|(leftover saag paneer for breakfast!)|
Although he reads Scientific American every morning with his breakfast, Tim couldn't answer N.'s questions any better than I could, so he decided to incorporate the periodic table into their daily school time. First they looked up an element per day in the encyclopedia. After a few days of this, Tim found Theodore Gray's The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, a gorgeous and informative account of the periodic table which they are now slowly working their way through. And they've also started reading together Sam Kean's The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements.
Non-homeschooling parents are often skeptical that homeschooling parents can adequately teach their children science. As graduates of otherwise quite good schools, neither Tim nor I had anything resembling a decent education in science, particularly in chemistry and physics. But rather than disqualify us, I think this makes us particularly apt for the task, not as science teachers but as co-learners. We're quite excited by this chance to get it right, to learn together the scientific foundations we never got as kids ourselves. I hope that as we do so, especially with the narrative accounts of science that appeal to all three of us, N. may not need to relearn all this as an adult. Although as Tim and I can both testify, relearning science as an adult is actually pretty fun.