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Despite popular belief, homeschooling isn’t just for kids. It’s like you, the parent, are getting a second chance to learn what you slept through in high school. At least that has been my experience – it’s either that or I’ve forgotten everything since everyone knows you lose brain cells every time you give birth. Multiply that by four.
Today’s history class glanced on the 18th Amendment – prohibition. Of course we all know what that means, right? Banning the legal sale of liquor in 1919. But I’d actually forgotten that a couple of years ago when we hit on it. Prohibition? Prohibiting what???? Refresher course: Bootlegging means making and selling liquor illegally; a speak-easy is an illegal saloon. Should it bother me that Hayley knew both of these terms?!
Yesterday’s chemistry lab: gather pebbles, raisins, sand, salt, and metal filings. Mix together and figure out how to separate all of it. We have a science kit that supplied the metal filings. I sent Kylie out to get some pebbles and Hayley got the raisins. The sand was a problem, but we remembered that Kylie had some in the very bottom of her sea shell collection which was arranged nicely in a tall glass vase. Since she was unwilling to dump it all out to donate, we pretended we had sand.
Removing the larger things – pebbles and raisins – was easy, and that is called separation by screening. What we had left was the salt and the metal filings. The kit provided a magnet, which we used for the filings – called separation by magnetism. That was fun, but messy to clean up. Now all that was left was the salt, and since we had no sand, we needed to figure out how to separate the two if we did have sand. Did you know? First, add water. Mix the solution – the salt dissolves in the water and the sand settles at the bottom. Pour off the water into a container, leaving the sand behind (separation by density). Remove the sand into another container, return water to the pan, and boil down the water until it is completely evaporated. Voila! Only the sand is left! And that, my friends, is called separation by evaporation.
Now to some of you geniuses out there, this is child’s play. But for us regulars, this is quite a fun and amazing discovery!
Did you know that “Pelf” is a word? Me neither. Did you know that George Eliot was really a woman by the name of Mary Ann Evans? I didn’t. Did you know what an interesting read “Silas Marner” is? I had never read this piece of literature until this year. I was excited to find it was free on our kindle ap for our phones. Granted, it took us a while to get into it. Kylie came to me, a dazed expression on her face after reading the first two chapters. “Mom, I don’t have any idea what’s going on in this book!” I decided we would read it together, with me reading aloud. Each sentence, full of unfamiliarly long words, builds upon the last finally to culminate in a very lengthy paragraph that merely tells you that Silas left the door open one night, it takes a while to be interested. But wow, once we found out that someone very interesting waddled through that door, we were hooked!
Usually at least once a day, we dissolve into fits of laughter, to which we cannot recover for a couple of minutes. Last week, Kylie had to memorize a poem called, “Our Fathers Fought for Liberty”. In order to help her remember, she made up a tune for it. This was not your ordinary, happy tune. This was more like a wailing, descending, haunting dirge. We decided to put it to three part harmony with Hayley and freakout big sister Taryn. “What song is THAT?!? Where did you hear that???” She croaked, blown away by the creepy sounds. Seriously, it could have been a tune straight out of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.
I cannot tell you how I treasure these days with my girls. I want to savor every minute. Homeschooling is every bit as much about our relationship as it is the education. Why would I not want to have the biggest influence on my kids for their journey in life, to equip them with sound knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and the satisfaction of knowing that they actually did learn the material?
Pelf: Money, especially when gained in a dishonest or dishonorable way. (How many of you knew that?!)