This post is basically just brainstorming things to learn and do at the start of the new year.
- Begin Holding Family Meetings. Choose a day & time when the whole family can participate. Make up a format for your meetings. I believe we’ll begin with some calming classical music and 10-15 minutes of silent reading or meditation (their choice). This should help them wind down to better focus on the meeting. Then, we will follow the format presented by Positive Discipline. This format includes an “Agenda,” that has been used throughout the week to collect issues & appreciation which will be addressed at the meeting. Also, we will preview the upcoming weekly calendar of planned events/activities and present new ideas for events/activities, and have some together time with a game or movie.
- Home Inspection. The beginning of the year is a great time to tour the house with the kids and point out some hazards or problem areas.. they can point out things that they believe are hazards and problems, too. Then, you can choose a couple to work on together.
- Start planning a garden. For me, in Georgia, seed starting begins as early as mid-January!! This may not be true for all of you, but January is still a great time to start planning ahead. I have been gardening for a while, so I have a pre-made list of my usual plants. But, I like to introduce new things every year. This year, my oldest son wants an olive tree. I generally begin receiving seed catalogs in December. I’ll sit down and make my list of plantings using my stored seeds and any new ones I’m purchasing.
- See What This “New Year’s Resolution” Generator says. LOL: http://moninavelarde.com/newyears/
- Make a new recipe every week! It can be a breakfast, lunch or dinner recipe… just make it new!
- Start “flying” with the FlyLady’s new Android App to help you better maintain cleanliness and organization in your home! Search “FlyHelper” in Amazon Appstore.
- Try Skiing, Snowboarding or Ice Skating It’s winter in this part of the world. We’re in GA, so we may not get the opportunity to try skiing or snowboarding.. but, we can visit Snow Mountain for a day of sledding fun or go to the Ice Skating Rink!
- Nature Journal Ideas: Create a Sundial, Identify Trees (especially the difference between deciduous & evergreens), observe the night sky, build a snowman, dip ice cubes in a small amount of paint and slide them around on a large piece of paper to make abstract water colors!
More Science Ideas for January!
- Demonstrate Cold Weather Animal Survival: Fill a bucket with ice water and stick your hand in it for a second. It will be cold. Next, take a plastic bag and put Shortening in it, put another bag inside this one so your hands don’t get dirty. Put your hand in the bag and stick it back in the ice water. It won’t be cold because the shortening serves as a layer of fat. This is how animals like penguins and polar bears stay warm.
- Freeze a Bubble! If the weather outside is below 32 degrees, blow a bubble and catch it on the wand. Wait and watch as it freezes. It will turn into a crystal ball and then shatter like glass! You will see the ice crystals form.
- Sticky Ice.. Put an ice cube in a glass of water. Take a piece of string, lay it across the ice and try to pick up the ice with the string. It won’t work. Lay the piece of string on the ice again and sprinkle a pinch of salt over the string. Count to 10 and lift the string. It works!
- Examine Snowflakes When it snows, chill some black construction paper in the freezer. Bundle up & go outside to catch snowflakes on the paper. Examine the snowflakes with magnifying glasses.
- Compressing & Expanding Air from Almost Unschoolers: http://almostunschoolers.blogspot.com/2011/01/bike-tires-are-flat-winter-science-for.html
It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere, now….. But, not in the southern hemisphere.
- Check out the globe and explain how different parts of the world are experiencing different seasons, right now. Find some places that are experiencing winter and look them on the weather website of your choice. What’s the temp and conditions like in Canada, right now? Compare that to the temp and conditions in Australia!
- Dec/Jan/Feb is the time of year when explorers headed out on expeditions to explore Antarctica.
Check out a book, or search for info about Roald Admundsen & Robert Falcon Scott.. two great south pole explorers.
- Compare Winter & Summer Arctic Sea Ice – click image for full size viewing