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.