Homeschooling the Eclipse

OK, so I’m a bit of a space geek. Maybe not as much as I used to be, but enough that I check out Star Date at the beginning of the month to see what is going on in the night sky. So when I saw that not only was a total eclipse hitting North America, but the path of totality was going right over my house, it was cause for celebration.

homeschooling the eclipse

Literally. I have a pile of cinder blocks on my back porch waiting to be assembled into the most awesome pit barbecue we could find instructions for online. And still afford. The pig was selected from the herd and prepared. And the invitation to family and friends went out months ago.

After ordering eclipse glasses for everyone in our family, I turned my attention to assembling all the resources I could find on the eclipse. After all, we homeschool. Everything is an educational adventure. Especially once in a life time celestial events!

I got the free eclipse e-book from Apologia. I amassed printables and moon charts and games and books and . . . well . . . this lady has just about all of it in one post. I browsed through my normal astronomy sites, looking at charts and maps and times and vocabulary.

And then I stopped. Because what on earth was I doing? I have a choice here. A once in a lifetime choice because this is a once in a lifetime event. I could go ahead and squeeze out every educational drop and leave my children with all the knowledge any human being could possibly need about solar eclipses. Or I could just set it all aside and let them wonder at the event as it unfolds before them.

In the information age, there is no shortage of instant access knowledge on any topic imaginable. But I sometimes worry that there is an absence of wonder as almost any question can be answered with a a few taps on a screen.

So I set aside the megabytes of data I had collected and never even opened it. The only thing my kids will see of it is one cute little scrapbook-type eclipse sheet to stick in their notebooks, and I’m not even going to give it to them until after the eclipse is over. While the rest of my homeschool friends plan lessons, my kids are helping me plan a party. And figure out how to project a movie on the side of the barn.

Because wouldn’t that be cool?!

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4 Responses

  1. Ha – see, now this is why we like your family and your blog. You put the wonder back in homeschooling with a terrifically healthy balance!

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