I think we're done with our Unit, the kids' space journals,
the thing I thought would take maybe a term.
We're into term 3 and we're not "finished." As in, we haven't finished answering all the questions we came up with in the beginning.
We are this close to being Done.
But you see…
the kids are full.
They don't suggest it, and when I suggest it, they balk at doing it. I think it's become a bit of a chore for them. A thing to Get Through.
So I think it's time to stop. As unfinished as we are, I need to let it go!
And funnily enough,
even as they've lost interest in 'completing' their journals,
they're still learning about space, about the make-up of the universe,
just not recording it all. Not writing down every little leap in understanding, every bit of information, all those facts.
They're just absorbing it.
My two sponges.
My girl said (two nights ago,
just before going to sleep),
Mum, I've learned so much from reading that To The Moon and Back book!
Yeah. I'm not done, but I've really liked it. Right now I'm in a boring bit, but I think I'll read some more.
This book is about a group of Australians in the 60s, who were given the job of tracking the US Moon expeditions from a station in Australia. It sounds fascinating. It was lying on her bedside table, just underneath her latest Septimus Heap novel. Close by, ready.
She wants to watch the movie Apollo 13 now too. Because I've talked about it, and because she read about it in her book.
I didn't even know she was reading it. It was one of her library finds the other day.
Kind of magic, don't you think?
My son is done with his journal too.
He has spent 6 months reading about Space, every book we could find from the library. But according to our list of questions, he's not Finished with his journal. He still 'needs' to write about Comets, Black Holes, Dark Matter and Space Exploration. Not to mention the cool idea I had of writing about the main Astronomers in history…!
It all sounds great,
He's older than my girl, working at a Year 7+ level these days, so perhaps I should have him finish?
So he can learn to complete tasks, maybe?
Or do something when it's no longer fun?
Or to squeeze every single drop of Learning out…
'til the Most! Comprehensive! Study! of Outer Space! is Complete?
I should leave it be.
he should walk away and travel along
the many other, wonderful twisting paths that drive him and make him so excited.
And maybe, just maybe, one day he'll return to his journal, those pages of information and go, 'Oh! I could add more now!'
The learning will still have happened.
So what's he been up to instead of Space Journaling?
Well, poring over The Elements book that just arrived.
Which details all the elements in the universe, with lush pictures, and fascinating information. He loves loves LOVES this book. Keeps reading parts out to me. Curls up with it on the couch. It's his companion, right now.
This morning he told me all about Chlorine, and how poisonous it is. He said people used it in World War 2 to try to kill each other. When one side tried to use it, he told me, they'd poison themselves half the time. But the little amount that goes in pools won't harm you, he said.
Ah. He talked and talked and talked.
Kind of magic, don't you think?
And what am I up to,
now I'm not asking the kids to finish their Space Journals?
I'm letting go
Of the idea that something has to be
to be valid.
That something has to be written to be learned
(even though that's, almost entirely, the way I've retained information).
Of the idea something has to have an Official End, marking the time you Officially Move On to something new.
I'm also wondering.
Why didn't I do a journal too??
If it's the idea I had
(which the kids loved for a long time),
and the way I learn
and it's about something that interests me,
I wonder why I didn't go on the journey too.
Hmmmm. It would have been SO much fun to do one. With my own art and words, my interpretations and information.
So, while I don't like to look back with regret, I realise
I missed an opportunity.
To write and record and invent and marvel, with my kids.
I was with them, but I wasn't immersed like they were. I was the observer, the facilitator, the collaborator. But I wasn't a co-creator. I wasn't a Do-er like they were. I sat with them most days, and some days we were in it together, watching a video, or talking about something amazing.
But for the most part, I was on the outside looking in.
was the right role to play.
Now, I think: This could change. I could change. Even more than I already have.
I could jump in. More.
Immerse alongside them. More.
Learn side by side by side. More and more and more!
It could be Kind of Magic
don't you think?
I'm linking up
with Owlet today,