Just Us Barkers Our Little Corner of the Web

Volcanic Eruptions

Ever have one of those days where you just felt like making a volcano? The boys and I have done this experiment a couple of times now and it never gets old. We’ve done it a variety of ways, but this was the first real-life model of an actual volcano. Okay, not exactly real-life, but we did go that extra mile and construct it with clay.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Of course, no experiment  is complete without making a complete mess and making little (or big) discoveries. On this particular day, we were fortunate enough not to make a total catastrophic mess. However, we did discover that the volcano was rather mono-chromatic. The volcano was totally cool, but it was so hard to differentiate between all the white! White plate (a.k.a. grassland or mess barrier), white volcano, and white baking soda and vinegar lava. It didn’t occur to any of us that there was any lack of color. I mean the volcano was on it’s way to the trash when Gavin and I thought it would have been much more realistic if the lava had been red. I guess we were just so excited for an artificial, natural explosion that we didn’t think beyond the basic instructions.

Artificial. Natural. Explosion. An artificial, natural explosion? Is that like an artificial, natural sweetener?

Okay, then how about a recreation of an erupting volcano?

The experiment was a hit, every single time. Go figure! Every time Tristan or Gavin poured the vinegar down into the volcano, it erupted. That’s what I like about this activity, it’s completely reliable. Plus, I only needed vinegar and baking soda. It is great for boys and it never fails to amaze and elicit the response of “Cool!” or giddy laughter. They even made their mean old schoolmarm do it.

For next time, for there will certainly be a next time, we have already drawn up the plans to have it spew red lava and we will just have to choose a different color of grassland. Now that the initial excitement has passed, they can sit down and prepare for another round of erupting volcanoes.


Saudi Arabia & Pajama Friday

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Today is Friday, also known as “Pajama Friday” in the Barker household. Pajama Friday started out because mom sort of has trouble waking up and being cheerful by the time Friday morning rolls around. To help ease this situation, Fridays are more casual and laid back. Oddly enough, we tend to begin our school day a tad earlier than usual. The kids set to work on their respectful subjects and tried to work as independently as possible. I think that is the ultimate goal here – independent work. However, sometimes I’m […]

Fall 2012 Science (a.k.a. walking the dog)

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Each Wednesday, we take a nature walk as part of science. It’s a time for the boys to look around and either apply something they learned or something new and interesting. It’s also a time in which Annie gets to work off some of that cat food she’s been secretly snarfing up. Coincidentally, it also turns out to be a great time to just get out of the house. It’s a win-win for all involved. Today the kids and I were discussing the change in weather (among other things that […]

Fromage s’il vous plaît

The past two weeks we have been studying France and the continent of Europe. Norway was two weeks ago and German will begin next week. Today, we were fortunate to have cheese tasting.

Our cheese tasting included Brie, Camembert, Gruyere, Geramont, as well as some other cheeses like Feta, White Cheddar, Mozzarella, Limburger, and Bayerntaler. We sipped some white grape juice (in lieu of wine), and also had a fresh butter croissant for those spreadable fromages. It was so much fun.

And yes, the Limburger really does stink!