I consider myself to be one of those think-outside-of the box kind of homeschool moms. I don’t believe in cookie-cutter curriculum or a one-size-fits all philosophy when it comes to education. My time as a Waldorf preschool teacher (years ago) instilled in me a desire to meet children where they are. In spite of these things, I dropped the ball on this one, and my husband was there to pick it up.
Youngest Daughter is a very reluctant, struggling reader and she also has major school related anxiety. This is not uncommon for a girl with Fragile X Syndrome. I have been bending over backwards and standing on my head to get her to want to read books, or even allow me to read to her. She’s much better about it now, but the struggle is real.
Last weekend we stopped at a techie kind of store so the husband could look around. Daughter and I made our way to a huge section of stem related toys and kits. The first thing she ran towards, squealing with glee, was a Barbie Chemistry set. It didn’t look very special to me. And there were so many other cooler looking science kits. And other kits with slime. Why not choose one of those? Because they’re “not pink”. Or “Barbie”. So, I did what any responsible mom (with a Barbie bias) would do and said, “Not today.” There were tears. Lots of tears. And almost a meltdown. Then Dad arrived. He walked over with her to the shelf. And they bought the kit.
Normally I would have informed him that I had already told her no. But I realized: If he buys the kit, then he has to help her do it. And read the directions. (I hate directions.) I reminded him of this as we approached the register.
So, yes. I was wrong on this one. The kit is awesome. The booklet reads like a story. And she listens. And begs for more. The booklet teaches names of supplies like pipette and test tube. They learned about polymer as they made slime together. And learned terminology like thermochromic as they completed the color changing experiment. More importantly, while they work together she is listening, awaiting instruction, and following directions. There is no school, or anxiety, just Barbie and Daddy and joy.
The kit even includes a trunk to organize and store all of the materials, which is great because I hate how most chemistry sets never go back together and have all of the junk inside spilling out from underneath the lid.
Barbie fans can find the kit in Amazon.