The other night we took the kids outside to look at the moon as part of our astronomy class, and to find the north star, like Henry the Navigator for our history class. It was cool to be able to take the kids outside and teach them something. (I know very little about astronomy, so I’m learning along with them thanks to a wonderful book by H.A.Rey, who wrote Curious George) We found the Big Dipper and the North Star, Orion’s belt, all interesting stuff, but nothing I haven’t done before. But then we looked at the moon in the telescope. Now I’ve done that before, seen the craters, etc. But we had a map of the different “Seas” on the moon and we were able to find them and actually identify the geography of the moon. I don’t think I have ever done that. Astronomy in school always took place during the school day, and we never went out and watched the sky. How much cooler is an astronomy class that teaches you what’s in the sky, by actually going out and seeing it. Suddenly, I’m very excited about this semester.
Additionally, I spent an hour today scrubbing a gourd. Next week we are studying the history of West Africa from 1000 AD to 14-1500 AD. Typically each chapter takes 2 days to cover, but this chapter we are going to cover in 3 days so we have more time for projects, food, etc. I have wanted to turn this huge bottle gourd that we have into an instrument for quite a while. I got a book out of the library, read the instructions and started the porcess last night, to get everything ready for the kids to make the netting and string the beads on the gourd. I had no idea that it would take so long to scrape the outter layer of mold off the gourd. My arms are tired. I’m looking at the second gourd whose purpose in life will most likely be to become a South American (Incan) painted gourd, and I wonder….will somoene else scrub that one for me. Probably not.
Anyway, I wonder what my life will be like when I am not homeschooling anymore. It consumes so much of mylife, and is so rewarding. I wonder what could ever replace that. Perhaps I will just read more.