Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time for School

School for Garden of Grace Girls Academy never really stops. We tell the girls, "Life is school. School is life." Living in a different culture presents many learning opportunities. Learning a new language, trying new foods, being just a few of them. Starting Sunday evening we had a 24 hour experiment on living without electricity. Rumor has it that the rest of the country joined us in this scientific endeavor.

We used solar energy to light up our apartment throughout the day and took a dipper shower by candlelight at night. We could not use our electric water heaters connected to our shower heads nor the drop-in, bucket heaters to warm the water. But we did our own thermodynamic study by finding out how much water one must heat on a gas stove to clean a family of six. We also learned how long that process would take.

No computer or internet so our learning was centered around books and hands-on experiences. The electric keyboard was silent so no piano practice took place either. (That is not to say our apartment was a quiet place. Girls do not run on electricity so they still were able to keep their volume up.)

There was also a lesson in culinary arts as we designed a menu to use the items in our refrigerator voted most likely to perish. On top of the list was mayonaise which we ate in tuna sandwiches. Milk was drank albeit, sad to say, there were not any cookies that needed to be rescued.

The ironic part of this experiment was that we had running water all of those 24 hours. Prior to this, running water was getting to be quite the novelty. I am sure that this was because we needed to limit our variables to have a truly scientific experience. Since water is so precious to us, we took the time to fill our emergency water tubs on our porch. Even this had a scientific twist when Thomas took the lid off of one and discovered a dark substance lining the walls and an unidentified blob floating in the small amount of water remaining in the bottom. Personally, I would have just cleaned the tub and left the dark substance to the unknown. We know the tap water is not clean. We see the dirt and other bits of debris that it contains. But Thomas, being a better scientist than I, got our new microscope out to investigate. He used a mirror so the lack of power did not deter his efforts. Okay, not that he is a microbiologist and was able to clearly put a name to this strange floating presence but at least he took the time to get an up-close look. I chose to not look. I already know there are reasons we drink purified water and even use it to brush our teeth.

This is just a bit of the school that took place the beginning of this week. Maybe sometime soon, I will share the planned learning experiences of our 2009-2010 school year.


1 comment:

  1. You are such a good homeschool Mom to make learning out of everything! You've always amazed me in that! Hope your "planned" learning is going well too. I'm working on my planning for fall right now.