Thursday, December 06, 2007

This Week's Homeschool Curriculum: Science

With classes over for the semester, I've been adding a homeschooling component to my interactions with the children. Although Pie is only two, I firmly believe that it's never too early to begin establishing basic scientific principles. This week we have focused on physics, particularly the law of gravity and the properties of solids and liquids. The following Scientific Facts have been emphasized:

  • Gravity: Snow cannot be made to go back up to the sky.
  • Solids: Toast is a solid. If it is cut into quarters it cannot be made to readhere.
  • Liquids: Milk is a liquid. Once it has been added to the bowl, the cereal cannot be returned to its previous dry, crispy state.

In response to these lessons, the children designed the following Scientific Experiment:

Purpose: To test the usefulness of crying and throwing temper tantrums in altering the basic laws of physics.

Method: Whenever snow/cut toast/soggy cereal was encountered, tantrums were thrown.

Observations: Tantrums had no observable effect on the temperature or depth of snow. With sufficient tantrum-throwing, however, researchers were able to alter the composition of both toast and cereal. Although the cut toast/soggy cereal could not be restored to its original state, additional toast and/or cereal could be procured.

Conclusion: Tantrum-throwing appears to have had little effect on the weather - so far. Further investigation is necessary. While tantrum-throwing did not alter the properties of toast and cereal, it did prove quite effective in altering parental behaviour. With adequate conditioning, parents can be trained to seek permission before irrevocably altering food items designed for consumption by the research team.

59 comments:

Mad Hatter said...

You're funny.

Carol said...

This is great! I just knew all kids were budding scientists... darn them!

Carol

Suki said...

LOL, that's so cute.

flutter said...

heh is it wrong that I think it's funny that kids freak over cut toast?

Jess said...

I love the vocabulary you use when you get inside your kids' heads like this.

Mimi said...

Oh dear. The main tantrum around here lately is alchemy-related: how much yelling is required to turn vegetable / toast / bananas / cereal / grapes into CHEEEEEESE!!! CHEEEEEEESE!!!

Veronica Mitchell said...

My littlest scientist has formed her own conclusions about the result of screaming bloody murder at 2 am, then smiling when a parent approaches. It is scientifically proven by multiple trials to result in Daddy playing with her in the living room for 30 minutes or more.

Mary Joan Koch said...

I love your sense of humor. My second, the scientist, discovered quite early that by totally avoiding the tantrums her 26-month-older sister threw, she could make us do whatever she wanted. Her charm offensive totally bamboozled us and it has been a tremendous career asset. It is a measure of her success that we call the quality charm, instead of manipulation:)

Jenn said...

Are you sure about tantrums not directly affecting weather?

Because I swear that when it gets stormy inside the castle, it starts thundering outside.

Maddy said...

Do you ever have the feeling that old Pavlov should have used us as subject rather than the poor old dog?
Cheers
This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"until blogger comments get themselves sorted out.
[see the joy of a google reader!]

Becky said...

Oh yes... I've definitely learned the "ask first lest make double" tenet.

Let me know if you make any headway on that gravity thingy.

Hairline Fracture said...

Too funny! I'm laughing at maddy's comment about us parents as Pavlov's dog. The kids do train us well, don't they?

Chantal said...

LOL my kids are so there!

alejna said...

I'm so gald you've shared the report of this research. It warms my heart to see science applied like this.

b*babbler said...

Ah, the unique power of the tantrum.

We've had a lot of that 'round these parts lately.

bren j. said...

Dangit! You mean my tantrums WON'T get rid of the snow? Drat!

Teah said...

I think I'm going to cry. I knew BBJ has been testing me, but I had no idea they had ORGANIZED! They're in cahoots, I tell you....Bub, Pie and BubbaJu!

livinginthegray.com said...

And all this time I thought they were just testing to see how long it took me to start throwing my own temper tantrum (not long). I had no idea they were actually learning about science, too!

lildb said...

dude, everyone is so *funny* lately. you're killing me with this.

is it winter? do we all find a way to crack each other up (i.e., stay sane) with the humorous anecdotes?

'cause it's totally working for me today.

cinnamon gurl said...

Ha! So true...

Julie Pippert said...

LOL...that is an excellent way to describe it. Let me dig deep and see if I can find ANYTHING humorous about my children's current behavior...

Julie
Using My Words

Karen said...

Our household would like to add the following findings:
Mommy's teacup is, in fact, hot. It is hot 95% of the time and only when empty is is not hot. The teacup is hot 100% of the time that mommy says "no touch, hot"
Trying again later appears to have no impact on the subject matter. How does she do that?

Julie Q. said...

This is great science. My kids are really hip on the whole 2nd Law of Thermodynamics business. They don't just know about the law of entropy, they ARE the law of entropy.

Mac and Cheese said...

You endure a lot in the name of science.

Jenifer said...

In our house this would have the conclusion of a tantrum can result in the absence of toast.

You're a funny gal.

Beck said...

Oh, you're a GOOD mom. The Baby conducted many experiments today on Cutting Crap Up And Throwing Stuff On The Floor, while I did my usual How Stupid Am I For Giving Her Scissors experiment.

bgirl said...

too funny!

baby~amore' said...

hilarious - love it.

Carrien said...

What? You didn't ask permission before cutting the toast into triangles?

[shakes head]

apparently I have been very well conditioned already. I don't even think about it any more, I just confirm 500 times before I do something so irrevocable as cutting toast. twitch, twitch...drool

Ms Picket To You said...

Wait! Are you saying the world is indeed flat, the sky indeed purple?

I knew I knew nothing, and now I know for sure.

JCK said...

Thank you for making me realize I've also been conducting scientific experiments in my home. I feel oh SO smart now.

Tantrums! I hear you, girl. What is it with food items, anyway. Or maybe it's a girl thing?

nomotherearth said...

ha,ha! I've got one chance to make the food the way the Boy likes iy or I'm screwed.

the dragonfly said...

How funny!!

At six months the Little Mister knows nothing about science. But he certainly knows that crying gets Mommy's attention! :)

Marie said...

Hee hee hee! Little minds come to those conclusions quite early. Outsmarting the best-intentions of parents.

Bon said...

apparently there's been scientific experimentation going on at our house, too! that clever Oscar. us dumb parents.

Kathryn said...

Ah yes, science experiments! So that is what my boys have been doing. I feel much better now. :)

Julie @ Letter9 said...

God you crack me up. And by that I don't mean "God, you crack me up" because while I think you're nice and all, and very funny as a subject of your kids' contract negotiations and science experiments, I just mean "God" as a turn of phrase. Sorry if I got your hopes up.

And DUDE, WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH BLOGGER LATELY? I feel like every time I leave a comment the little form has changed.

Lisa b said...

Solid research professor.
Nice work.

Mommy-Like Days said...

oooh--Boo was totally experimenting this week. She wanted to know what would happen if she (with no one looking) grabbed the full pitcher of milk from the island and poured the *whole* thing on the floor. Floor got wet! Mommy got mad! Experiment a success.

Mom101 said...

Fabulous.

I think my daughter needs a lesson in cutting sandwiches into triangles versus rectangles, and how it doesn't actually effect the molecular structure of the sandwich and therefore the taste.

Emily said...

Wow. That was really funny. Oh, and Flutter -- it is funny that kids freak out over cut toast, until they are your kids.

Terri said...

This is so funny! My kids perform "scientific experiments" frequently it seems. Though they are somewhat beyond the tantrum throwing phase, my youngest has formulated a hypothesis that the more she whines the more likely she is to get her way. She has performed numerous experiments to test this hypothesis, but hasn't always been pleased with the results.

Jennifer said...

And there you have it, folks. Science class for homeschoolers. I think my day today may have qualified as such, too... In short, it's called "live and learn." It happens every day at our house, and it should DEFINITELY be on the syllabus.

As the mom/teacher, I have to give you an A plus on this one... lots of thought had to go into how to skew these statistics and write about them from such a funny perspective. :)

Kelly said...

I never thought I'd be the parent who asks her kids how they want their damn toast cut -- triangles, squares, rectangles, crust on or off, cinammon sugar, peanut butter, or just plain butter -- but here I am, doing just that. All for the exact purpose of avoiding a freak-out.

Antique Mommy said...

You are so creative. I love it.

Niksmom said...

ROFL! See, you don't have to be a rocket scientist after all!

Sue said...

hee hee We have reached similar conclusions. So I wish they would really STOP TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS. It's a PROOF now. Let it go. :>

Casdok said...

Yes lol!!

painted maypole said...

my what persistent little scientists you have

Angela said...

My son has discovered that he is good at kicking momma and daddy out of bed in the morning, even better than the alarm clock

JustJessie said...

LOL! I was reading that as a serious post at first. It took me a minute to realize you were joking. (btw, this is my first time to your blog!)

Patois said...

It's always a treat to see how your students are teaching you.

Pieces said...

I love the "so far" qualification. You WILL let us know if temper tantrums eventually DO change the weather, right? Cause I can pitch a good one.

Catherine said...

Oh my GOODNESS. I laughed until I had tears in my eyes. If I'm ever rich (don't worry, I won't be) I'm totally hiring you to write for my blog because THAT was "everyday life as lyric poetry"

Susanne said...

Great lessons! (And for I minute I felt all bad because I was thinking you really went into super-teacher mode here. Which would be fine I suppose...)

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh no. You CUT the toast!???? How dare you!

But if those tantrums could send some snow down here for Christmas, we'd really appreciate it.

Heather said...

You've got your own little Pavlovian scientists.

dawn224 said...

sadly I have tested the hypothesis of 'if I freak out will the weather improve?" many times, meeting with the same results as your small ones.

Kelly Malloy said...

That is too funny!