Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Science Lessons

On of the tough things about homeschooling in Malawi is science.  More specifically shopping for science lessons.  Basic things like balloons or modeling clay are either impossible to find or ridiculously expensive.  We needed balloons for something, I forget what, but we went to 5 different stores before I found balloons.  I was all excited and grabbed the package.  Dave stood there looking at the price, until finally he asked slowly, "Are you really going to pay 10 dollars for a bag of balloons?"  Sigh.  I guess not when you put it that way.

Anyway, the two older boys have started working out of their chemistry book, yes I have both boys working out of the same book even though they are different grades.  I don't remember much from junior high science, do you?  I have yet to be able to find everything needed for any of the experiments, and the boys and I were getting really frustrated.  Yes we have been able to watch the experiments performed on Brain Pop or Discovery Streaming, but it really isn't the same as doing the experiments yourself.

Finally I had an epiphany! Last Christmas Colin got a super-duper huge electronics set complete with teachers manuals and student learning guides.  Out with chemistry, in with electricity.  Looking at the first few lessons had me trying desperately to remember the difference between series and parallel circuits. I know one of those is the reason when one Christmas light goes out on the tree they all flipping go out, but I don't know which or why, and actually I don't much care. I finally asked Dave for help.  Mr."I-did-advance-electronics-in-the-navy"  has taken over the science lessons for the Alonzo and Colin. Yay!!

Now I am sitting here with my feet up listening to him drone on and on about protons and electrons, charged particles and switches.  The boys are totally enraptured.  They're happy they are learning "real" science. Dad's happy to be involved in the homeschooling and teaching something he likes.  I am happy.  I'm relaxing with a beer.  Now all I have to do is find someone who wants to teach the boys reading, or math, or writing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Lips

One thing every parent knows is that when the kids get really quiet they are up to something.  Today I went to investigate my suddenly way too quiet kids and found this:

Pumpkin lips tattoo.  Just fabulous.