Today we started our day with a biography about Rachel Carson. Much of the modern environmental movement is credited to Carson, and in 1962, she published her most famous work, Silent Spring. Both of my girls have expressed interest in Biology, so it was also very inspiring to see the profound impact one Biologist can have in the world. It was especially encouraging to think about how she had once been just like them–a little girl who loved nature and the environment.
Our family is involved with the Christian Conservation group A Rocha USA (I will begin a writing internship with them in the spring) and Creation Care is is something that is very important to us. I’m not interested in pushing an agenda or using conservation as a political tool. But I believe that it is my responsibility to teach my children to be good stewards of the earth God made.
For homeschool, our science studies are centered largely around environmental conservation and earth stewardship. In the spring, we will begin a backyard project that seeks to restore biodiversity in our own yard. We are very excited about our plans: native plants, a rain garden, and maybe some bat boxes.
After we watched the documentary, we read a bit from Silent Spring. It is definitely not considered a children’s book, but we read just a little bit at a time–sometimes only a few lines a day–and I paraphrase and explain as necessary. Linda Lear’s introduction to the book is lovely:
Wonder and humility are just some of the gifts of Silent Spring. They remind us that we, like all other living creatures, are part of the vast ecosystems of the earth, part of the whole stream of life. This is a book to relish: not for the dark side of human nature, but for the promise of life’s possibility.
After reading from Silent Spring, Sera spent some time knitting, and both of the girls watched an episode of Liberty’s Kids. Liberty’s Kids is a cartoon about the American Revolution that I had heard about from a friend. The girls don’t watch many cartoons, but I have been pleasantly surprised by this one. While still a little annoying in regard to the animation (and some of the acting), the content is great. The series introduces figures like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Paine, etc. At one point they even introduce Phillis Wheatley, the first published African American woman, and a poet I had studied in my American Literature class last year. A lot of celebrities provide the voices for the characters: Walter Cronkite, Sylvester Stallone, Billy Crystal, and even Ben Stiller–as Thomas Jefferson! So funny.
Later that day, we went to pay for the refrigerator we had picked out on Monday. Once again we discussed budget and economics. On the way to the store I bought Amelie and I a coffee, which Amelie was drinking once we got to the Sears Outlet. The woman in the appliance center asked two questions: “Why aren’t you girls in school today?” … and… “Is that hot chocolate?” Both girls chimed in, “We homeschool!” And then Amelie said, “No. This is coffee.” I made sure she knew it was decaf. Can’t have people thinking we’re too crazy, can we?
Subjects covered today: Nature, Ecology, Biography, Reading, American History, Economics