Winter isn't the ideal time to pursue botany, but we're having so much fun with it, I want to stick with it and see where it goes. And maybe we'll grow some plants, from seed, to transplant in spring. I am a horrible gardener. Really, really terrible. If I set out to deliberately kill all my plants, I couldn't do any worse. But hope springs eternal, doesn't it?
Egads, that carpet needs to be vacuumed!
We started out with the Shaleya's Quest card game. I offered these cards to her and showed her how she could sort the various plants by family. I was impressed by how readily she figured out how to sort the plants by noticing patterns of physical features, and how she persevered with the activity until she'd finished. Patterns in nature is my favorite kind of math, and I'm really excited about introducing Fibonacci numbers to Eliza soon. Stay tuned.
We played several different games with these cards and read Shanleya's Quest, which explores these plant families through a fanciful story that touches on basic evolutionary concepts. She really liked this book.
Today we set up the world-famous flowers-in-colored-water experiment, though we used daisies instead of carnations. We had a great time creating about a dozen different colors with food coloring. For some of these colors, we followed the directions on the back of the box (e.g. teal = 1 drop green + 1 drop blue; rose = 8 drops red + 1 drop blue) which gave her the opportunity to learn the concept of ratios (1:1; 8:1). She readily picked up on the concept and suggested that explore it further another day.
Next we placed a flower in each color, and Eliza made a prediction about what will happen. I didn't tell her what's "supposed" to happen or why -- I just left the question on the table.
Undoubtedly inspired by all the fantasy RPGs played in this house, she asked me for some mailing labels and a permanent marker and set to work labeling her potions. That's one of the things I love about relaxed homeschooling. Given enough wiggle room, kids take projects in directions I never would've imagined. And around here, things can get pretty surreal.
So here you have it: Eliza's Laboratory of Potions:
I think this is about 1 parts creepy to 6 parts awesome. ;-) (6:1)
Does anyone have more botany ideas?