Oh my word, such a sciencey few days: M has been asking lots of questions and I’ve been thinking about how much I need to up my game in the science department. My knowledge of anything sciencey is appalling and it’s something I’d really like to rectify if I’m going to give the sausages a balanced education. I don’t mean that in the teaching sense, but I feel that currently my strewing is heavily weighted on the arts side and there is very little on the science side.
Anyhoo, as usual, M is pushing me along, letting me know when she is ready to take a step forward. Her questions this week (well, at least the ones that made me stop and think) were: “What makes some things heavier than others?; What’s an atom? What’s the point of genes?” Jeez, where do I start?
Well, for starters I need to learn some of this stuff myself. A great deal of M’s learning is filtered through me, this is mainly because she has issues with any form of information intake. So if we’re watching a film, I have to pause it every so often to recap on what’s just happened; if we’re reading a book, again I have to recap after each paragraph so that the information is simplified and re-organised in a way that she understands. Sounds like hard work but I’ve normalised it so much that I barely notice it anymore.
So I’ve been looking around for some sort of way that I can learn very basic science. Most resources assume some sort of prior knowledge – I even tried our See Inside Science book but I found it baffling! The other day I happened to be on Khan Academy and I noticed that there’s a science section on there – bingo! I spent a couple of hours yesterday learning all about atoms, protons and atomic weight. After that I went upstairs and succinctly described an atom to M and told her that you could string a million carbon atoms across the width of one strand of hair. This pleased her muchly so my time was not wasted. 🙂
We’ve also been watching ‘Colour: The Spectrum of Science‘ together this week. I can highly recommend it! In the first episode, Lapis Lazuli made an appearance, which intrigued the girls as they have mined for it in Minecraft. The presenter ground the rock down to make paint so D has now added a pestle and mortar to her Christmas list, which I think might be the best present request ever!
This evening we watched the second episode and M was grilling me as to why chlorophyll was green and not any other colour, and wanted to know the full details of photosynthesis – I struggled to answer some of her questions so I have a fair bit of research to do, starting with light waves which I’ve never really understood.
The way that M grills me for answers leaves me thinking she’d do very well on Prime Minister’s Question Time. Her Nanny took her to see Annie at our local theatre this afternoon and when she got back I was reading through the programme, which had a little history on the 1930’s depression era. She was really interested in the whole cycle of how and why it started so I got another grilling. 🙂
D has been SUPER excited this week because her friend came over to play on Wednesday. It was honestly like Christmas: she couldn’t wait for bedtime to come and then she couldn’t sleep for excitement! They had a really lovely time together and D has been counting the days until she can see her again.
We’ve had a very quiet day today, partly because M was out at the theatre all afternoon and partly because I’ve been feeling a little unwell. D has spent most of the day cuddled up to me on the sofa, doing all sorts of ‘schooly’ type learning: she began with her Times Tables book, and then went onto her onebillion maths app which she played for hours before going onto some letter writing practise on her iTrace app.
Phew. It seems like there’s suddenly been a whoosh of learning over the past few days – no wonder I feel tired! 🙂