Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Home Educating: The Science Of Swimming

We dragged ourselves out of bed this morning feeling totally shattered after our awesome weekend at the Wychwood Festival and headed to Thomas's swimming lesson. Now, my son is terrified of the water. I have no idea why, but he really is. Anyway, he recently started one-to-one lessons with a lovely lady called Amanda who is very patient with him. As I watched him trying really hard to be brave and to follow instructions, I suddenly realised that there's a lot of science going on here, and so this afternoon's lesson was sorted.

The Science Of Swimming.
  • We looked at how a ball of plasticine sinks, but the same piece of plasticine will float (or sink more slowly) if it's flattened. We looked at why this might happen and discussed how lying flat in the water will make it easier to swim.
  • We pushed our hands into the water when they were flat and our fingers were together and felt a strong resistance that wasn't there when we put our hands in finger tips first. This will help us float and also shows us how we can propel ourselves through the water.
  • When we were doing this, we also noticed a 'skin' on the water and discovered this is called meniscus. 
  • Then we got a glass and put it on to the water upside down and pushed it down. We noticed that the glass didn't fill with water because there was air in the glass that couldn't escape at that angle. This will help prevent water from getting into your ears or nose when you are swimming - and blowing the air out through your nose will stop the water from getting in too.
  • Slightly off-topic, but Thomas also noticed that our fingers look bigger through the water and that water is displaced when you put something into it.
I love home educating. Learning is all around us and being able to leap on it at exactly the time it's relevant is great. Look at all that Thomas has learned today. Who'd have thought there was so much child-accessible science just in swimming?

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