Thursday, January 8, 2015

Science of Soils on the Farm

China and Russia.  The boys chose these two countries to research this year for their Year Long Country Study Projects.  During Trimester One, they studied the maps, landforms, plant and animal habitats, folklore and religious beliefs of their countries.  This trimester, we are studying the history of our countries – starting with the history of the land.  To build up our background knowledge, we started by exploring the types of rocks and soils.  We covered our whiteboard as we talked – so thankful to have to whiteboard available to us now thanks to my handy husband, much more helpful than the mirror he took down to hang it!


Studying Rocks & Soils in our RV - Great science lesson for roadschooling using our digital microscope to study soil samples we collected here on the farm.  RVing with the Rakis


After our rock and soil talk, we decided to take a close look at some examples with the new digital microscope my cousin gave the boys for Christmas (a homeschooling mom’s dream present – right?).  Luckily life here on Thus Far Farm made it super easy to gather samples.  The boys gathered a small handful of clay from the garden, a small handful of sand from the pile near the chicken house and a small handful of potting soil from our own pot of mint (the only survivor of our portable garden).  They also gathered up a few small rocks and we had a blast looking at all of the these samples under the microscope.  We compared the granule size for each type of soil, as well as the color and the items we found mixed into each.  Once the kids had explored their real life samples, we went onto the internet and did some research, discovering that Russia has almost exclusively metamorphic and igneous rocks and China has almost exclusively sedimentary and igneous rocks.  Great day of learning!    


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