Friday, October 21, 2005

Them Bones

Joey's science project is due Monday, and it's a killer. Because Chavez is on a year-round schedule, every October the kids have three weeks off and the teachers send them home with these fat packets of work, especially in science. On top of all the worksheets, usually they have to do some kind of project.

Last year I helped Danny with his project on density. We went to Food 4 Less and got liquid laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, and a bunch of other fluids, into which we dropped an egg to see whether it would float. The only one it floated in was salt water. I'm afraid I'm not the greatest science whiz, so Danny only got a C on his project. But I wonder how much he would have gotten done at all without a grownup fool enough to waste a few bucks and five or six hours on experiments and writing them up.

This year it's Joey's turn. He's learning about bones. I got a couple of books out of the juvenile section at Harold Washington, one in English and one in Spanish, and every night but Wednesday of this week we've been working on his worksheets for about an hour and a half. He can get about two pages done in that time. He knows the stuff--it's spelling the words that's the killer.

We've hardly done anything about the really hard part. He's supposed to give a three-minute oral presentation about some bone topic. They suggested a bunch of ideas and we adapted one of them. The sheet suggested bringing in an X-ray and explaining the bones, what they connect to, and what the X-ray shows. He liked the idea of doing that with one of the old MRI's I have from when I tore my ACL.

Right now I'm just trying to make sure he remembers the words femur and tibia. I have no idea how we're going to turn this into an oral report and get the rest of his worksheets done before Monday.

It's enough to dampen my late-30s enthusiasm for motherhood, that's for sure.

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