The Gutenberg Planets

Last week, we began a model of our solar system creating planets and the sun that were proportional to each other.  IMG_6839

This week, we created a model of the solar system based on the distance from the sun.  We tried to use the same scale that we did for the planets, but if so, the earth would have been a mile away.  So instead we decided that 1 inch would equal 1 million miles.  We then converted the number of inches that we had into yards so that we could create a scaled solar system.  Finally, we  went outside and found the distance for our planet.  Below each child (plus a big rock representing Saturn) represents a planet (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune).  The first picture is from the sun while the second picture is from the furthest planet, Neptune. The green thing in the road in the second picture is our sun.


As we discovered how wide our solar system is, we were all amazed.  It was an opportunity to talk of the greatness of our God who created this entire universe.  Learning this, our faith can be sustained knowing we serve a big God.

Another important figure this week was Johann Gutenberg.  He was the man who developed the printing press.  We discussed that he used the finest paper (known because of a watermark) and that his measurements were exact. Because he was printing the Bible, he wanted it to be perfect.  Through him, we are able to sustain our faith because he opened the door for us personally to read the Bible and to learn more about God through academic subjects.

To celebrate our learning of Gutenberg, we created paper this week.  We first created a watermark on our screens, and then sifted a mixture of wood pulp and water to get the paper.  We also built stamps to be able to print like Gutenberg did.  Wow!  So much learning in such a short amount of time!



How to…planets

This past quarter, we have been looking at faithfulness sustained through various avenues.  Our book for the quarter is My Side of the Mountain, which is about Sam who runs away to the mountain.  Instead of giving up and returning to the city, his faithfulness is sustained as he stays over a year in the wilderness fending for himself and gathering preparations for the difficult times.  We discussed that our own faith in Jesus could be sustained by reading his Word and preparing ourselves through Him (stocking up in a way) for when the difficult times come.

Within this book, Sam takes careful notes about how to do things, from how to create salt to how to know which berries to eat.  To go right along with this, the children created their own how-to papers to instruct their readers how to do something enjoyable.  This week, we had our presentations .  The children did fabulously as they taught how to do hair, how to throw a football, how to catch a football, how to field a baseball, how to ride a dirt bike, how to play video games, and how to ride a horse. We all learned so much.



In other news, we have been working on our space unit.   Conveniently, there are eight planets and eight people (including myself) in our class.  Each child researched a planet, and then used long division to determine the diameter of their planet in inches if the Earth’s diameter equaled 1 inch.  We then used this same scale to create a sun.  We were amazed at how small the planets are compared to the sun.  And yet, God created all of it in His vast array of beauty.  Here is the making of our  model sun (we only had green paper available).  Next week, we’ll put it all together and create a scaled version of the distances of each planet to the sun.  So be sure to stay tuned!


Weather and Diseases

This week was filled with exciting learning experiences.  Throughout the week, the children asked questions to further their learning.  On Tuesday, we had the privilege of hosting Evan Stewart, 13 News Meteorologist, who came specifically to CCA to teach us more about weather.  The children were so excited to have him come.  Several of them had questions about why he became a meteorologist and what he had to do to become one.  Of course most of the questions that he asked, the children eagerly raised their hands to share the correct answer.


Throughout the week, we completed our Black Death research.  The children were absolutely fascinated.  The class was broken into three groups.  The first group looked at the cause of the disease, the second looked at the effect, and the third group looked at possible solutions.  As they studied, they were constantly finding interesting tidbits. Once all the research was done, we gathered together as a class and shared what we had learned.  We ultimately decided that since it was caused by bacteria, the disease would be treated with antibiotics.  We then talked about faithfulness sustained:  sometimes what we see as bad, God sees as a stepping stone to do greater things.  We related this to the faith of Noah during the flood and the faith of the Hebrews during the ten plagues in Egypt.  The extent of the children’s thinking always astounds me.