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Recycling: Practical and Impactful

After I taught Earth Science for a couple of years I realized how wasteful I was with the resources I have been given. I wasn’t going out and deliberately doing so, but if I threw away items that could be recycled, drove my car when I could ride or bike to do some of my errands made me realize that I could have a small part in conserving what resources we do have.

Just think, there is only so much fresh water to go around and every time we order a drink and throw the cup in the trash with ice in it we take away some of that water, never to be recycled again since it ends up in the garbage. This may seem silly, but I actually throw my ice and water out into the bushes as I exit from a restaurant if I am personally responsible for disposing of my trash. 🙂  Wouldn’t it be great if we could teach our children to be mindful of what they are throwing away and finding ways to conserve what we do have so that they and their children can enjoy things as much as we have been able to do. With recycling in mind, did you know that Ikea is recycling old mattresses?

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Here are the details:

IKEA U.S. introduces national mattress recycling program

(Conshohocken, PA – October 2, 2017) IKEA U.S. announced today that in keeping with its sustainability strategy of ‘waste to resources’ it will be recycling all of its used mattresses. This includes old mattresses (any brand) that are picked up when new IKEA mattresses are delivered*, as well as all returned mattresses at IKEA stores. The goal is zero waste to landfill, with as much recycling as possible.

An estimated 18 million mattresses with box springs are disposed of in the U.S. each year, resulting in approximately 50,000 mattresses a day ending up in landfills across America. Some of these mattresses are illegally dumped adding to great landfill waste. IKEA understands mattresses need to be recycled to conserve resources such as steel, foam, and wood that is able to be used in new products.

At a minimum, 80% of a mattress can be recycled. The fabric and foam can be turned into carpet underlay and the felt and cotton can be recycled into new felt and insulation. The wood gets recycled into biofuel or other recycled wood products. While the plastic and steel is recycled by their respective recyclers or turned into new products.

In addition to the sustainability aspect of recycling mattresses, IKEA has also created a community donation program – a campaign called 5,000 Dreams – that focuses on supporting newly arrived refugee families in local IKEA store communities. Through three partner refugee organizations, IKEA has started to donate beds and bedding – 5,000 in total in the next two years – to refugee families who are making fresh starts with their families. The three established refugee organizations are the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the International Rescue Committee and the Ethiopian Community Development Council.

The Baby App

Oh joy! I am going to be a grandma! 🙂 I am beyond excited and I can see that as I look for educational ideas to share with my daughter-in-law that I will naturally post ideas for you as well.

So, the first one I am sharing is called Baby Center. Not only is this a wonderful sight for parents-to-be, but it is also terrific for anyone else who is interested in the development of a little one. This can benefit the understanding of development for siblings, grandparents, and others.

If you are wanting to teach human growth and development to your middle or high school student this would be an invaluable tool. The development of the baby is described every week and his/her length and weight is given to you as well. If you are expecting this would be a terrific way to show your children the development of your baby to big brother(s) and sister(s).

Here are actual pictures of the development of the baby from week to week. The baby is compared to a fruit or vegetable as well, which I appreciate. It is hard to imagine what the baby’s size is, but  this website does a great job in giving you some perspective.

I hope this website will be a valuable resource to you.

~Lisa

Baking with Children

Baking with your child is a fun way to incorporate several subjects and also have a yummy reward for your hard work! I’d say this is a win-win situation for everyone. 🙂

Reading– Children are reading labels and directions in order to prepare the baked goods.

Following directions– What a terrific way for children to practice following directions! I remember vividly the first time I made brownies without my mom’s help. I was so excited to make them because I love chocolate and we didn’t have dessert all that often. I couldn’t wait to smell them baking and was anticipating eating the warm and delicious dessert with a glass of cold milk. Well…I didn’t read the directions carefully and instead of using 1/4 cup of water, I added 1-1/4 cup! I was devastated that I had to throw the batch away, but it did teach me a valuable lesson early on to read the directions twice and carefully before beginning!

Math– part of learning fractions is being able to understand the concept of a “part” of something. This can be easily demonstrated by showing your baker the measuring spoons where you can see that 1 teaspoon is a fraction of a tablespoon. You can also teach adding fractions by doubling a recipe. It can be difficult for a child to grasp that 1/4 +1/4 equals 1/2, but when able to have a hands-on experience, can help those who struggle with this concept.

Science– Chemistry can be seen in action as children combine ingredients in order to get baked goods to rise. I have a book that I want to share with you that explains in simple terms to children what is taking place when leavening agents are added to recipes. Muffins and breads are yummy ways of seeing the results of adding baking soda and/or baking powder to create them.

I bet your mouth is watering thinking of a yummy dessert. Plan for some fun in your school day; create great memories, and yummy treats. You can always make extra and take them to a neighbor to brighten their day.

Happy baking; here is a book to help you with young bakers. Pictures are below for you to have an idea of what it looks like. Enjoy!

~Lisa

 

 

Free Unit Study Planets Guide

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With most homeschool families being a one-income family it’s nice to find curriculum and resources that are low-cost. Well, I found a low-cost unit study on planets that homeschoolgiveaways is offering, and it is so low that it is FREE! Here are some features this curriculum offers for your 1st- 6th grade students:

  • Planet and solar fact sheets and corresponding fill-in-the-blank worksheets
  • Cursive & manuscript copywork
  • Glossary of terms and corresponding fill-in-the-blank worksheets

If you would like to find out more about this resource, CLICK HERE

3 Elementary and Senior High Chemistry Curriculums

Don’t you hate it when you perform an experiment and it fails? My first two years of teaching 6th grade science were a horrible failure when it came to doing them [experiments]. I didn’t have the necessary equipment to perform the activities and when I did, they failed. Eventually, we just read about what the experiments were supposed to do and discussed the process. How interesting is that? 😦

I had much better success when I began homeschooling my sons. I used Janice Van Cleave‘s books and I was thankful that not only did the experiments work, but they were fun and the explanations that were written in the book made sense! Oh, happy day! I heartily recommend that series of books because we used them for several years and had very little failure.(I created links to each of the products- just click on them.)

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Science For Kids is a website that has experiments and lesson plans. It is FREE and has games to play too!

If you are looking for a  more traditional curriculum I have some suggestions listed here.

NOEO Science has a terrific Chemistry curriculum with the trade books that you need included. I have used the Chemistry Level 1 for 1-3rd grade and enjoyed the books and experiments. Although at first glance it appears to be a bit pricey, you have the convenience of all the books being at your disposal and there is no time spent on finding the books that you will need for the class. The science kits are included, which is a huge time-saver! If you have several students you will be instructing, you may want to purchase an additional kit. There are several levels so it will go all the way through high school.

Chemistry 1

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Are you in need of Chemistry for your senior high student? I just finished looking at a video series called Chemistry 101. It also has workbooks and tests. I didn’t see any actual labs for your student to do, but that isn’t such a bad thing because of housing chemicals in your home. Weird things happen to them after a period of time… After watching the video and reading the reviews, this would be worth checking into for your student.

101-375-2TI have heard good things from homeschool moms about Spectrum Chemistry, although we didn’t use personally.  “Fulfill all your requirements for a lab-based chemistry course while exercising your student’s practical-problem-solving skills and scientific reasoning. This one-year chemistry course is done three days a week, one of which is a lab day. It is the equivalent of an honors chemistry for college-bound students.”- beginningspublishing.com