Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Geography and Biology Chemicals

For anyone interested, the following is a list of the chemicals we use for all the elementary Montessori - quantities vary depending on the number of children, their age, how much they are allowed to repeat (not everything gets repeated by the child - sometimes it is ONLY a teacher-demonstration):

Calcium nitrate
Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts)
Potassium phosphate
Ferric chloride

Copper sulfate 
Hydrochloric acid
Potassium Dichromate
Lead Nitrate
Sulfuric Acid
Ammonium dichromate

Note: All items, except Epsom Salts (easily purchased the local pharmacy in a large bag) can be purchased at Ward Science. You'll need a school address to have it delivered (or proof from the state that your residence is a school). 

Yes, everything is stored appropriately; some items are stored in a locked cabinet and the child(ren) has/have no clue where the key is. 

In addition to the Montessori demonstrations, my son has previously loved being involved with soap-making (real soap-making - with oil/fat and lye). He's become quite used to it lately, so interest has waned. Because he gets this chemical reaction fix in a safe manner, I see him being much more judicious about his own experimentations when helping with meals and such - he will want to know what is already known about combining various food ingredients together;  before he tries it - because he'll tell you that he doesn't want to waste his time if the reaction is very certainly not what he was seeking. He considers the properties of matter and various outcomes. And always clears it with me first. And we're just talking FOOD! 

He takes using chemicals seriously, yet has a real joy in learning and exploring, while respecting the rules. I wish I could say this applies to every area of life, but at least it applies it here! 

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