Monday, October 6, 2008

I Hate Science Experiments

First off, I have to 'fess up. For those of you who don't know me personally (yes, Mom, I have real readers now!), in my life BK (before kids) I was an English teacher. Science is not, nor has it ever been, my thing. For that matter, I feel pretty much the same about math. Generally, as a homeschooling mom, I try to keep my negativity to myself. You know, so as not to squelch anybody's natural love for learning and whatnot. For this experiment though, I had to make a tiny exception. Why? Because it involved sand. Yes, sand. And a hairdryer!

This is the aftermath. Yes, that is sand all over the tile, because the little foil wall we were instructed to build was totally ineffective. I should have clued in to the fact that the directions also suggested to not perform this experiment on a carpeted area. Yep, that shoulda told me right then and there to move the whole operation outside.

Here's a little closeup
That's modeling clay, foil, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, baking spray, and lots of sand. And not any old sand, either. This was a nice fine sand. You know, the kind that's hard to sweep up, that tracks through the house, that you keep feeling under your feet crunching on the tile, even after you've cleaned it all up...twice.

Here's the mad scientist, in all his glory. Don't you wish you could go to school in your pajamas?

Confession #2: It's not really the mess that irks me. As anyone who's ever been to my house can attest, I'm pretty impervious to being bothered by messes. (Just thought I'd throw in some big words to prove that whole English teacher thing.) Nope, it's actually the experimenting process that gets me. See, I know it's not really an experiment. It's more like a demonstration. The writer of the curriculum wants us to see his point in a hands-on kind of way. So, he's going to make us gather all these materials, some of which are totally inadequate for the task at hand, and then he's going to walk us through all these steps, some clear and some not so clear, to arrive at a conclusion he already knows to be true.

Why doesn't he just tell us what he wants us to know and let us READ about it? (Did I mention I was an English teacher?)

I'm guessing by the smile on the mad scientist's face that he doesn't share his beloved mother's opinion. Ah well, at least his love of science wasn't squelched. Mine, on the other hand, well, that's another story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He looks like he's really enjoying this. You are such a good home school mom. I skipped most of the science experiments when I taught my girl.

My hubby is an English teacher at a public high school, too. He teaches Spanish also.