Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Falls

This time of year is filled with a mixture of excitement at a new start. I set my resolve to keep better records, to be more organized and to do a better job at our studies at home. The books still have that new smell, and I haven't yet discovered the reasons why that particular approach won't work with that particular child.

By the second day of working with a seven year old, I listen wistfully to the big yellow monster rolling past my house. Is it too late to sign him up? Would public school for just this one be so bad? Am I too old to do this all over again? I brace myself, and try again, reading to him about the early days of this continent, about the mammoths and saber-tooth tigers that once lived here.

The next day, I tell him of a surprise. We are going somewhere. We travel to the Falls of the Ohio, so named for waterfalls that are now under water due to dams and locks built help navigate the river, but exposing Devonian era rock filled with fossils, some huge, from the period of time when this area was a shallow sea. Even in our own creek bed, miles away, I find horned coral. But here, fossils are everywhere you look, and are very large.

William loved walking way out on to the rock bed, jumping over the puddles left behind by higher water levels and looking at all the fossils. He thanks me repeatedly, saying how much he's enjoying his day. I remember that this is the first day of public school. Maybe, maybe, we can make this work.

Inside the interpretive center, we study the difference between the mastodons and mammoths, see artifacts from earlier inhabitants of the region, look at dioramas of the shallow sea. A mannequin displayed the dress of early trappers. William asked if it is James Bond. Loudly.

He is anxious to get back to the rocks, climbing up and down the piles of rocks and reminding me why God gave teenagers the ability to have children and why forty years olds doing the same ought to keep up their aerobics.

Later in the day, we returned home, had a few arguments to end the day again wistfully thinking about school buses. I post these photos to remind myself of why I'm doing this.

I've threatened to cut the cable wires to the TV due to someone whining about schoolwork and a desire to watch TV instead. It seems a higher power agrees with me, as the downstairs TV cable isn't working. William is less than willing to be alone upstairs due to being scared of the naked man roaming our neighborhood. What??? Read about that tomorrow.

1 comment:

Cloudia said...

You are a true educator!
Glad that even conservative areas have fossils ;-)
Comfort Spiral


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