Friday, October 24, 2014

Solar Eclipse

    OK, two posts in one day.  But that's just because the last one was started four days ago.
My husband and two older boys are in a play here in town being performed at the Center for the Arts.  The play is Bonnie and Clyde.  On our way out the door to walk to their 5pm rehearsal, I caught sight of a facebook post on the computer highlighting a solar eclipse about to happen.  So I tried quickly to create a shadow box for which to view the eclipse safely with, to no avail. 
    A little ways into rehearsal and I mention the partial eclipse to a friend who promptly takes an envelope (OK, my typing stinks tonight.  I keep having to retype everything.  Don't think, just type.) he takes an envelope and punches a hole into it with a paper hole puncher.  Too big.  So I take a sheet of paper and use a tack and hold the paper up near a white wall, allowing the outside evening sun to shine through.  Low and behold, we see the eclipse reflecting on the wall.  Did you know that when the sun shines through that tiny hole, it inverts, appearing upside down?  I did not know this until yesterday.  It was cool. 
    First I call Aramis over to look.  Then I call Porthos.  Porthos things this is all very cool, so I send him to get his oldest brother Athos, who has just finished up his line for the moment.  After a few minutes of staring at the tiny crescent shape that has manifest on the wall, Athos gets called back to do his next line.  To which I say, "sorry, we are having a science lesson by observing the solar eclipse.  My kids are homeschooled, so any moment can become a teaching moment."  The reply came from one of the other actors says "There's and eclipse?  Let's all go see!"  Suddenly there were about ten of us or so, only three being children, gathered around our sheet of paper with its pin prick, looking at the crescent shaped light on the wall. 
Someone got clever and figured out how to adjust the settings on her cell phone to take a picture of the solar event, while another pulled up live filtered feed of the sun on the Center's computer.  It was several minutes before everyone dispersed and resumed practicing their lines.  What a great lesson!  Who needs a classroom, when you have the whole world to learn?  Oh, and as an added bonus, can we say Drama course via community theater?


Mondays have been a tough day for us.  Mainly because my Mom, Grandma and I have been getting together every Monday for lunch and either knitting or a movie for the past year or so.  Well since I started homeschooling, you can imagine how that affects the school schedule.  We have been trying to get as much done in four hours as is possible with three boys.  Ok, so I am lucky if each boy manages to get through 2 subjects.  We seem to get through the same two subjects each day, math and reading, rarely getting on to history, science or any sort of elective. 
Don't judge.
This past Monday morning I tried something different and I didn't even feel guilty or stressed about it.  I let my sons draw and color.  On Monday, we did art.  We also did a Halloween craft.  I found it on Pinterest.  A toilet paper roll, some black construction paper, glue, scissors, and a template to make all of this into a bat.  The boys loved it.  Well, the 6 and 9 year old loved it.  It was great!  They were having fun, and worked together doing something they enjoyed.  It was the most relaxing school day we have had since starting this journey. 
Yesterday they spent an hour putting fake webbing on the bushes in our front yard.  Today, after spending much of the day at my parents' house waiting for my van to get fixed (master cylinder was going out), they are now back out front playing with the webbing and a toy spider.  Next week we plan on learning about the history of Halloween.  If you have any links you would like to share, feel free to post them in a comment.  I will try to post what I find next week.  There will be tons of Halloween crafts and maybe we will do a little "class party", to which I will post some pictures of.

Side note:  While at my parents' house, today, my Mom and I watched "Mom's Night Out" by the Erwin Brothers.  That was a fantastic movie, by the way.  Mom and I both laughed through most of it.  I admit, the scene towards the end with Trace Adkins and Sarah Drew at the police station did get me misty eyed.  What he said was so spot on.  Moms need to hear it.