Friday, February 28, 2014

When Life Gives You Rubber Gloves

If you were to walk into my kitchen right now, you would see a big red bowl on the table. You might think that I am in the middle of baking something, which has been known to happen. You would be wrong. If you investigate further, you would see that the bowl is partially filled with water, in which floats a blue rubber medical glove.

You would be forgiven for being very concerned about the sanity or health of my family. I cannot speak to the former, but we are all healthy. No, the reason for the bowl and accoutrements is that Mim occasionally likes to pretend she is milking a cow. ...yeah...

She fills the glove with water, carefully pokes tiny holes in the ends of the fingers, and proceeds to "milk the cow" back into the bowl. I blame all the field trips to "city farms" over the years. She demonstrated her technique this morning, explaining carefully how this worked and was very realistic. My daughter has never actually milked a cow, of course. This is all theory.

I don't know why this was suddenly the activity for the morning, but I let it happen. Personally I'm just glad that she hasn't thought of using real milk instead of water.

Maybe she's got a great career in the dairy industry someday. A mom can dream.

Dad to the Rescue

My best homeschooling decision this year has been to beg, trick and encourage my husband to take over the science class for the second semester.

Last fall we began doing a joint chemistry class with friends who also do school at home. I "taught" the class to the best of my ability, and I think we learned...something. Or I hope so. After Christmas, the plan was to switch to physics, since I think grade school level children can still have a "well-trained mind" without a year on each.

As I started looking through all my physics books, though, I became more and more stressed. Unlike chemistry, I never took physics in high school, and math is not my strong suit. Enter "Super-Dad!" also known as Art. He saw the growing panic in my eyes and offered to take the class for the semester.

It meets once a week at our house, and the kids are actually getting to ask questions and learn from someone who not only took physics in high school, but also has a degree in mechanical engineering. I feel much better about that.

They've talked about Isaac Newton, built marshmallow/spaghetti structures, flown paper airplanes, played with magnets and lasers...and presumably Art didn't have to write himself notes to remember what the definitions of their vocabulary words were.

Yes, there is some guilt in asking my long-suffering spouse to teach a class after he's worked all day, but the relief and joy is strong enough that the guilt has been mostly smothered.
I now get at least one hour a week to hide away in another part of the house while education happens. It's a great feeling.