Happy New Year

~A~ says that his reading alligator wants to wish everyone a Happy 2014!


Hey, he’s already learning the finger point. You gotta teach ’em early.



In his spare time, ~A~ likes to play the piano. We don’t really feel like he’s old enough for lessons, but whatever he can do on his own is fine.


Here he is playing Bach’s concerto in D minor.


Or Chopsticks.


Or maybe he was just banging around on the keys. 

I can’t remember.

The Dark Side of Homeschooling

We’ve been homeschooling for 10 years now. We’ve had our ups and downs over the years, but it has been a mostly positive experience. 

With one in high school and one in junior high, the curriculum is definitely more challenging than it was in the early years.  Throw in an active 2 year-old undergoing potty training into the mix and you’ve got yourself a real hootenanny.

We’re heading toward the end of our school year, so everybody is getting weary and looking forward to summer break.

Over the years, I’ve been the science guy. I’m an engineer by trade, and so this is just a natural fit.  We’ve done a number different topics: Properties of water, electricity, magnets of all kinds, we’ve even made our own lenses when studying properties of light.

All nice, clean, happy little experiments.  They didn’t always go well, but we could always sum up our lessons in a nice neat package, like a half hour sitcom.

But this year was Biology.  High school Biology. Microscopes, cells, and …dissections. Ugh.

When I took biology, my teacher must have not been big on dissections.  While my older sister had to dissect every thing from earthworms to grasshoppers and frogs, I got away with just a fetal pig.  I thought I had completely skirted around the whole dissection thing.  That part of my life was over.


~D~ had not 1, but four dissections to do this year as part of his biology curriculum, and I as the science teacher couldn’t just wave my hand and say, “Go do your science on your own.” I was there, in the trenches along with him, cutting, gutting, exposing, and probing those unmentionable parts that no person should have to probe.

And now I get to share with you, my reader, those priceless homeschooling moments.

First was Larry the earthworm.  Not your average night crawler, Larry was exceptional outside:


And inside…


Next was Kerry the Crawdad, but I forgot to take pictures.  Lucky you.

The third dissection was Perry the Perch:


Who was kind enough to allow us (to cut) a window into his soul…er guts.



And finally, tonight we did Frankie… Freda the frog.


I’ll have to say…she had a lot of guts.


I was thoroughly skeeved by tonight’s reveal and relieved to have the final dissection over with, until my wife commented to me, “At least it will be easier next time when you do it with ~K~.”

Yes, there is a dark side to home schooling, where you can relive all your science nightmares over…and over.

Until next time,

The Grossed Out Science Guy.