As we prepare to take some road trips within the United States, my husband and I wanted to check out the national parks West of the Mississippi. So I got this book from the library, to get some information on the subject.
Produced by National Geographic, this Guide to the National Parks of the United States is a great reference for any library. I am thinking of buying it for our library and that’s saying a lot. I believe in books in the home, but we already have too many. So I am highly selective when it comes to buying more. When I do buy another book, I usually get it on Kindle, so it sits there tucked away in the digital world.
However, this is one of those books you want to leaf through and smell and feel and touch. The pictures are National Geographic quality: dramatic and insanely picturesque. After nine pages of introductory remarks, you can go straight into the description of each park.
The 58 national parks in the US are separated into geographical regions: the East, the Southwest, the Colorado Plateau, the Pacific Southwest, the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska.
There is an index at the end of the guide, as well as map keys and credits, acknowledgements etc.
What really touched me from the first chapter, titled “The Gift of the Parks” was a statement which I think applies to homeschooling as well. It said, “the establishment of a park is only the beginning; that if we do it right, we never stop establishing that park, because we never stop learning about it, and about ourselves.”
Don’t you think that is a great description for homeschooling a child? Once you start homeschooling, that is only the beginning. If you do it right, you never stop homeschooling, because you never stop learning about your child and about yourself.
Oh, and I learned the average time people spend in a national park is – wait for it – half a day. Shocking, isn’t it? You do all that driving to get there only to spend half a day in the park. We see it here in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park on a regular basis. For most people, visiting this park means sitting the car and driving up to Newfound Gap.