Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Moon Studies

It was late one winter night,

long past my bedtime,

when Pa and I went owling.

The first line of Owl Moon by Jane Yolen is so serene, so relaxing, so loving. This was the read aloud during snack time today. Although, more about owls than the moon, it still fits in nicely with moon studies. I like the way shadows are described and how the cold bite of a clear, full moon, winter night can be felt, even though I'm warm in my house. We're using Behold and See 3 for a loose guideline to our science studies. I like to have a general outline laid out before me and then I can add children's literature, fiction and non-fiction to our studies. I also like to infuse nature study into every science unit. We watch as the moon changes phases and are planning to take a night hike May 2 (I guess that's already tomorrow).

I read about keeping time according to the earth's revolution around the sun (1 year) and the moon's revolution around the earth (29 days) and the earth's rotation on its axis (24 hours). The activity called for shining a flashlight on a globe recognizing when the earth is lit up it's day and when it's dark it's night. I offered to Grace and Lee they could choose if they wanted to do this or not. Quickly they decided it was unnecessary. According to Grace, "Dad and you have been teaching us about these things for years. We've read that (gesturing to What Makes Day and Night?) book a million times. We know this stuff by heart." Well, if I've ever despaired about the quality of education in this home I should just knock it off. Why am I so hard on myself? After Lee agreed with Grace about knowing this stuff by heart, he came back with, "What I do want to know is, if we are on the outside of the earth, then what is inside?" Good question, even if a little off the topic of the moon. We perused, Oxford Illustrated Science Encyclopedia, and found a basic, but acceptable answer to what's inside the earth. Plans are underway to get more info from the library next week. Also I'm digging deep into my brain searching for the title of a book read years ago about a boy who digs his way to the center of the earth, discovering all the layers in the process.