Posted by: Kirsten | Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Mercurial Thoughts: All the Difference in the World

NASA Messenger foto of Mercury's surfaceMessenger’s Pictures From Mercury: Are alien life forms looking at earth’s Yellowstone Basin and thinking similar thoughts about the giant caldera in northwestern Wyoming?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the beautiful and fascinating pictures that have been streaming in from the Cassini mission around Saturn the past several years, and now a new mission (Messenger) just sent us some tantalizing things to ponder over for years to come — close-up images of Mercury’s surface.  What’s really great is that we can learn so much about our planetary neighbors, but what’s even more promising is the opportunity to learn about the past and future of our own planet by being nosey with our rocky and gassy neighbors here on Solar System Circle.

As you consider topics or curriculum for homeschooling your kids each year, try not to focus solely on earthly things — be sure to include astronomy, planetary geology and geography, the history of space exploration, science fiction reading, and dozens of other forward-looking topics that will make your children’s education not ordinary, but extraordinary (and extra-terrestrial).  

Got religion?  Have you thought about how your kids will perceive the vast universe of questions out there and how the galaxy of potential answers mesh with your own beliefs?  Will you encourage your children to be curious and seek their own answers, or are you satisfied with one of several ancient explanations not open to updating or interpretation?  These are difficult choices for some, and easy ones for others.  Whatever you do, don’t just think about it — planet now into your homeschool experience!  

Parke diem!
— Jon

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