Children are naturally curious creatures and with so many under one roof coupled with the fact that we homeschool, we are frequently looking things up to answer the various questions that arise. For instance, the children found that one of the chickens had laid an egg the size of a cherry tomato. We looked it up and found out that such an egg occurs on occasion, that there is no yolk inside and that they are called – by some – fairy eggs.
Here are some other fairy eggs we found this week:
- We learned that wind is caused by hot air rising and cold air rushing in to take its place. We found a pretty cool demonstration of the process:
- One of the history dates my son has to memorize is 1849 – the California Gold Rush. He asked how long it lasted and we found this interesting page with many CA Gold Rush factoids:
- My fifth grader was learning about some inventions that saved labor. Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin (short for Cotton engine… I never knew that!). It made growing and selling cotton so much more efficient that it, sadly, had the unintentional effect of bringing slavery, which had been dying out, roaring back now that they needed a bunch of people to work the cotton fields. My son wanted to see the cotton gin in action, so we found this demonstration:
- We also learned about the MCCormick Reaper, invented by Cyrus McCormick, to harvest wheat. Here’s the demonstration of that machine that replaced the scythe:
- Elias Howe invented the first sewing machine. It looked nothing like the ones we see today, but it was indeed their progenitor.