14 September 2010

*Our* Solar System

This year we are using Apologia's Exploring Creation with Astronomy and are enjoying it a lot! We have just begun and one of the first projects suggested is to create your own version of the solar system.

We explored several options for how we should create ours and eventually went with paper mache~my hubby's personal fave! (Actually he wanted to do Styrofoam until he priced it~yikes, that stuff is expensive)! So paper mache it was! My hubby is the paper mache king, too!

After reading some on how the surfaces of the different planets look, Vince gathered our supplies for us: a couple of bags of balloons, some scrapbook paper and liquid starch.

He picked out some really cool paper! It was probably his first time on the scrapbook paper aisle and I think he was having fun:)

Next he got all the balloons blown up to the correct dimensions. He did end up going with Styrofoam for Saturn and it's ring, after all. Then the maching began...

He did alternate layers of newspaper and paper towels, dipping the pieces into the starch. Then the top layer was the scrapbook paper~4 layers in all. Then he sprayed a clear gloss over the paper. It was about a 5 day process for the whole thing, but it turned out GREAT!!! The kiddos helped along the way, although they would get weary with the monotonous papering. But they were SO excited and involved the entire time, continually checking on the progress.

Here is Earth with its moon. I love how it turned out!!

This one is Neptune. I love the color contrast here.

Here's Saturn with its ring. The ring is attached with straightened paper clips (as is Earth's moon above).
This one is Jupiter~one of my faves, too.

He hung them in their proper order--and, yes, we included Pluto-- from the sun (the big orange/yellow one) from a pvc pipe with clear fishing line and we attached the pvc pipe above the window in our learning room. It makes a very cool window treatment, don'tcha think?

This is going to be so awesome to refer to all year long as we progress through our astronomy study! I'm so excited about it!


Amber said...

Wow! Those are awesome!

Carrie said...

Wow, Lora!!! This looks great!! We did Apologia Astronomy last spring - my son LOVED it!! Looks like you guys are off to an awesome start!! Tell your hubby (and kiddos) he (they) did a great job!!

Kathy said...

see, this is why I LOVE homeschooling! We are doing the very same science study this year and I was trying hard to figure out how to do our solar system. I too priced the styrofoam ones and was SHOCKED at how expensive they were! I ended up buying just ONE, for the sun with my 50% off coupon, and telling the girls we would just buy one at a time as we studied it. But now you've got me thinking about paper mache! I've never done it before though! We might just have to give it a try though because those look awesome!!! Thanks for the inspiration. I hope you don't think I'm weird for saying this but I feel like I wish we were neighbors b/c I think we would get along really well! =)

Lora @ my blessed life said...

I don't think that's weird at all, I bet we would be great neighbors! It would be so fun to have a cool homeschool family near by:)
Buying the styrofoam pieces one at a time is a good idea though (especially if you're using coupons!). Vince estimated the Styrofoam would have cost us just over $40 and he did all of this for right around $20, so you could probably get it at the same price by doing that.
I'll look forward to seeing what you decide to do!

Kari said...

It turned out awesome! My congrats to Vince. =)

Tasha said...

Lora- We know each other through association of sorts. I am Mark Mahurin's daugter-in-law who knows your Dad. I told Vince via FB how much I adore your blog! I just started mine a few weeks ago, but I thought you'd like to check it out. I made the Rainbow cake and referenced your blog!
Be Blessed,
PS I also love antiquing!

Julie said...

These turned out great!!! We are using the same science curriculum, we just did the planets too!! Come check it out at www.thehomeschoolchick-julie.blogspot.com

Lora @ my blessed life said...

Thanks so much for dropping by and introducing yourself! Vince had told me about your fb comment the other day~thank you:)
I checked out your blog & loved it! I tried to comment, but I'm not sure if it didn't post or if you have to approve it first...blogger was acting weird...ugh.

Lora @ my blessed life said...

I dropped by to check out your solar system & it looks great! How cool that you found one on sale:)
I tried to comment, but I'm not sure if it went through...blogger was acting weird again:)

FunMom said...

Lora, thanks for stopping by www.funmoms.org! Nice to meet you...and your blog is wonderful!! Great topics!

This Solar System is precious! And I so applaud you for tackling such hands-on projects at home. I teach for a large online charter school, and am always encouraging our parents to do this kind of thing with their kiddos. They learn so much better when they're "experiencing" a concept. Bet your little guy is so proud of it! :)

I'm supposed to tackle paper mache here in a few weeks too, and I have to admit that I'm a little intimidated. I haven't used the stuff in years! We'll see how it turns out...

Love it! Thanks for sharing!