Things and ideas that I would normally be too afraid to embrace, are much less scary when they are required to further the education of my children.
For example, I was once a fan of having pets. However, after the tragic loss of our beloved dog, Gizmo, two years ago, I no longer have the desire to take responsibility for the life of another non-human living thing. I know it will most likely die before I do, and I just don't have the heart required to say good-bye to something I love so dearly.
Sooooo... imagine my response when my oldest son, Bryson, begs me to buy him a dog.
Then a cat?
Then a rabbit?
How about a fish?
Of course, you know how diligent children can be. He would NOT stop asking.
So, thinking I could outsmart a nine-year-old (and thinking my mother would back me up), I told him if his grandmother had a spare fish bowl, we'd give fish ownership a try. He eagerly approaches my mother, who totally ignores my fervently shaking head. What do you know, she just happens to have a spare fish bowl right there in her cupboard. Oh... yay...
So we bought a betta fish. And just as I feared, within four days, she was dead.
This is where my uncharacteristic bravery kicked in.
It would have been so easy to give up, and say we're not meant to own a fish. But I couldn't bear to see that look of failure and hopelessness on the face of my precious child. He was ready to give up, after the death of one fish. I guess the home educator in me knew we could not pass up this teaching opportunity.
What did we learn from fish #1? Answer = We don't know the first thing about fish care.
We spent the next few nights researching betta fish and how to care for them. We checked out books from the library. We looked on the internet. We talked to my mom, who owns a tankful of fish. And we actually listened to what she said.
We went to Petsmart, bought another fish bowl, and purchased two fish ~ Waterfall and Big Guy. My husband and I figured our odds of keeping at least one fish alive were better this way.
That was three weeks ago. The fish are still alive!!!!
Another example of my homeschool-inflicted bravery -
For our science curriculum, we've been going through the days of creation. This is our third year of homeschooling, so we are on Day Three - when God created the land, the trees, the plants. This year I've chosen to use Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany. This means we will be spending the entire year studying plants.
Let me first tell you, I am not a "plant person". When they were passing out "green thumbs", they completely left me out of the rotation. Give me a plant, and I guarantee it will be dead by the end of the week.
I don't know where I get this from, as my mother has the greenest thumb I've ever seen. She has plants literally climbing the walls at her house. It's beautiful.
I have two green plants in my house. They are in our fish bowls... and they are artificial.
So as you can guess, I was a little nervous when on Day 6 of our school year, the curriculum says we need to plant some herbs so we can watch them grow throughout the semester.
I must admit, I was tempted to say, "Let's skip over Day Three of creation (botany), and move onto Day Four (astronomy)."
But I didn't say that.
Instead, I got some pots, some dirt, some seeds, some water, and some courage. We planted two small pots of romaine lettuce, one small pot of basil, and one small pot of parsley.
That was yesterday.
We actually remembered to water them today.
They're not dead yet. At least I don't think they are.
I'll keep you updated...