The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Many questions

Today Joseph has been uncharacteristically full of questions, including:

How does the oven make things hot?
How does the sound come out of the radio?
What does gas [gasoline] look like? What color is it? What does it smell like?
How does gas get into the pump?
Why does the car need gas?
What is energy?
Do we need energy?
What do plants do?
Why do we eat plants?
How do magnets work?

Danny and I are all worn out from explaining convection, radio transmission, internal combustion, photosynthesis, cellular metabolism, and magnetism. It is hard enough to provide satisfactory explanations of all this stuff to Sam, but reducing everything to preschool level is especially challenging. Answers have to be brief (less than 60 seconds) and fully descriptive without reference to unknown concepts or vocabulary. I think that the most unnerving part is how rapt Joseph is when we give him our answers. He is actually completely focussed--you can almost see the gears turning in his head. It is rather like some kind of high-stakes game show for parents: "60 Seconds of Science: Can you avoid mangling your kid's understanding of basic scientific principles?"

1 comment:

Beth said...

First they're reading, next thing you know they're asking complex scientific questions, what's next? discrete math?