18 January 2006

Tuesday Teatime postponed for trip to Science Center

At the Science Center website, click on For Educators, click on Homeschool Days, discover "January 17; Forces of Nature; Volcanic eruptions, trembling fault lines, devastating tornadoes..." TORNADOES! Woohoo, they're gonna talk about TORNADOES! We gotta go!

The excitement at our house is high. We rush through lunch so we can leave extra early, allowing plenty of Getting Lost time. Words of encouragement issue from the backseat, "Mommy, you found the playgrounds yesterday. I think you'll be able to find the Science Center today." Indeed, I manage to drive straight to it, although part of the time I really have no idea where I am. We find a free parking space, and the backseat bursts into song: "There is parking, there is parking, dormez vous, dormz vous." (I'm not saying that the song makes any sense whatsoever, I'm just saying it was a song.)

In we go for some serious wandering-around-trying-to-figure-out-where-the-heck-this-event-is, although the kids are more interested in wandering around looking at the exhibits. I discover that if I had scrolled down past every single description of every single Homeschool Day for 2006 I would've eventually discovered that 1) I was supposed to call for reservations, and 2) this was going to cost $7.50 per person. Let us pause to consider how convenient it would have been to put that at the TOP of the web page. Anyway, for once in my life (and I must emphasize the ONCE) I am not only carrying cash on my person, but enough cash to cover tickets for all 3 of us.

There was a bit of a snafu when we got downstairs and discovered that the kids were segregated by age. VKid2 was offended that she couldn't be with VKid1. Also, I always find it awkward when asked about what grade my kids are in, because I don't think in those terms. Should I whip out our latest Iowa Test of Basic Skills and discuss it with the guy who's taking tickets? Or should I just guess based on age range, keeping in mind that I'm not sure what the correct age ranges are in this state. I chose the latter.

So, VKid1 headed into the 4th - 6th grade group. I accompanied VKid2 into the Kindergarten - First grade group. Yes, VKid2, the kid who has on several occasions informed me that she really should be going to public school because she wants to be around all of those other kids. Yeah. So, we get into this group of 20plus kids who do not realize that she's the center of the universe ... and discover that some of the kids are (and I hope you realize the horrifying implications of this statement) boys. Boys of kindergarten/first grade age who are acting like a bunch of ... boys. It was an eye-opening experience.

Setting aside the annoyance of not being able to handpick one's classmates, some of the stuff we did was cool. We had a demo of a river flooding, which reminded me a lot of passages in Minn of the Mississippi , which we recently read. They had some neat stuff that could be used to simulate earthquakes. On the other hand, NO TORNADOES. Yoohoo, that's why we came. WE WANT TORNADOES.

So, we would rate the experience as some good (Mommy can find the Science Center, the Science Center has some cool stuff in it, VKid2 is clearer now on what public school would be like) and some bad (no tornadoes, sort of expensive, VKid2 was not consulted about who would be allowed in her class). I doubt we will go to every Homeschool Day, but we will probably go to some. And we'll definitely return to the Science Center.

As I write, a new day is dawning. We hope to get around to Tuesday Teatime today. We also hope to remember to do French, since in all the excitement yesterday we forgot we are now Homeschoolers Who Are Studying French. Hope springs eternal, doesn't it.

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