The Never Ending Space Unit Study! (where we get a little philosophical)

Close to a month ago we started a huge science unit study about space. We have visited a local planetarium, learned all about the phases of the moon, watched and read The Magic School Bus space adventures, and completed a lapbook about space. The book basket of books from the library was full of books about space and many days I caught my children sitting reading them during free time. I cannot tell you how happy this made me!

My husband put a wonderful movie, "In The Shadow of the Moon" (done by Ron Howard) in our Netflix queue, and it arrived this past week. Tonight we sat down to watch, and it fueled our interest in space again! This is what I absolutely love about homeschooling - how my children's love of a subject develops over time and they become self motivated learners and researchers.
There were so many powerful quotes in the movie and it sparked so much discussion about that time in our history as a nation. It was also interesting to note that all three astronauts on Apollo 11 were born in 1930, the same year as my father. My husband and I commented that perhaps such great American heroes will never exist again because things seem to come so easily and quickly for people today. We live in a society of instant gratification and also in a society that seems to make sure that people don't have to work "too hard".

I could digress into a blog post about politics, but I've promised myself this blog will not be controversial! Perhaps I'm being a little pessimistic, but I just know this whole topic of Americans being first to land on the moon has brought up a lot of interesting discussions in my house - a lot of them centered around the current political climate in our nation. Something that really stuck out for my daughter and I was the quote, "With great achievements come great risk." I wish I could remember which Apollo astronaut said this. It made me wonder if we are raising a generation of risk takers or not?

The documentary we watched this evening, done by Ron Howard, was not exactly meant for a five year old, but my nine year old enjoyed it very much. While we watched, my five year old son colored some rockets and made them into puppets by cutting them out and taping a straw onto the back.

So, while my husband, daughter and I watched the movie and had some pretty deep conversations, my son colored and played in the background. We are learning as a family, each of us at our own interest and comfort level. What I love the most is that we are making the shift from being a "school at home" family to a "homeschooling" family - where learning is just a part of our everyday lives.
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