Friday, March 5, 2010


The kids had a day of science classes at The Children's Museum yesterday. J had his own schedule and map, and managed to get himself to his own classes all day long, so I didn't have any opportunity to photograph him. But I tagged along to all of Zoo Boy's classes (a bit of a necessity if I expect him to actually stay IN his classes...) so I got a lot of pics of him doing experiments, observations, and projects, so we can follow him below.

J attended classes for kids in grades 3-5. His first was on the Water Cycle, the next was on Weather and Space (in the planetarium), the third was about aerodynamics and race car construction, and the fourth was on chemistry. His favorite was chemistry (as I suspected it might be).

Zoo Boy's classes were geared for pre-K through 1st grade. His first class was in the planetarium, where they showed a cute program about two boys who build a cardboard rocket and visit all the planets in our solar system. (I had a nice little nap during the show.) His second class was a chemistry class about Polymers, and the kids created slime. Predictably, the Boy didn't want to handle the slime, so I had to assist him with all of the experiments they did with them to try to determine whether slime is a liquid or a solid.

Next he had a biology class about the life and habits of red worms. Also predictably, he didn't want to look in the bin of compost the worms lived in (and honestly, I don't blame him, it smelled just awful), nor did he want to touch the worm he was assigned to study. Fortunately he had a lab partner who was more than willing to do the more sensory-challenging portions of the experiments, and after much reassurance from me that nobody was going to make him do anything he didn't want to, he managed to participate more or less fully in the class.

His final class was about magnets and discovering which objects they attract, and how they interact with each other.

At the end of the day, we all met in the planetarium for a cool presentation about lasers. It was a really fun day for the kids, and we walked Kiri (who hung out in the van while we were in classes) at lunchtime and after we were done, so she had fun, too.

I was grateful for the opportunity to observe Zoo Boy amongst a large group of his peers -- 30 or so similarly aged homeschooled children. I've known right along that he kind of sticks out in a group of typically schooled children, but some of that I blame on the difference in their learning environments. But getting to watch him and see the same differences amongst a good sampling of same-aged homeschooled kids was a bit of an "ah ha" experience for me. Clearly he's academically advanced, and just as clearly he's quite emotionally immature, both of which I only had a vague feel for. Combined with his lingering sensory issues, it gives The Map Man and I some fodder for more thinking on and discussing the subject of meeting his needs.

1 comment:

Alyss said...

I've taught that class about slime, though we made a couple different kinds of "slime".. it's super fun if you're willing to touch stuff :)

I'm sorry the compost bin smelled bad! I compost with worms and my bin does not smell bad at all. They are probably putting too much food in, or keeping it too wet. Bummer.

Glad you guys had fun. I'm jealous, I wish I got to spend the day doing so much fun stuff :)