Monday, February 10, 2014

Tagalongs at Doctor's Appointments

When "Peel" had her eyes checked, 4-year-old "Alleluia" got to tag along.
When you're homeschooling a 4th grader, almost anything can be turned into a lesson.  When you're homeschooling a preschooler, too, it can be a fun challenge to make that lesson work on two levels.  Last week we had an appointment to have Peel's eyes checked at the ophthalmologist--what a wonderful way to talk about how our eyes work (or don't), the physics of light, color blindness, depth perception, careers in name it!

Even an elevator ride is exciting when you're 4.
Since it was a long appointment, both girls brought stuff to do.  Luckily we are familiar with both the doctor and staff here, so we felt comfortable and welcome.  First,

....Peel had a basic test of her vision while covering each eye (the letters are projected on the wall to the left).  That's the tagalong, Alleluia, in the lower left.

Then we got to go into another room where the doctor did some more testing.  Lots of equipment!

When he wiggled his finger he was testing her peripheral vision.  (Here's a cheap, simple thing you can do at home to learn more.)

Since one of my sisters has amblyopia and another has acute closure glaucoma, I am very grateful for thorough eye exams!  When the girls get older we can talk more about what those disorders are.  If you google "eye exam + kids" you will get helpful sites like this.

He checked the pressure in her eyes......

...and then she was tested for color blindness.

Then Peel got to wear special sunglasses for the stereo vision test.

Finally, her eyes were dilated, which meant she didn't have to do anymore homework for at least 6 hours!  Yea!

Look how big her pupils got!  
The models and  posters in his office were great teaching tools.
The final step:  checking the health of the eye.
All in all our appointment was 2 hours long.  Alleluia did great and wasn't too disruptive, and we sure had a lot to talk about on the car ride home.  If I had several children at home (like I did when my oldest was 10) I would probably have left the squirmiest ones with a sitter or arranged a play date.  That way the doctor's office isn't overwhelmed and only the children who are mature enough to get something out of the "field trip" go.

Have you done any similar tagalong field trips?  


  1. One of ours is doing weekly allergy shots now, so I appreciate the tips! There was a big flu poster in our exam room; the boys were very interested in the shape of the virus. We had a surprisingly fun discussion about the geometric shapes and how I made a virus costume for my virology class.

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