Monday, February 15, 2010


I love my school room!

We ordered earthworms... so fun! I didn't realize that earthworms start from cocoons. They have a dirt like coating on the actual cocoon that came off when we soaked them (per directions). Then we put the small seed looking cocoons in the "hatching chamber" soaked in water. Already about 8 of the 20 cocoons have hatched. The earthworms are teeny-tiny and sooo cute! We will keep them for a while and then when the weather is warm we will put them in our small vegetable garden!

The boys are watching the cocoons as they soaked to see if any earthworms came out.

I soaked a bag of 15 bean soup beans to cook and then forgot them in the fridge for a while and I decided they had probably gotten moldy or gross and so I sent Isaac out with them to the compost pile. He discovered they had all started to sprout! I let him plant several of them. Man, bean plants grow so fast. The way these giant plants grow from these tiny seeds is sooooo amazing and fascinating to me.

Speaking of plants, we have been reading a biography of George Washington Carver. What an incredible and humble life he lived. I would highly recommend getting a biography of his. We are reading the one put out by the Sower Series. Very good. The boys all beg to read more chapters. We will visit Tuskegee University in Alabama where George taught for 40 years, next week. They have a museum on his life. Here is a picture of him in his lab.

He was incredible with plants. He was an agricultural chemist. He discovered over 300 uses for the peanut! What happened is he had recommended to the farmers in the South to not plant cotton because a horrible insect was coming that would eat all their cotton. Well this insect did come and ate all their cotton. He recommended that they give their soil a rest and plant peanuts. It would replenish the soil. They ended up listening to him. They harvested their peanuts but then couldn't find any buyers for their harvest. George was mortified! He ended up asking God to show him what to do with the peanut. Here is a quote from the book where George has a conversation with God:

"Oh, Mr. Creator," I asked softly, "why did You make this universe?"

A wind stirred the trees a bit. "Your little mind asks too much," cam e the answer. "Ask something more your size."

Confused, I rubbed my chin. "What was man made for?" I whispered.

Once more, I seemed to hear a voice on the wind. "You are still asking too much, little man. Try once more."

I fell to my knees. "Dear Mr. Creator, why did You make the peanut?"

Once more the breezes rustled through the trees. "Now you are asking questions your own size. Together we will find the answers."

Quickly I sprang to my feet. Not wasting a moment I ran back to the campus. Two of my students stood whispering outside the lab door.

"Bring me peanuts-please bring me all the peanuts you can carry," I ordered. "And hurry!"

.....Behind locked doors, I began my work or rather our work. I knew my hands were guided by a force other than my own. God would show me practical ways to use His creation. Carefully I ground the peanuts to fine powder. After heating the powder, I squeezed it under a hand press. The oil flowed freely into a cup.

Hours of testing paid off in exciting results. I discovered the peanut oil would blend with other fluids easily. It could be broken down to soap, cooking and rubbing oil, margarine, and cosmetics.

"Praise be, my Lord, stay with me and lead my hands!" I exclaimed....

Not only was he an incredible scientist, he was also an amazing man of God.

1 comment:

Daphne said...

That is so awesome!!! I loved seeing them leaning in to get a better look. You are so frugal to create a science experience in what could have been trash.
I can't wait to share the story of GWC with the children over some peanuts of course ;)