Why I love homeschooling – Reason #9387
Our very large, zero-turn mower was stuck in a ditch. I was not exactly pleased that young Arthur had decided to mow the ditch beside the road, but appreciated his desire to lighten the burden for his dad, who’s been getting home a bit later in the evenings.
“Two boards!” I yelled to the other boys, and they quickly brought a couple 2 x 4’s. We placed them under the tires…insufficient traction. We dug in deeper, to no avail. Pushing and pulling, we simply couldn’t move that mower. I went to the house to call my husband, frustrated that I would have to present him with yet another problem to solve. As I was dialing the number, Arthur comes running in having had a “Eureka!” moment. “Archimedes, mom…Archimedes!”
Using the two boards as levers, he wedged them at the front of the mower and by providing just a small amount of force, we were able to move the mower out of the rut and into position to drive forward.
Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.
We didn’t move the world, but the mower is back in operation thanks to a quick thinking young man who loves physics and is a big fan of Archimedes.
It never ceases to amaze me how much the children retain from their studies. I believe it’s because we are able to explore topics in greater depth, using their interest as the means of exploration. While studying ancient Greece, we read a book called Archimedes and the Door of Science. This book really opened the door to physics and the boys have taken great delight in classifying the various types of simple machines and even the more complex machines according to Archimedean principles. It’s quite astounding to listen to a 9 yr. old boy explain to a seasoned farmer how the auger in his grain elevator is based on Archimedes’ Screw.
As I was explaining to a dear friend today: “It seems that if ever I were to leave any holes in what they should be learning, they are always more than willing to fill them in themselves…”
Thank you, Archimedes…and thank you, God, for the gift of homeschooling!