A Learning Lifestyle
The guidance offered essentially advocates for 1) focusing on creating an environment filled with books, music, and experiences; and, 2) a language-rich lifestyle - one where you listen to your child, respond thoughtfully, and pursue ideas together. (This builds on what we know about how preschoolers learn, too. ) She, of course, weaves writing lessons into the day and provides structure so parents don't have to come up with everything on their own. (Whew!)
Books, Music, and Experiences
Despite being regulars at the library, I often find myself scouring the catalog and shelves for books that might work to answer my child's question or delve deeper into the subject du jour. It is no wonder why lists are some of the most popular blogs in the world. You know the ones: "101 Books to Read Before Kindergarten," "10+ Children's Books to Inspire Kindness," and my own "24 Books for Preschool Engineers."
A Smaller, More Approachable List
The problem is that sometimes we want a smaller, more approachable list. One with fewer books that includes other things. I just want a few good books, a CD, and a video, perhaps a toy. Something like a thoughtful little themed basket.
Invitation to Learn
It is in the spirit of having a small sampling of one topic that I am writing Invitations to Learn. Each invitation grows from our homeschool life and is a pint-sized unit of study for the DIY crowd. With this list, I am inviting you to learn alongside your child and giving you a small amount of guidance for creating a rich learning environment in your home or school.
Read a book one day; listen to an audiobook another day; watch a movie a different day; go on a field trip a different day. By offering one great thing at a time, you are inviting your child to learn with you and enjoy learning with you! Over time you and your child will consider the topic in several different ways, using different materials, have different but related conversations about it, and you will grow your knowledge in wonderfully robust ways.
INVITATION TO LEARN PHYSICS - Projectile Motion & Hooke's Law
I have found some of these at the library or for free online. For your convenience, I will also include affiliate links to Amazon when available.
For the full list click here: Amazon Wishlist "Invitation to Learn Physics - Projectile Motion & Hooke's Law."
PhET Simulation Games
Blast a car out of a cannon, and challenge yourself to hit a target! Learn about projectile motion by firing various objects. Set parameters such as angle, initial speed, and mass. Explore vector representations, and add air resistance to investigate the factors that influence drag.
Sample Learning Goals
- Determine how each parameter (initial height, initial angle, initial speed, mass, diameter, and altitude) affects the trajectory of an object, with and without air resistance.
- Predict how varying the initial conditions will affect a projectile’s path, and provide an explanation for the prediction.
- Estimate where an object will land, given its initial conditions.
- Determine that the x and y motion of a projectile are independent.
- Investigate the variables that affect the drag force.
- Describe the the effect that the drag force has on the velocity and acceleration.
- Discuss projectile motion using common vocabulary (such as: launch angle, initial speed, initial height, range, time).
Stretch and compress springs to explore the relationships between force, spring constant, displacement, and potential energy! Investigate what happens when two springs are connected in series and parallel.
Sample Learning Goals
- Explain the relationships between applied force, spring force, spring constant, displacement, and potential energy.
- Describe how connecting two springs in series or parallel affects the effective spring constant and the spring forces.
- Predict how the potential energy stored in the spring changes as the spring constant and displacement change.