Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Not Back To School Year Begins

When I applied for the job of mother, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I didn’t improve the job description by adding home educator to the list of responsibilities. The past six weeks, I’ve been a single mother six days a week. (My husband is currently working on a contract out of state.) I’m beginning to look at this job I’ve signed up for. It has truly shaken some of my fundamental beliefs about what works for my family.

I’ve started to day dream about Kindergarten. For my own sanity, I’m allowing activities I previously deemed “not right for our family” - like more television. I have less physical and emotional space to allow the endless free roaming through parks. I am less patient than I was six weeks ago. Still, I think to myself, this is temporary. Many women do this without any hope of respite year after year after year.

It was getting downright depressing. I actually began talking about school with Winston. He did not like that idea one iota. Then, this morning, something wonderful happened. It was the kind of wonderful which makes me stop and say, Oh, that is why I’m doing this.

As many of you may remember, Winston loves all things science related. But, his passion is chemical reactions. We’ve done baking soda and food colour. We’ve done mixing of primary colours. We capture bugs and study them. We’ve hatched butterflies and ladybugs and set them free. For the longest time, his favourite bed time stories were The Rookie Read Aloud Science Books, “What Is Matter,” “What Is A Solid,” and “What Is A Liquid”. We find ourselves watching those mad professors from the University Of Nottingham. They make the Periodic Table Of Elements so thrilling.

After them, my science just isn’t cutting it anymore. Winston wanted to know “why can’t we get some hydrogen and balloons like the men on the computer?” Hard question to answer. So, I started hunting around for something else to do. I came across this science kit that had been stashed in favour of the outside summer.

“Scientific Explorer’s Magic Science” has been a blast. This morning we used purple cabbage juice powder as an acid base indicator. He had mixed baking soda into coloured water before. Nothing exciting happened until he added an acid. So, he wasn’t expecting much when he dropped the baking soda (base) into the purple water. Then the water turned blue. His face was priceless! He was eager to see what happened when we dropped the citric acid into the water. It turned red. Deep dimples and deafening decibel levels. Then, the last and most exciting thing. The creation of fizzing, foamy purple foam! “Let’s do it again!” He exclaimed. And so we did. Again and again and again.

2 comments:

Karen James said...

Hi Christina,

This sounds like so much fun! Ethan and I are trying to make a potato battery--not much success yet, but we found this link and thought of you guys:

http://www.monkeysee.com/play/6354

I'm sorry to hear you are alone so much right now. That must be hard. We're thinking of you.

K.

Christina Springer said...

Thanks for the great link Karen! That looks like one fun project! It's nice to see Winston isn't the only science-head out there!