Once a month, I take my children to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg for science classes designed especially for homeschoolers. Preschoolers started last week, but I could not take my daughter because she suffered from acute bronchitis.
My son being in kindergarten, he attends the K-2 class – an interesting mix of maturity levels. So far, we have attended two classes. About fifteen children showed up each time. Their parents, some handling a preschooler and/or a baby, attend the class as well. The young ones behave well. So far, no incidents.
The students sit on the carpet in the middle of the room. Parents and younger siblings sit on chairs set up against three of the walls in the room.
The September class, Beautiful Biomes, presented the seven types of environments on this planet. My son found it a bit boring. The PowerPoint slides did not save us from the monotony of a lecture-style presentation, although the teacher’s voice brimmed with excitement.
Thirty minutes into it, my son came over to my seat and told me he was bored. I encouraged him to pay attention as best he could. He did not have to wait long after that.
The teacher asked the students to line up so they can receive materials for the hands-on activity. They created their own biome by planting flower seeds into mason jars filled with dirt. My son was proud to bring his home.
The October class, Shooting Stars, held our attention better. Pictures of the Universe inspire me with awe. Space fascinates my son.
For the craft, they built shooting stars, following step-by-step directions from the teacher.
We received a handout with about thirty websites to check out about space. I can’t wait to look at more pictures with the Universe. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1
I like science, but it does not come naturally to me. I am thankful to Ripley’s for putting on classes for homeschoolers.