I was reminded this week of the poem “Clouds and Waves” by Rabindranath Tagore who was the the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. His poem which uses symbolism speaks about a mother and her child in reference to nature versus nurture, it was something I could relate to these past few days with my children and our homeschooling.
There comes a time when a parent has to let their child work independently and we are reaching that crossroad with our youngest. While I enjoy working one and one with lessons with my son, I see a budding enthusiastic learner who wants to do things on his own at times. It was hard letting go of the reins but I know this is a milestone I am happy to reach.
On Monday we began our weekly observations of clouds as part of our Nature Studies. The boys do their clouds study once or twice a week. Using our field guide cloud cards, the kids determined the type of cloud they see. I have been currently working on a cloud journal for my youngest son to use.
In science, the boys learned about the water cycle and how it is represented in this diagram I created (pictured above). My youngest attempted a water cycle beg experiment, however he was displeased when the “furry member” of our family tore the ziplock bag before we could take a photo, life is not perfect.
Considering a second experiment, they opted for creating a cloud (fog) as part of our cloud unit. Both boys read several books on our reading list of cloud books in their age group. My oldest son and I enjoyed reading over the summer, “The Cloudspotter’s Guide” and together we are going over it again this term.
Tuesday, a part of the day was spent at the Pediatrician’s office getting a checkup, hoping it would be a short visit. After their checkups and the youngest getting a reaction from one of his vaccines, there wasn’t much schooling done except with my older son.
By mid week, I find myself trying to find a balance between homeschooling, work and housework. Housework slacks off , becoming almost non existent except for the “necessities’ of meals, laundry, and errands. I play catch up on the weekends. Who has not experienced this? I know that this too shall pass and hopefully soon I will find my balance or not.
We have yet to begin our History Studies, so for this month we have been covering the basics along with science and geography. I know we are into our third week and it takes time to iron out a routine.
Thursday we took advantage of the good weather and enjoyed a trip to the coast with friends. Although it was a bit overcast during the beginning to our trip, it did not take from the fun we had.
One of the best places in the area to visit is the State Aquarium. The kids enjoy seeing marine life as well as learning about the ocean and environment.
We first started coming here as a family a few years ago and we continue to return each year. The Aquarium has always been a treat for the kids. My husband and I have just as much fun as the boys and we get in some good walking to boot. It never ceases to amaze me at all the wondrous things there are to learn about marine animal life.
One attraction that is a family favorite for us is the Dolphin Bay. While there the kids were able to get a close view of the dolphins from the Aquarium’s underwater viewing room. They have currently have four Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. We discovered the dolphins are named “bottlenose” after their short, stubby rostrums, or beaks. We learned dolphins make up to 1,000 clicking noises per second with their blowhole, not their mouth as we thought. The clicking sounds travel underwater until they encounter objects, bouncing back to the dolphins and revealing details like the location, shape, and size of the object.
The boys loved the jellyfish exhibit and spent the most time there, watching the Atlantic sea nettles. It was mesmerizing seeing what looked like a slow dance underwater. Did you know a group of jellyfish is called a SMACK? Our guide informed us sea turtles eat jellies which is a good source of protein and calcium for the turtle. To turtles, plastic bags sometimes can appear to resemble drifting jellies. so when they eat plastic by mistake, they can choke and die. That is something everyone should consider when disposing of waste near the ocean waters.
Today, we extended our fun filled trip by hopping on a tour of the Red Dragon Pirate ship. The staff was entertaining and very knowledgeable during the tour. Our youngest loved the pirate water gun fight the best!
It was a learning experience which was fun and exciting, however our trip is coming to an end this evening and the reality of our return back home sunk in much to the kids’ dismay. Over all we had a great week with a wonderful way of getting the kids excited about ocean mammals and the charted waters.