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Friday, October 9, 2009

When Experiments Fail

...or, at best, don't work quite as well as expected.

If you've experienced the joy of watching Discover & Do, you may remember the many Outtakes included at the end of the DVD. (Aside: If you have the DVD but haven't watched the Outtakes, I highly recommend them. Of course, I cut them together, so I'm a little biased <smile>) These Outtakes were moments from shooting when things didn't quite work.

Sometimes the "fail" was epic.

Like the time the seeds we were using for the experiment titled "Grow, Grow, Grow!" never grew at all. Or when the invisible ink didn't come back. Makes it a little hard to demonstrate the activity when the very foundation of the lesson falls out from under you.

Trap Door

But while these failed experiments can make you feel like you're falling through space, there are important lessons to be learned. Stuff doesn't always work out the way you would hope. You can do things wrong. Mistakes happen. And sometimes, life just doesn't go the way you expected.

And that's okay.

The important thing is to move on. Don't let yourself stay in the place of "failure". Instead, get up, try again, or move on.

That's a lesson we need to remember as adults as well: If something isn't working--even failing--don't let yourself stay there. Set it aside for a while, try it again after you've thought about why it didn't work, or move on to the next thing. There are too many great opportunities in life--and homeschooling--to let the things that aren't quite working stop us.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


The Reader said...

This is so true. Sometimes, things don't work. That means, try something new, not give up and never try again. And not, keep doing it that way, even though it's not working.

So often we're afraid to talk about our failures, but it helps everyone when one admits to something like that. Then we know we aren't alone!

Glad you included outtakes on the Discover & Do dvd, so we all know that -gasp- even the pros sometimes don't get the experiment right! -smile-

se7en said...

Not to take away from your thought provoking comment... We love the outtakes, first thing we look at on box-day!!! Seriously, I am so glad they are there - they make science so real!!! Life doesn't always go as planned! Not to mention we also have had massive crop failure and relied on the dvd to carry us through!!! One time all our seeds arrived wriggling and writhing with weevils - we had a great microscope unit study, but not quite the intended lesson!!!

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John Umland said...

As the scientist in the family, my job is to teach math and science to the kids. When science experiments fail, i get excited because that's my reality at work.
God is good

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

I love your pics, Luke. They are wonderfully simplistic but convey all you need to say. You should make a card line. :]

Luke Holzmann said...

Heather, very true. Too often fear plays into these things, and it really shouldn't. Always glad to prove that things aren't all rosy/perfect for us professionals <smile>.

Se7en, so glad to hear that the Outtakes are encouraging and that the DVDs have been so helpful <smile>. Good stuff!

Dan, yep, I show up now again in the DVDs I produce. <smile> Glad your family is getting a kick out of them! As for life "failures" that are more like learning opportunities... I have a very similar tale of a business I tried to start. Learned a ton.

John, awesome! And, yes: Failed experiments are large part of the process <smile>.

Mrs. C, hmm... that's a good point! Maybe someday I'll try my hands at card making <smile>. For now, my images are free for viewing on the interwebs <laughing>. Thanks for telling me you like my images. Sometimes I feel like I'm totally lame when I make them. Glad they are enjoyable despite that! <smile>


Sarah said...

Hey, Luke! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! It really shows good customer relations when companies do the little things I've seen Sonlight do so far.

I am so impressed with the business side of this curriculum! This last few days, from perusing the website to ordering, to receiving and enjoying our first few days of preschool, I keep telling my husband how much I love Sonlight (all its facets)!

Thanks again, Luke. You guys keep up the exceptional work. It's refreshing!

The Hibbard Family said...

This is so fitting for our experiments of late - God has smacked me upside the head with quite a few lessons from the experimental failures or delays. I keep wanting to step in and make things work, and He's been reminding me that I do that in my daily life. Time to back off and let things happen, even if they are slow!! I just love the way He patiently teaches us, even through science experiments gone wacky! :-)

Luke Holzmann said...

Thanks so much, Sarah! And I'm honored to be a part of the blogosphere <smile>.

Ann, that is super encouraging! May your learning continue to be a joy, despite the failures.


Unknown said...

You know, that's why I like Discover and Do. You made sure all the experiments worked and ours, well, don't always.

Luke Holzmann said...

We certainly did our best with Discover & Do. And I'm really glad we went through it all so others wouldn't have the same hassle <smile>.



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