Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men---Homeschool style

I so love Robert Burns.  It's so cool how he could put the Scottish dialect in writing like he did.  And boy, did he hit it on the head when he wrote, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men gang aft agley."  

That's what happened at our home today (Monday).  

My hubby has been teaching my daughter astronomy.  I came across a cool idea of making the solar system using glue, embroidery thread, and balloons. AWESOME!! Right?
It started out great.
Time was spent with daddy review the planets and sun and their relative sizes.

It was easy enough to blow up one balloon.  In fact, she's learned to tie them herself.

But there were a lot of balloons to blow up.  Ten balloons because we also did the sun and Pluto because if Pluto was good enough to be a planet for Mommy and Daddy when we were little, it's good enough to be a planet now!

And doing the creative process of deciding which colors to use was okay.
The problem started when we started to make them.  First, I didn't take into account that mija doesn't like her hands to be "dirty" for extended periods of time, and I was asking her to stick her fingers in watered-down glue to wrap thread around ten balloons.

Well, we managed to get three done before we ran out of glue.  The fact I didn't take into account how much glue we had helped our scheme "gang agley."
So this is what it looked like when we got done.
But they didn't stay that way.  The thread started not sticking before long.  Being out of glue, I attempt to fix Mars using the old-fashioned flour and water mixture.  By suppertime, this is what we had.

Who knows what they'll look like in the morning!  In the meantime, my table looks even more cluttered than usual.  I've pondered what went wrong.  Here are some of my possibilities.
  • The glue was too watery.
  • The planets were too big.
  • We should have used yarn instead of embroidery thread.
  • We didn't use enough thread.
  • I shouldn't have cut the string into long segments but left it whole.
  • I could go on and on.
I was smothered in the negative of everything and considering what I would blog about since I obviously wasn't going to be able to brag about our project!  Thankfully, I realized there were a few good things that came as a result.

We had some fun family time for one thing.  She also had an opportunity to review the planets and facts about them like sizes, gaseous vs terrestrial, etc.  

She also got some exercise.
And she also did some science discovery on her own comparing the speed of a larger balloon compared to a smaller balloon.  We did some Socratic questioning about that!

So, we'll see what tomorrow brings.  The solar system may be coming to an end, who know!  My best-laid plan went all "agley" on me, but there were some good things that still came out of it.

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