Saturday, January 23, 2010

In Which the Enormous Egg is Not Controversial

I've been a little worried about how The Enormous Egg, one of my suggestions for our homeschool reading group, would be received.  When I proposed it, I just remembered it as a fun book that we'd read a while back and which would be a good fit for our younger group.  Katie read most of the book to herself, but as I read her a couple of the chapters, and then, because I was leading the discussion, as I read it to myself on Saturday, I began to worry that I had picked a Troublesome Book. Our family is the only non-young earth creationist-believing family in our little homeschool group.  Or, with less jargon, we are the only ones who don't believe that the earth is around 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs and people co-existed.  And, aside from a few polite but rather awkward conversations, this isn't a problem.  After an initial period of surprise back when we first started homeschooling, I've come to realize that when religion and science meet, thoughtful, intelligent people can come to different conclusions.  And it is best that we don't discuss them much.   So when Dr. Ziemer, in the Enormous Egg, began talking about dinosaurs going back millions of years, and birds are reptiles being related, I felt a little anxious.  Would the other moms be upset with me for springing stuff contrary to what they teach on them without warning?  As it turned out, however, there was not a word of complaint!  The children enjoyed the story, we discussed the themes, plot, characters, etc., and that was it.  I guess that having a Triceratops hatching out of the egg of a Barred Plymouth Rock hen on a farm in Freedom, New Hampshire throws the story far enough into the realm of fantasy that any silliness can be tolerated!

Travis's book was The Hero and the Crown, and I was afraid he wasn't going to get it finished and would have to stay home (one the few rules our group has is that the children must read or be read the books).  He liked the book, but it is fairly longish and he kept not getting around to it.  He finished it Thursday afternoon, though, and, I am told, did a fine job with the discussion.

History Cards, however, are not going so well.  The children have been memorizing the Veritas Press history cards, which start with Creation and go up to modern history.  We have 120 in our stack so far -- all the way up to Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris -- but my kids are still very wobbly on them.  Each card has a picture on the front, useful for jogging the memory, and on the back has a description of the event and a date or date range (I am having my kids learn some of the dates, but they don't need those for the group).  The children are supposed to be able to do all the cards without seeing the pictures, and yesterday one little girl*, aged seven, rattled off the whole pile.  She wasn't mine.  Katie was so happy and proud for her, and I was proud of Katie and wished that I were as pure of heart as my sweet girl.  Monday our group meets again, and another eight cards will be added to the stack, so this weekend, among other things, the kids and I will be working on our cards!

*I am very fond of this little girl, who is charming, polite, and an all-around nice kid.  I know she can't help being so darned smart.

1 comment:

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I am so glad the lesson went well.

Although I am an evolutionary biologist, I agree with you that sometimes the least said when beliefs differ the better.