Grit Blogs > Homesteading with Mrs D

The Happy Scientist

By Robyn Dolan 


Tags: books, do-it-yourself, flashlight, homeschooling, Robyn Dolan,

 homemade flashlight attempt
 As a homeschooling mom, I'm always concerned about whether my son is enjoying learning, and really "learning how to learn".  So it's gratifying when he pursues learning in his free time.

Of the many books on our living room shelves, two are specifically science experiments for children, "101 Great Science Experiments", by Neil Ardley, and "101 Nature Experiments", by David Burnie. The other day, my son was browsing through them and decided to try making the homemade flashlight. For perhaps a variety of reasons, he could not get it working. Possibilities include not having the exact bulb holder the directions called for, weak batteries, bad wires. Whatever it was, after a number of failed atttempts, he put the whole thing away. The impressive thing here is that he went after it on his own, and though his several attempts failed, I assured him it is not always so. It could even have been faulty directions. At any rate, after his initial disappointment wore off, I caught him gathering supplies for a new experiment, this time from his science book. I expect he'll have better results with this one - it's non-electric.

Come by anytime to check up on our homesteading and homeschooling adventures at  Around the Homestead.

robyn dolan
1/30/2012 2:02:46 PM

Dave, the older I get, the more the little ones fascinate me. I wish we had the room to leave the legos set up so my son could tackle a big project. He is a lego maniac. Working on clearing out one of the rooms in my workshop for just such a purpose.


robyn dolan
1/30/2012 2:00:06 PM

I cannot imagine having so many students to teach! I teach music at Sunday School once a month, and can totally relate to wondering if they even care...It is a joy to work with my son on his schooling, though;)


trf cullers
1/29/2012 9:57:24 PM

Very cool project, Robyn! Your son is a lucky fellow! I teach 7th grade English and constantly worry whether my 60 + students are enjoying the process of learning... I seem to swim upstream a lot!


nebraska dave
1/28/2012 1:16:11 AM

Robyn, I am fascinated by the thought process of my grandson Bradley. I too try to keep him interested in problem solving. Almost all of life is about facing problems and finding a solution. At this point in life our projects are building with legos. We are about 1/2 way finished with a Lego Kreo Megatron Transformer. It's been quite interesting to see how he can look at a picture of how it fits together and be able to assemble it. I don't think I had those thought processes functioning at seven years old. Kids just seems to be smarter at a younger age now days. I think you are definitely on the right track teaching with hands on experiences. Have a great learning day.