Monday, April 26, 2010

E = m(mom)c(can’t)²

The theory of relativity works at our house, if it’s not relative, we don’t do it. Unfortunately this has been haunting me for the past month.

We are not very scientific oriented. I enjoy science, the Discovery channel is a household favorite. I enjoy math, too, for its logic and accuracy. But generally, we are into music, writing and other artistic endeavors. And we are stodgy in our willingness to explore outside our niches.

This week is our homeschool science fair. I’ve been reminding the girls to get their projects ready and handing off the responsibility to Paul. Paul loves science fairs. He did projects with Erica that won awards, in spite of our artistic leaning. So it came as a surprise last week when he told me we are all too stretched to do the fair. April’s had at least one planned major event a week with two or three more thrown in as unexpected challenges. Not fun, but we’ve managed on our feet. This week is holding true to this unusual form.

Due to this late change in procedure, we were stuck. One teen is insisting science is not relative to her life and I am trying to make the point it is, even if relegated to the back porch most of the time. Paul’s solution is to assign reports. I’m happy with that, no extra work for him and me, and they will do the same research.

I didn’t bring it up until we were in the car on our way to do something fun. I have to pick my moments! I briefly explained that Dad and I are up to our ears in ‘other things’ and they don’t have a project ready so we want them to write a ten page report on a science subject of their choice due the end of May. That’s fair and they have a whole month. The other homeschoolers will lose the benefit of their input but they will be off the hook this week and can help out at the fair in other ways.

There was a long silent pause. Then I almost ran a red light, their responses blew me away. One exclaimed she wanted to do her presentation, never mind the fact that she only has four days to pull it together. The other one thought for a moment and declared reports were awful so she’d do her project as well in four days. I added that Dad and I can’t help and they agreed they are fine with that.

Yes! We’re on!

Their determination is refreshing, even now they are studying on the net, taking notes and calling me over to review experiments.

Does the theory of relativity allow for the unexpected? I’m not sure but I use the scientific method frequently on non-scientific things like relationships. This time the data has come back to go with the easiest solution and be prepared to change midstream. I am thrilled to have my teens step up to the plate and take charge when they weren't so inclined to begin with. They both get A’s for amazing attitudes!

Photo credit: Erica McGrath


  1. I think that is wonderful that both of your teens are pushing themselves to get the work done in just four days. I agree with you that they have amazing attitudes. Would be interested in knowing what each of their projects are on.

  2. They are working together on a sound project. They found a cool experiment online using sound to make patterns. The patterns blow my mind, when the sound waves start, the sand moves out like a galaxy. Which leads me to think about Genesis when God spoke the world into being. It's really wild. :)

  3. What a cool story and great the way things worked out. Let us know how it's going in 4 days. :)


  4. Margo, they did great and so did the group! We had everything from a volcano to mealworm cookies, so gross! The girls forgot half of their presentation at home but nothing was lost in the long run. :)


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