Thursday, March 26, 2009

Homeschooling for us is a bit like deciding to go for a Sunday hike. You follow the path ahead, stopping to look at interesting things, and occasionally, going down a different path to investigate something new.

Most recently, William and I have been reading Mr. Popper's Penguins, written in 1938. Interestingly, it was started by Richard Atwater who fell ill while writing it. His wife later finished the book for him. The book brought up dozens of questions and ideas. For example, the illustrations showed twelve penguins walking in pairs. "Wait," William said with yet another interruption to my reading. "Six groups of penguins with two each is twelve!" (Math.)

Interruption again. "Whyyyyy, if the South Pole is at the bottom of the Earth, don't we feel upside down while there or fall off?" (Science.)

"Who was Admiral Drake and Captain Cook?" (History.)

So you get the idea. Resources for this book:

Library: where we get most of our books

Internet: Look up many questions:

Drake, Cook, South Pole, North Pole, why don't polar bears eat penguins (can you answer this?), how you know the Earth is round, not flat without going into space, how the poles are often in all darkness/light, do people live at the poles, all meandering around from Google

Netflix: Watching the March of the Penguins

Zoo: We'll try to make it there this coming week to see the penguin display

Real Life: Comparison of how our chicken hatched her many eggs with the hatching of one penguin egg. By the way, we're up to five! chicks now.


Update on George (my brother): Praise God he is free of cancer. The polyp, though big, was benign. He will still face another surgery for another polyp, but no chemo or radiation.

Lauren tells me Phantom is "not going to work out". She has been riding him for me several times a week, but his flightiness isn't improving. He spooks at the smallest things. Yesterday, he spooked when I kicked a dust pan out of the way while leading him. Today, some horses in a field ran up to him and he took off galloping. Lauren, a great rider, managed to rein him in, but then once stopped, he reared. She got off. I would have fallen off.


Kristen Painter said...

Good news about your brother! Bad news about Phantom.

Sepiru Chris said...

Liebe Junosmom,

Polar bears live in near the South pole, penguins near the south.

Alas, poor polar bear tummies never get the delightful heft of a nice, greasy penguin washing about as they walk. Was that how you explained it?


Great news about George and kudos to the horsewoman Lauren.


Junosmom said...

Kristin, thank you.

Chris, a typo, I'm sure knowing you - polar bears at the north, penguins at the south. But yes, I think polar bears would like them. Perhaps they used to live there and the polar bears ate them all!

debra said...

Great news about George.
I also have an equestrian daughter who just knows horses.
And yes, home schooling is like that for us, too.
31 is in college; #2 will be 18 in Dec. And then onward with her life. Where did the time go???

Cloudia said...

Phantom seems well named.

5 chicks! Wow!

Penguins are so formal in their tuxuedos.

Aloha, Gal Pal.

Jenn Jilks said...

Keep up the good work, Junosmom. You sound like a great teacher.

whitetr6 said...

Interesting...did not realize the northern hemisphere housed no penguins. Searching on the topic I was led to this site:, which says, "Although both the polar bear and the penguin are polar mammals..."

BZZZZTTT...sorry folks incorrect. Penguins are certainly not mammals. Guess you can't believe everything you read on the Internet, even if it is a site that should "know" better.


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