Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Artful Science Thanks to Brown Paper School

This next six-week session of homeschooling is going to be a giant, wonderful MISH-MASH of activity. I have no plans for an organized unit study this time. We are taking a break from organization and flying headlong into impulsiveness! So far, on Day 2 out of 30, we've already ended up in places that weren't even remotely planned. In this way I admire unschoolers and can understand how that concept in action can be effective. I'm still a little too much of a controlling freakazoid when it comes to thinking about letting go completely, though. Maybe next year.

Anyhoo, not that I need to bore you with the inner workings of my mind here. I'm writing this particular post to exclaim the wonders of a book we are giving homage to this session - a book from Brown Paper School Publishing (see a former post about this publisher, one of my favorites). Here it is in itty-bitty format (sorry for the wee picture - you can click on the link below it to get to Amazon for more information):

It's been sitting on the shelf for several months now and caught my attention. Just what the doctor ordered, if there is a doctor that orders such things - art and science mixed together!
Today we messed around with chromatography, water-soluble markers, filter paper and water. We watched colors separate and climb up the paper into some pretty terrific designs and learned how chemists use chromatography to identify compounds in a lab. The entire first section of the book is devoted to exploding colors. You'll also get exposure to fantastic elastics, wet and creepy stuff, water's weird skin, unmixables, movies on the brain, one-eyed crazies, making it big, looking alike, balancing the impossible (sounds like a mom's to-do list, eh?), and forces that are with you.

I guess this book will more than qualify for the science portion of the next six weeks (or longer, probably). We're going to steadily work our way through it and see what happens.

It's available for a penny on Amazon, used. I say, anytime you see a Brown Paper School book, snap it up! They are gems, the whole lot of them.

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