see how this works here. 

Experiment 4.3 was all about dissolving things in water. 

At this point, I was tickled pink that I had invested in those mason jars because I was using them a lot for this course. Here I put the jars in a row and put the substances that were supposed to be dissolved in water in the styrofoam cups in front of them. I had sugar, table salt,  canola oil, and olive oil all pre-measured. 


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The experiment was easy and they could easily see how things dissolved. It was most interesting to watch the olive oil dissolve in the canola oil.

Experiment 4.4 required butter and ice cubes, a saucepan knife and a burner to melt the butter. Once more I got to use my electric Cusimax Hot plate. The trick at the co-op was keeping ice solid and butter solid. Luckily my co-op has a fridge with a freezer so I could do this rather easily. If not, I would have had to bring a cooler. 





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Experiment 4.5 was all about floating a paper clip in a pan of water and then watching it sink when dish detergent is added. 


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We did something similar last year in General Science. It's pretty easy to do and the kids enjoyed watching it sink like a rock with a drop of Dawn Dish Liquid. 

4.6 was all about watching how water works on a smooth glass surface as opposed to a wax surface. An old jar and candle worked well for that. Our water did make droplets on the waxed jar. It wasn't great but it worked. 
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I was able to get all of these experiments done in about 30 to 40 minutes and we even had time to watch a bit of a science video. I couldn't believe we got it done so fast. When I mentioned that out loud, one of my students said, "Like it was hard!"

Then it dawned on me, it was easy and went so quickly because I WAS ORGANIZED. I had all of their materials and had everything set up. If they had to get in there and do it for themselves, I guarantee it would have taken them much longer. Sometime, I would like to just say, "Here are all of your supplies. Go do your experiments!" 

Maybe if they were older I would. If we had more than an hour to get everything done I would be more inclined to do it as well!

Also, because two of our experiments did okay but weren't great, I started to suspect the water at the church where we have our co-op. The water there tastes nasty. Maybe there are chemicals in the water that are messing with the experiments? More on that when I blog on Chapter 5

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









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