The Magic of Science

In this homeschool, DJ handles the science. He’s not a really sciencey kind of guy, but he actually grasps concepts like the speed of gravity and light-years. He almost never resorts to the explanation, “It’s magic.” Like I do.

While he and the older kids are going through Joy Hakim’s The Story of Science together, he set up an experiment with them.

This is an aspect of science that I can’t stand. I don’t even like doing crafts, which at least has the advantage of creating art. My science experiments end up going wonky and not really proving anything to me, and then leaving a mess to clean up. (“See? You’ve isolated strawberry DNA! Right there. I think? I know, whatever. Let’s clean up.”)

But DJ had Bookgirl and Gamerboy find a board that was at least 2 meters long — despite Bookgirl’s artistic objections to the metric system — and gave them each a timer to clock the speed of balls rolling down the ramp.

Ranger was fascinated and insisted on joining in.

DJ: “Okay, Ball Number One… Go! Stop! What’s your time?”

Bookgirl: “1.72.”

Gamerboy: “1.70”

Ranger: “I got 2000 50 50!”

Bookgirl & Gamerboy: “RANGER! STOP SAYING STUFF!”


In the end, the experiment was successful. They saw that the balls didn’t roll at a constant rate. DJ explained the rate of gravity on earth as 9.8 meters per second. I was interested, too, until he tried to explain that after three seconds, the object was traveling 9.8-squared x 9.8-squared instead of 9.8 x 3, and I couldn’t grasp it and started to get mad and this is why he teaches science instead of me.

It’s all magic anyway.



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