Friday, 5 December 2008

From science there is no escape

Fridays is science day. And I am not giving up just because I have a leaking nose. Between sneezing I caution about germs with Joseph Lister. Or until I am told to shut up by Shark because I am putting her off Cheerios, thanks to my cautions of the hazards of coughing directly into open wounds during abdominal surgery.

Well of course I am not deterred, because from my point of view, home education is all about turning misery to advantage. Of course I know that at the sight of mother getting out the anatomical body with the plastic liver the gritlets might say actually that is turning advantage to misery, but these things have to be done.

Anyway, I say indulge me for ten minutes while I show you the kidneys as well, because then we can all go out to meet San and her lovely kids, and roam around a playground for an hour to celebrate the fact it's not raining. There, you see? Meteorology.

And what better lesson in the natural sciences than to trek to the playground on mama's new route. That's across a boggy field wondering why we are up to our ankles in water. Is it because the recent rainfall is draining into the river I ask, or is it that the river is seeping into the land?

Here we are looking for a way out of the field. The playground is across the river, on the other side.

There isn't actually any path to anywhere. There is a flooded river at the end of this field with no bridge. After fifteen minutes I speculate I might have found the only field in England built entirely on an island since after exploration of the field we can see that on three sides we are surrounded by water with no means of crossing.

I could turn that into a problem solving lesson but Tiger starts legging it back to the car, saying she's had enough, and complaining that half her playtime's been taken up getting her feet wet. It is not playtime, I tell Tiger, it is a natural sciences and geography lesson about rivers, drainage, and a lesson on the need to read maps properly to avoid the necessity of a half-mile walk on water.

Well everyone can properly cheer up and dry out later this afternoon, because I have tickets for our private cinema screening of Madagascar II, which is opening in town today.

And be in no doubt that this is science as well, I tell the gritlets. Because afterwards we will have that important discussion about mass, momentum and force, like how far can you propel a cartoon lion from an elastic band strung between two trees while hindered by a dancing lemur and a fat hippopotamus?

1 comment:

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

I won't pretend to know what you mean about the cartoon lion, but the boggy field sounds just dreadful. I can see why the gritlets didn't appreciate that. Other than that, you make home education sound like a lot of fun and I hope that the gritlets appreciate the unconventionality of it all.