Ask Alison: Geology (part 2)


Alison is back with a few more thoughts about geology. Enjoy!


In my other post I mentioned books and activities that are very easy to do in and around the home. But I also think it is important to consider doing something BIG for geology if possible. And remember this does not have to be done during the time you are doing the main lesson. It can be anytime that works for your family. We just went to Big Bend National Park this fall, and even though Jack and James did their Geology main lesson years ago, we all still felt it was part of the same continuum. The expansive time frame of homeschooling is one of the things I love the most about it!

Recently I have been reflecting on the invigorating effect extreme locations can have on one’s imagination and stamina. Now I am never going to climb Mount Everest or float the Amazon, but over the years different trips have taken us to the deserts of Tucson, snow skiing in New Mexico, mountain hikes in west Texas, the beach in North Carolina, freezing plunges into Lake Michigan, the black swamp in Ohio, the bayous outside of New Orleans, steam boat rides on the Mississippi river, the Flint Hills of Kansas, the Sand Hills of Nebraska, and the pine forests of Northern Wisconsin.

As Waldorf homeschoolers we often stress about what should come first  – the observation or the explanation of a scientific phenomena. By the time your student reaches the age for a Geology main lesson, I think it is OK just to let this chicken or egg issue go. From my experience, children of this age really enjoy taking an arsenal of fast facts out into the field. Knowledge of some basic concepts relating to the earth’s structure, land formations, how different kinds of rocks are formed, gem stones and biomes can really make things conceptually  “pop” when out on a hike or on an excursion.

Those of you who know me well, also know that I can be somewhat of an armchair traveler or accidental tourist. I am grateful to my many years of Waldorf homeschooling for occasionally taking me out of my comfort zone. When I get back home, there is always that cup of tea or a cocktail waiting and my cozy couch to rescue me. Of course, there is also the perfect book to help process the journey sitting on my bookshelf. If you are interested, a perfect book to celebrate our planet’s mind blowing geologic extremes (my boys loved this sort of thing and now I do too) is Seymour Simon’s Extreme Earth Records.

Happy Travels  – armchair and otherwise,


3 thoughts on “Ask Alison: Geology (part 2)

  1. Travel is one of the hidden gifts of homeschooling! So many places to visit. Alison, I love your permission to let go of the experience vs. explanation struggle by this age. And I remembered after your first post an author I love for Geology: Carroll Lane Fenton. Her books were written in the 30’s and 40’s; check out Earth’s Adventures or Our Amazing Earth. She has lots on fossils and rocks too. Happy Exploring!

  2. Pingback: Ask Alison: Animals | Sure as the World

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