Even though many of us have been dealing with the reality of social distancing for a few weeks now, it can still be a major adjustment. Specifically for people with school-age kids, just figuring out how to keep everyone occupied for an entire day at home in addition to managing your own responsibilities can be overwhelming. But thankfully for us that are new to homeschooling, there’s actually a lot you can learn around your backyard pool. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
For science, think of your pool as one big chemistry lab. Teach your kids what products you put into your pool and what each of them does. Use a testing kit to teach them about acids, bases, and pH. Even if your child already understands these concepts, seeing them in the real world adds to the foundation of knowledge they’ve already built at school. We’ve written a couple of articles in the past that should be helpful to you in this process.
Also, if you’re struggling to keep them busy during the day, why not give them the information they need to help you with another chore?
Another area in which you can put your child’s knowledge to the test with your pool is in geometry. Depending on their grade level (and the shape of your pool), give them a tape measure and task them with finding the perimeter, circumference, or even volume of your pool. The last one is something even adults wrestle with from time to time, but it’s fairly easy once you get the hang of it.
To calculate a rough volume in gallons, use one of these formulas, making sure to measure everything in feet:
- Rectangular pool = length x width x average depth x 7.5
- Circular pool = r² x π x average depth x 7.5
If your pool has a shallow end and a deep end, you can find the average depth by measuring both and averaging the two. Award bonus points if your student can figure out why the measurements need to be multiplied by 7.5. (It’s because that’s the number of gallons in a cubic foot of water.)
If they made it this far, tell them it’s time for PE. Let them get some exercise! If you don’t have a heater your pool water may be a little bit chilly still, but have the kids ever really seemed to mind? Just practice your usual safety procedures and enjoy not being cooped up inside for a little while.