"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."

"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Announcing...The Return of Science Sunday...Here at All Things Beautiful

I was very sad to hear that Adventures in Mommydom decided to discontinue the Science Sunday Meme.
Then I began to think that I could pick up the ball and take on Science Sunday Meme here, and I asked for 
Adventures in Mommdydom's blessing on this idea, and she was happy to turn it over to me. (I told her that she could have it back anytime she wants it.)
So, next Sunday, All Things Beautiful will host it's first
Science Sunday,
so get your science posts ready to link up!

History and Geography Meme #141: October's Highlights

In October, we finished up our study of Africa...
with our study of East Africa.
We then began our study of India...
We learned about...
Highhill Education Homeschool linked up a post on

History After Story of the World

Teaching Geography Through Games

Planet Smarty Pants linked up a post on

Teaching Geography Through Games and

Roman mosaic with candy
Adventures in Mommydom linked up a post on

Planning a Spanish Homeschool Adventure
Navigating By Joy linked up

I have really enjoyed the community of homeschoolers we have built here and I encourage you to check out the links you may not have seen and make a comment on the posts.
As always I hope that you continue to link your new (and old) posts with any history and geography topic to this meme every Thursday.

What history and geography studies have you been doing?

  Remember that I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.
You might want to check out the Pinterest board and see all the past posts.
Follow Phyllis Bergenholtz's board History and Geography Meme on Pinterest.

Please include this button on either the post you have linked or your sidebar or mention All Things Beautiful History and Geography meme in your post with a link. All posts that do not link directly to a history or geography post will be deleted.
All Things Beautiful

Chemistry, Lesson 5: Multitude of Mixtures

May, 2010
Mixtures are two or more substances that have been combined.

Heterogeneous Mixtures

When we can actually see the different substances, we call the mixture heterogeneous.

Making cookies is a good way to demonstrate a heterogeneous mixture. They can see the different things that go into the cookie dough.
Once mixed up, they can still see the individual components that make up the cookie dough. It is a heterogeneous mixture.


Erupting Lava Bottle, 2012

A lot of heterogeneous mixtures are suspensions. A suspension is a mixture where larger particles mixed into smaller particles with the larger particles suspended throughout the mixture. Making an Erupting Lava Bottle is a fun way to demonstrate suspensions.

Colloid Suspensions

Adding some raisins to some carbonated water is another way. It is a colloid suspension. A colloid suspension contains particles of solid, liquid, or bubbles of gas suspended within a solid, liquid or gas. At first the raisins sink to the bottom of the glass. However the carbon dioxide is suspended in the liquid and attaches to the raisins. The carbon dioxide is a gas and gases have a tendency to expand and escape their containers, so as the gas bubbles rise, they take the raisins with them.
Making Butter, 2012
You can also separate the fat globules from a homogeneous milk mixture by making your own butter. Fill a jar half-full of cream and put the lid on tightly. Put a marble in the jar. Shake the jar for a long time. The fat globules will begin to find other fat globules until they form a large ball of them, otherwise known as butter.
Foam is another kind of colloid. It is made by mixing a gas in a liquid. Whipped cream is a foam of air and cream.
The Science of Making Salad Dressing, 2008
Salad dressing is another kind of colloid called an emulsion. Droplets of liquids mixed with another liquid is called an emulsion.

Homogeneous Mixtures

Homogeneous mixtures are so well mixed that you can't easily see the individual parts.
The Effect of Temperature on the Solubility of Solid Solutes, 2010


A solution is made up of one substance that is dissolved into another substance. In the case of a saltwater solution, the solute is the salt, or the substance being dissolved. The water is the solvent since it is the something that is doing the dissolving. 

Concentration, 2011
A concentration has a large amount of solute in the solvent. You can demonstrate the effect of concentration by changing the amount of concentration of vinegar in a glass and then adding a Tums tablet to each glass. Look at the varying rates of dissolving.


Water is considered the closest thing to a universal solvent that is known to us. Because of it's chemical properties, many other substances are able to dissolve in water.
Water's Polarity, 2010
It is a universal solvent because the water molecules have two positive charges on each end and a negative charge in the center. 
Involving Dissolving, 2008
When a solute is added to water, the water molecules surround parts of the solute. If the solute has a positively charged part the negative side of the water molecule is attracted to and attaches to the solute molecule. If the solute has a negatively charged part, the positive side of the water molecule is attracted to and attaches to the solute molecule. This is called a polar molecule or a polar bond. A nonpolar molecule, such as oil won't dissolve in water.

Rainbow Milk: The Bonds of Soap

Soap has a nonpolar end and a polar end as well. The nonpolar end is hydrophilic, or water-loving and the polar end is hydrophobic, or water-fearing or fat-loving. You can see the results of this with a bowl of milk, dishwashing liquid and some food coloring.

Add a few drops of food coloring to the bowl of milk. This will help you to see the action the molecules are taking. Now drop some drops of dishwashing liquid in the milk. 
The molecules of fat move in every direction as the dishwashing liquid molecules swirl about to join the fat molecules. As the soap breaks down the fats in the milk, it moves in currents, which move and mix the colors.

Alloys and Malleability

Alloys are metals that have been dissolved into other metals to form a metal solution. Most jewelry is made of alloys. Most gold jewelry, for example, is an alloy made up of mainly gold mixed with copper or nickle. This is done to make the gold much harder.

Click to play Foil Creations
You see, gold is very malleable, or easy to bend. If you made jewelry out of pure gold, it would be as malleable as aluminum foil. To demonstrate this, you can invite your students to sculpt out of aluminum foil.

Separating a Mixture, 2010

Separating Mixtures

There are many ways to separate a mixture:
  • Evaporation
  • Filtration
  • Sifting
  • Magnetism
  • Chromatography
A fun way to demonstrate this is to give your students a mixture and see if they can separate the components using one or more of these methods.

Chomatography is another way of separating mixtures. The markers become the test substances, and are used to draw lines onto strips of paper coffee filter, which are the medium. The strips of paper are then taped to sticks, so that they can be suspended in water, which is the solvent. The solvent passes through the test substance, and as it does so some of the test substance is attracted to the solvent and follows it up the medium. Different types of molecules are transported different distances, causing them to separate.

sources and resources:

  • Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics, Jeannie Fulbright
  • Exploring Creation with General Science, Jay Wile
  • Great Explorations in Math and Science, Involving Dissolving
  • Exploring Creation with Physical Science, Jay Wile
  • Exploring Creation with Chemistry, Jay Wile

related posts:

Lego Challenge #37: Halloween

Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
This linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week.
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. The only real rule is that it has to be custom built. Your own creation, not a pre-designed one.
You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.

Lego Challenge #37: Halloween
When you think about Halloween, what comes to mind?
Make something out of LEGO that reminds you of Halloween.

You can also get inspiration with these posts, even though their linkies are now closed.

With the photo of your child's creation, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.

If you don't have a blog and would like to share photos of your child's completed challenges, please feel free to send me your photos (bergenholtzfamily@gmail.com) and I will post them in the next challenge's post.

October 20-23, 2014: Our Homeschool Weekly Report, week 7

October 20-23, 2014

week 7
This was a short week because I was out of town until Sunday night, so instead of our week starting on Friday, like usual, it started on Monday. We started our second session at our homeschool co-op.

I held auditions for the play we are doing this year, The Keeper of the Tales, 1001 Arabian Nights. James and Quentin made shrunken apple heads in Crafts From the Past class.


Chemistry: Compound Chemistry

World Geography

Northern India

We learned about the land, the animals, the people and the food of Northern India this week.


The Logic of English

  • Reviewed Phonograms: er, or, ea, sh
  • Worked on dividing words by their syllables
  • Spelling Rule: A E O U Sounds at the End of Syllables


Learn Math Fast

Quentin took a unit test in math and James worked on reducing fractions.

Join me at...

Chemistry, Lesson 4: Compound Chemistry

Crystals, polymers, pH and chemical reactions are all what happens when compounds of chemicals are formed.
Thunderegg, also known as spherulites, are radial crystals extending from the center. The minerals forming the crystals in Thundereggs could have come from hot water moving through cracks in the cooling lava rock, or later when mineralized groundwater oozed through. Either way, quartz and other minerals precipitated out of the water into the thunderegg cavity. The crystals began to grow.


Crystal Snowflakes, 2010

Common Crystals

There are many common crystals around your house. Gather what you have available, such as Borax, Epsom Salts, Table Salt and Sugar. Have your students examine the crystals with a magnifying glass. If you use more than one type of crystal, compare them.

These are the Borax crystals.

To grow larger crystals from these small crystals, heat water to boiling in a saucepan. In small heatproof container pour 1/2-1 cup of water. Add about half the volume of the small crystals to the water, stirring until it dissolves. Continue adding small amounts of solid until the water is super-saturated, which means water has absorbed as much solid as it is able and the solid will no longer dissolve. If you want, you can add food coloring. You can pour this solution into small containers to allow the larger crystals to form. We used plastic eggs that you get around Easter time. Fill each eggshell with as much of the solution as it will hold without tipping or over-flowing. Place the shells in a safe dry place to allow the water to evaporate. As the water evaporates, crystals will form inside the eggs.
These are the table salt crystals.

These are the Epsom Salts crystals.

The one side of the Epsom salt "geode" made one very large crystal.

The rest of the Epsom salt crystals were like this.
Salt Lapbook, August, 2010
"Salt dissolves in water, and as the water evaporates the salt appears in beautiful crystals."- Handbook of Nature Study, p. 753

"Let each pupil take 5 tablespoons of water and add to this about 2 tablespoons of salt, stirring the mixture until it is dissolved. When the water will take no more salt, let each pupil...lay (a square of paper in the saucer, pressing it down beneath the surface...."
-HNS, p752

"'Saturated solution' is an uninspiring term to one not chemically trained; and yet it merely means water which holds as much as it can take of the dissolved substance." -HNS, p753

It took about a week for us to notice salt crystals emerging on the black paper, creating an impression of a "starry night." The crystals are large because they look a long time in forming.

August, 2010
August 2010
We made crystals a second time. This time we kept one inside, which took about a week to appear. These crystals were smaller than our sample last time.The other set-up was put in a sunny spot outside which only took a few days for the water to evaporate, leaving large crystals behind. Look at how saturated this piece is!
Have you ever really looked closely at snowflakes? To make this easier, take piece of black construction paper and slip it into a plastic protector sleeve. Put this in the freezer to get it good and cold or the snowflakes will melt on contact. The black construction paper gives good contrast so you can see the snowflakes and the plastic sleeve keeps the snowflake from melting into the paper. You can see some flakes with the naked eye, but a magnifying glass reveals even more. If you look closely enough you can see that the flakes are in different shapes, such as hexagonal plates and stellar plates. What kind of observations can you make between the type of snow and the shape of the crystals?
Crystal Snowflakes, 2010

Comparing Crystals to Rocks

Gem Mining at Home
"The Alum that you buy has been crushed into a powder. In this experiment, you will reconstruct its natural form, which is crystalline. You will see how different the structure of a mineral is compared to a rock."
-Exploring Creation with General Science by Dr. Jay L. Wile

The Difference Between Rocks and Minerals
A string is suspended in a saturated solution of alum.
The Difference Between Rocks and Minerals
The weights are to keep the suspended into the solution.
This is left for from a few hours to a few days.
The Difference Between Rocks and Minerals

Scientific demonstrations don't always turn out the way you would expect. The importance is in the wondering and the discovery. After several days, as you can see, we had alum crystals "growing"on the string, but they were even larger on the side of the glass...perhaps there was something wrong with my string. Perhaps it was coated with something that prevented the crystals from collecting there. Despite this, we did get to see the alum crystals on the side of the glass.

"If you compare the alum crystals to rocks, you should notice a strong difference. Minerals make up most of what we find in the earth. Sometimes, the minerals can be found in their pure form. When that happens, the minerals usually have a sharp, geometric pattern. Most of the time, however, the minerals are not found in their pure form. Instead they are found in the form of rocks, which are usually made up of more than one kind of mineral."
-Exploring Creation with General Science by Dr. Jay L. Wile

The Effect of Temperature on the Solubility of Solid Solutes

For this experiment, you will need a canning jar (or beaker), 1/4 cup measuring cup, a stove, a candy thermometer, a coffee filter (or filter paper), a saucepan and a funnel.

Put 1/4 of salt and 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan. Set up your filtering system by putting a funnel in a canning jar or a glass measuring cup. Heat the salt-water mixture until it reaches 95 degrees F. Pour the solution into the filtering system until you a clear solution.  It should be clear because all undissolved salt should have been filtered out by the filter paper. This is a saturated solution of table salt.  Now place the solution in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Remove from the freezer and examine. There should be crystals of salt lying on the bottom of the canning jar. 
crystals in jar

What happened?
crystals on wood
The solubility of a solute depends on temperature. For solid solutes, the solubility increases with increasing temperature. In order for a solid to dissolve, the solvent molecules must be able to muscle in between the solute molecules and drive them away from each other. The heat provides the energy needed to make the solvent molecules more successful at muscling in between the solid molecules.

Rainbow Crystals, November 2009
Rainbow Crystals

The scientific name for these superabsorbant crystals is "cross-linked poyacrylamide copoymer gel."


You can make your own polymer you can play with. Just mix together equal amounts of Elmer's white glue and Liquid Laundry StarchAdd food coloring as desired.
Sam (2008) with Elmer's white glue homemade Gak

This can be used like Silly Putty.
For another recipe, you can use Borax instead of the Liquid Laundry Starch. Make two bowls of mixtures.

Mixture 1:
1 ½ cups warm water
2 cups Elmer’s Glue
Food coloring

Mixture 2:
3 tsp. Borax
1 cup Warm Water

Make sure both are mixed well.
Pour mixture 1 into mixture 2. When it is in a glob work it for 2-3 minutes. Initially it feels wet but it eventually dries up to the final product.

Polymers are long chains of molecules hooked together. You can illustrate what is happening in the experiment by using 3 chains of paper clips laying side by side.
Show your students that the paper clip strands slide by each other easily, and this is how the glue alone acts. Then hook two from one chain to two from another chain, making cross-links.
Show your students how the chains cannot easily slide back in forth now, illustrating the changes that occur when the laundry starch is added to the glue.

The polymer of balloons are so tightly bound together you can actually stick a skewer into them and it won't pop the balloon because the polymer molecules wrap themselves around the skewer!

Acids and Bases

Acids and bases are another aspect to explore when you are looking at compounds. Acids donate hydrogen ions when they are mixed with other substances. (Remember that an ion is an atom that has lost or gained an electron.) A base accepts hydrogen ions.

Chemical Reactions

We have seen this demonstration of a chemical reaction in many places, but have never done it ourselves. We decided to hold our own experiment by comparing the reactions of Diet Coke with that of Diet Pepsi. We used five Mentos with a 2-liter bottle. I taped a 3-foot measuring stick to the bottle to give us an idea of height comparisons.
I actually could only get 4 Mentos in the Pepsi before it exploded on me.

As you can see, Diet Pepsi won out on our test by a landslide.

Why does this reaction happen with diet soda and Menthos?
It is caused by something called nucleation. Bubbles of carbon dioxide "nucleate" shortly after the pressure is released from a container of carbonated liquid. Nucleation often occurs more easily at a pre-existing "interface", or a surface forming a common boundary among two different phases such as using string to make crystals form rock candy from a sugar-water solution. The surface of the mint Mentos is such an interface, as it is covered with many small holes that increase the surface area available for reaction, thereby allowing CO2 bubbles to form with such a rapidity and in such a quantity that a geyser is formed. A 2006 episode of the television series MythBusters reported that when fruit-flavored Mentos with a smooth waxy coating were tested in carbonated drink there was hardly a reaction, whereas mint-flavored Mentos (with no such coating) added to carbonated drink formed an energetic eruption.

There are lots of experiments that can demonstrate the difference between physical and chemical change.

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