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Ds11 did a science experiment by himself today - this is huge here.


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OK, I know some of you might be thinking, "Kids experiment all the time by themselves!" Well, I *try* to conduct an experiment every week or two with my kids, and do a bit of a writeup, so that dd will learn to narrate observations and ds will learn to use the scientific method. I usually have a hard time keeping both of them on track while I gather supplies, figure out what I'm doing, figure out who can help with what, and figure out something that will be interesting to both. And then ds usually hates doing the writeup, so I have to cheerily talk him through that. I've also told him before that *he* can pick experiments from the book (we use the Reader's Digest books previously rec'd. in WTM), but he swoons uninterestedly.:D

 

Today, I was still working with dd and I cheerily told ds (again), "Dear, why don't you go look for an experiment from the earth book that *you'd* like to do?" "Ah, do I have to? Oh alright." So, he picked one and showed me. I said, "Why don't you go gather supplies - ask Daddy for some sand - and get it ready?" Next thing I know, he is getting sand from Daddy, asking me for a pan to put it in, and then I hear him out in the kitchen, doing something. Next I hear, "I need some help!" to the tune of water splashing....all over the floor. I ran to get rags while he frantically was trying to wipe water. He told me he had opened the bag of water instead of poking a hole in the bag like the book said to - BUT HE DID THE EXPERIMENT FROM BEGINNING TO END ALL BY HIMSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He thought I'd be mad about the water on the floor, the sand on the table, and the dirty bag - but NO! I cheered him on for doing the experiment! We helped him clean up, he explained it all to me, and then he, he himself, plopped down at the computer to do his writeup with NO COMPLAINT. Afterwards it occurred to me to tell him that *this* is doing science - doing science is messy, it doesn't always go perfectly, it doesn't always make sense - but this is *doing science* - and I think he liked that.

 

Brag over. :D

 

BTW, another reason this is huge for us is that I have a hard time getting excited about experiments - but I try to mask that, because I want my kids to learn to do science - ds is esp. keen about science reading.

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I forgot to add: I realize science experiments should be more of a team effort, so I don't plan to send ds off on his own now :D. Still, it was nice that he finally took the initiative. I told him today that if he keeps doing that, I will help him with whatever he needs help with (supervising and helping him think through what he is doing). I don't know how to explain - it was like it took the pressure off me to come up with some WOW of a project (can't afford to buy kits, so we rely on books and household stuff) - that's the part I didn't like. But if he comes up with things from the book or whatever he thinks up on his own and takes the initiative, I can get into helping him with that. Phew!

 

A little while ago, he picked up dd's leftover hot cocoa mug, with sludge in the bottom. He said, "I wonder, if we put this in the freezer, if it would turn into chocolate candy." Ding ding ding! I quickly clued in and told him, "So try it." He did, but laughingly saying, "But I'm not writing this one up!!!"

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