Thursday, May 25, 2006

Today Cody and I attempted to learn about some of the ancient civilizations in Central America. I had grabbed Susan Wise Bauer's wonderful book "The Story of the World" and plopped outside in a chair while he sat on the sidewalk watching the ants. Of course, it was funny when a roly-poly scurried by, elephant to the antmen. We had to break to watch him humph on by the undistracted skilled workers of the city, carrying material for their mounds. We made it back to the book; I think Cody heard about the huge mysterious drawings in Peru. I retrieved a globe inside and found Cody still bent over the ants. We moved on the porch, and then the discussion went all over the world as the topographical globe was felt. We finally returned to the Olmecs and the huge mounds of dirt that were built basketful by basketful to form a pyramid temple ... like the Egyptians whom they had no contact with, they built the same form to connect to the heavens. I tried to discuss the connection. Maybe he got it. Maybe it takes much more context. I realize now, though, that I failed to use the most fitting metaphor at hand: the ants! How are we like them and how have we not been like them? What would we think if one group of ants in Missouri built a monument that resembled the West Virginian ants' monument? What if this monument served a purpose unrelated to food and shelter? Perhaps this discussion would lead to other places, places with huge questions but no sanctified answers?

I do love learning alongside my son!


Rebecca said...

It sure is fun to learn along with them. I am always amazed that ants are so strong and can carry several times their body weight. It would be pretty helpful for me to be able to do that...Annie sure is getting heavy!

Dawn said...

Teri, what a great post! What a wonderful way to learn about the world, alongside your mom. (And for us, alongside our kids!) :)

Fieldfleur said...

Thanks for your homeschooling encouragment, ladies!