science lessons

I’ve never taught my kids science. I’ve read them books about science-y things—the periodic table, human anatomy, erosion, whatever—but we never did straight-up science. I figured they could just read a book and learn it on their own time if they were interested. (Example: my older son decided to become an EMT, took a class that involved things such as insulin levels and blood vessels, and I was like, See? He’s learning science and I’m not even doing anything!)

But then my older daughter started making noises about being possibly, maybe, potentially, I-don’t-know-perhaps? interested in science. Vet work, maybe. Something with animals, vaccines, and well, science. Probably it was time to start laying a basic foundation, getting some of the terminology under her belt. However, since academics don’t come easy to her, I knew we’d have to be more proactive and intentional. But I really, really, reallyreallyreally didn’t want to do the teaching.

And that’s when it hit me: DAD. My father’s been a science teacher his whole life. Why not ask him to tutor her?

Right away Dad said yes. Ever since the end of this summer, my older daughter has been going over to my parents’ house twice a week for science lessons. It’s a serious matter, these lessons. There’s homework (Aim for an hour a day, five days a week, I instructed Dad) and charts, microscopes and real goldfish, diagrams and plants.

And then when my son, his EMT training complete (for now), decided he’d like to study Anatomy and Physiology, my dad said sure. Now both kids are trekking over for lessons. Sometimes they have their lessons individually, back-to-back, and other times (like when he shot a deer and they did an organ dissection) Dad lumps them together. My mother plies the kids with yummy treats, like toast and cake and entire dinners, and then they come home and do their homework.

Information is sticking, too. This morning while I was explaining Algebra problems, I noticed my older daughter was doodling an atom in the corner of her notebook, the electrons orbiting a blob of neutrons and protons.

Way to go, Dad, and thanks!

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (12.14.15), hot chocolate mix, constant vigilance!, sunrise, sunset, my elephant, crazier than usual, cracked wheat pancakes, Sunday vignettes: human anatomy, and ginger cream scones.


  • Lana

    One more thing-as a Mom who had five college kids and four of them got full tuition scholarships. You have to play the game to get into your preferred college. Check ahead of time on their minimum requirements in all subjects. Call the admin office and pick their brains. They are willing to tell you what you need to do. We did three years of the same foreign language in high school because this gave our kids a huge advantage over other applicants and we loaded on the math and lab sciences. The only way to get into the Clemson engineering program was to really stand out and we got two of them in there. BTW-logic counts as a lab science for most colleges but the kids will drive you nuts with the logic vs fallacy discussions.

  • Lana

    How wonderful! Our middle son did 8 lab sciences in high school because he wanted to and it helped him get a full scholarship to Clemson.

  • Becky

    How fun for everyone! Science is pretty much completely over my head most of the time too. Although baking is chemistry, so I sort of get some of that, but not enough to teach chemistry. I can teach baking though.

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