Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter Break Learning ~ Series and Parallel Circuits

I spent some time this afternoon organizing the laundry room. I dumped all the old paint jars, washed and dried them, and put them in our shoe boxes ready to be filled and used again in the next term. I also cleared out some old art supplies; I doubt we'll have any use for tempera paint. I discreetly moved some of the lesser quality supplies that we don't use into a donation box.

We have a counter in the laundry room that has mostly functioned as a horizontal catch-all, despite the presence of several baskets that are intended to contain specific items such as dog paraphernalia and bike gear. I cleared everything off the counter and designated it our science station, with strong admonitions to keep it clear.

This year J-Baby received several science-themed kits; Snap Circuits, a crystal growing kit, an underwater volcano kit, and an artificial snow kit. He also has several kits that we've acquired over the years and not worked with (there have been many that we have done). I put all the kits into the cabinet above the counter.

The boys were chomping at the bit to "do science" so we opened a simple traffic light kit designed to teach about circuits. The boys and Papa created a series and then a parallel circuit, drew diagrams, and recorded their observations in the boys' main lesson books. They had so much fun that they said the want to "do science" every night.

This kind of science generally falls outside of the Waldorf curriculum for the boys' grade level; however, I have learned not to interfere with Papa when he wants to bring something to the boys. He handles most of their history lessons and a lot of their science, two subjects that he enjoys and has expertise in. I wouldn't want to stop this kind of learning in the name of remaining "pure" Waldorf; the boys need to see Papa and I as a team with both of us contributing toward their education. I've met far too many mothers who feel burdened with homeschooling but either don't know how to ask for help or are afraid that their partners won't do it "right".

J-Baby has a strong interest in science; he would truly rather read a science book than a work of fiction. His passion for science may fade in the future, but for now it is something to marvel at and nourish.

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