Education is a Lifetime Pursuit

May 31, 2019 at 3:36 am (Education, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

“Education is a lifetime pursuit.” I tell my daughter this constantly. It is our household motto, so much so, I would not doubt if I had already posted something with the same title before. I even hope that my readers already have read this phrase.

I am a homeschool mother. I am, in the deepest parts of my soul, a teacher. I always have been, and have been overzealous about it since I discovered the classical model. What I have loved about the classical model most is the ease in which I can continue my own education while I educate my daughter. She memorizes facts and dates in the grammar stage and not only do we supplement with rich literature to help her remember, but I get to pluck out related reading material for myself. Individually, I learn and teach the classical model… as a household, we are constantly involved in “unit studies” that are structured chronologically throughout history.

While she was memorizing history sentences about Christopher Columbus, the Pilgrims, and eventually the colonists dumping tea into the Boston Harbor, I was reading Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England by William Cronon.

First published in 1983, Changes in the Land is the earliest book I know of written directly about environmental history, not part of a political movement. Everything I’ve read published prior to this book are either beautiful transcendentalist nature essays (Emerson, Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, etc.), geological science books (Lyell, Stenson, etc.), or solely activist tree-hugger type stuff. In fact, I think it paved the way for books like the one I read recently (and thoroughly enjoyed) while she learned about the gold rush called Hard Road West: History and Geology along the Gold Rush Trail, whose author also crossed genres by highlighting the land, and all the things that make it what it is and the men who mar it, as the main character in the book’s story.

The biggest thing the two books have in common, for me, is at the end of each I thought, “This must be required reading for high school students.” After all, how do you learn history of a place without comprehending the blood, sweat, and tears, that was shed on it and ALL the reasons why, not the just the wars, but trails cut, deforestation, farms, dustbowls, mining… and not just focus on what it did to the people, but what it did to the land and how all that affects us today. Books like these are a beautiful marriage of history, social science, science, and more.

I love finding these gems as I sort through piles and piles of potential reading material, planning out lengthy lists of things to shape my kiddo’s mind. I love that my mind is also being shaped. I love that I am 35 and never done studying. I love that, in addition to growing my relationship with Jesus Christ and my daughter, education is my lifetime pursuit.

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Finder’s Keepers

June 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm (Education, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A Rock is LivelyTHE WEEKLY LOW DOWN ON KIDS BOOKS

Title: A Rock is Lively

Author & Illustrator: Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

Genre: Non-fiction Picture Books/ Children’s

As a child, I collected rocks.  I think many children do this… bright, shiny objects with a splash of color are enticing.  Small pebbles from river sides are exciting and make you feel like a million bucks when they are so tiny in your own tiny hands.  I had a rock tumbler and every little piece of nothing could be made magical.  On family vacations I used my pocket money to buy gems and stones native to the area we were visiting.  With my sister and cousins, we would go on exploratory rock hunts together.  I remember hearing shouts of: Finder’s Keepers!

I have also always adored books, and as an adult I try to find the most awesome of children’s books to share with my daughter.  Last week at the library, while I browsed the children’s section of Baldwin Boettcher, I stumbled across A Rock is Lively and I wanted to shout across the library “Finder’s Keepers!”

Except I will have to return this particular book and go buy a copy.

A Rock is Lively is an excellent introduction to geology – for all ages.  My daughter will be three in October and she was riveted by all the colorful detail of gold, amethyst, peridot, and gypsum.  The page about how rocks are mixed up and the description of how calcite, sodalite, pyrite, and lazurite becomes Lapis Lazuli excited her.  She enjoyed telling me about all the colors she was seeing as I told her what the rocks were called.

a-rock-is-lively_int_surprising

Over and over again this week she has brought me the book, “What’s that?” she’ll say as she points to hematite… “What’s that?” she asks as she opens up the two page spread on obsidian.  “What’s that?” she wants to know about the geodes…

A Rock is Lively is a must have.  We will definitely be finding our own copy to own as well as the other books in the series: An Egg is Quiet, A Seed is Sleepy, and A Butterfly is Patient.

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Crack in the Edge of the World

July 10, 2011 at 4:33 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , )

A Book Review

Simon Winchester never fails to fascinate and inform.  When I picked up Crack in the Edge of the World, I was surprised to discover that the author I dearly remember for writing The Professor and the Madman (a history of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary) was also a geologist and highly knowledgeable in both language AND the science of rocks – what a foundation!  This particular history on the great earthquake of San Fransisco met high expectations of Winchester’s talent compared to his previous work and I recommend this to anyone who likes history, science, or just plain good storytelling.

Buy Here: http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=anakawhims-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B002BY6FSE

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