The Oil of Gladness

Are you a little “rusty” at having fun? Are your children “squeaking” about not wanting to do school today? Sounds like it’s time to oil your homeschool bus! Or to use a fascinating phrase from Psalm 45, perhaps it’s the “oil of gladness” that your homeschool needs. Today, let’s learn more about oil.

See how many kinds of oil you can find in your home this morning. Let’s start in the kitchen: Vegetable oil? Olive oil? Safflower oil? Walnut oil? Peanut oil? Canola oil? Sesame oil? After explaining that not ALL oil is edible, pour a teaspoon of each oil, one by one and let each child touch the tip of one finger to the oil and taste it. Which one tastes best? Which one tastes worst? Is there a consensus on a favorite? Again- remind them that only kitchen oils are edible!

Now let’s pour a few tablespoons of oil into a glass and then add some water from the faucet. Show your children how quickly the oil and water begin to separate. Oil and water do not mix. Let them watch in wonder as the oil floats to the top of the glass. Oil is lighter than water.

Put on your teacher’s “thinking cap” and try to remember where there’s a squeaky hinge in your house: Car door? Front door? Pantry door? Kitchen cabinet? Garage door? Tool shed door? Take some oil (3-in-1, WD-40 or even kitchen oil) and demonstrate how oil lubricates and penetrates and quiets a squeaky hinge.

Take a quick lap around the internet and find a few pictures of oil wells or offshore oil platforms. Today is the perfect day to “build an oil well” with whatever you have available: Wiki stix, Legos, popsicle sticks, Tinker toys, etc.

When you’re through with your construction project, talk with your children about where oil comes from and the many ways in which we use oil from gasoline and motor oil to making plastics and packaging. Here’s an interesting link to explore:

For lunch perhaps you’d like to have a salad with oil & vinegar dressing, or a good old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich; LOTS of oil in peanut butter! (If you happen to have a jar of “natural” peanut butter around that hasn’t been used for a few days, be sure to show the children how the oil has risen to the top of the jar.) If you decide to have potato chips or Fritos with lunch, be sure to set them out early on a paper plate and then let the children see the small spots where some of the oil has come out of their snack onto the paper plate.

Here is an interesting thought to discuss with your children…   Forgiveness is the oil of relationships. Josh McDowell

What do they think that means? How have they seen forgiveness used within your family to heal a relationship?

Psalm 45:7

2 Kings 4:1-7

James 5:14


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Becky said,

    My two kids made oil derricks out of straws, tape and paperclips. Then we took a piece of plywood with a circle cut out of the center. We put the plywood spanning two chairs. They hung a small plastic bucket from the top of the derrick with string and slowly added weights to test which one was strongest. This project came from the OERB in Oklahoma.

    Thanks for the other ideas!

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