Wednesday, September 14, 2011

X is for X-Rays - ABCs of Homeschooling

On 5 Kids and a Dog, there's a series called the ABCs of Homeschooling.  This week's letter is "X."

Alphabet ATC or ACEO Available - Needlefelted Letter X for X-Ray.

Up until this letter of the alphabet, I tried to focus on aspects that best reflected how I homeschool Sophia and Olivia.

There aren't a lot of choices when it comes to the letter X. There's xylophone.

Olivia playing a xylophone
Olivia playing the xylophone at the Minnesota History Museum.

Wrench Xylophone
Sophia playing a wrench xylophone
also at the Minnesota History Center.

And there are x-rays. Although x-rays are not a major focus of homeschooling for us, they have played a part in learning about history, geography, science, and the human body.

One year, the girls studied about Egypt. We went to the Science Museum to see a mummy and Egyptian artifacts.

A fascinating aspect of the exhibit was the x-ray of the mummy.  The Science Museum took the mummy to a local hospital where they took several x-rays of it.

The smaller x-ray images to the right of the large image of the mummy explain different cross-sections of the bones.

X-Ray of a Mummy
X-ray of a mummy.

Another field trip we took was to the Minnesota Zoo. About three years ago, the girls were able to go in a room that was designed for young children.

Olivia by a Shark and Turtle X-Ray
Olivia by an x-ray of a shark.

There were four x-rays for children to see of various animals. The one that both girls particularly enjoyed looking at was the x-ray of the shark.

We also have used opportunities when we have been to the doctor and x-rays have been taken to learn more about the human body.

One year, Sophia walked off the bed and injured her ankle. She needed to wear a cast for three weeks.

Sophia's Ankle Injury
X-ray of Sophia's ankle and her visit to the doctor.

One of the interesting things that the doctor pointed out was the growth plate on the lower right hand corner of the x-ray (see image above). It still needed to fuse to the larger bone to its left.

Sophia Getting Her Cast Cut Off
Sophia getting her cast cut off.

Another experience that turned into quite the memorable learning experience was when Olivia was 5 1/2 years old.

She was at the 3% growth percentile for most of her life. However, in September when she went in for a well-child appointment, her height and weight had dropped almost off the chart (.44 for weight; .23 for height).
Olivia with Chestnut at Endocrinologist Appointment
Olivia is holding her stuffed puppy, Chestnut,
before her visit with the endocrinologist.

At that appointment, she had three rather large containers of blood taken so a battery of tests could be performed. Too many to list here.

She also had an x-ray of her left hand which gave her "bone age."

They also did a series of x-rays and moving scans that showed a liquid that she drank move through her system - from her throat to her intestines.

To encourage her to drink the milkshake, I told her it was a "magic milkshake" that would let her see inside her body. 

She requested be flavored with chocolate (they give kids an opportunity to choose a flavor for their milkshake) and ended up drinking almost the entire container of it.

The nurse tried to take it away from her. "Okay, that should be enough," the nurse said. However, Olivia wanted to keep drinking the milkshake. She wanted to see what her body looked like on the inside apparently.

The doctor let her watch the monitor so she could see the liquid move through her body. Several years later, she still remembers the scans and x-rays.

So, even the letter X has played a part in homeschooling the girls - from field trips to medical appointments. Everything can be a learning experience.

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