Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Do I need it? Homeschooling Material Issue

This morning I woke up to realize that I hadn't completed a purchase of a book online yesterday that I'd intended to.  Usually, this would make me feel disappointed, but in this case, I was relieved by the possibility.  

Need vs. Want...  I find that it's often a moment by moment question.

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting with Autumn trying to explain longitude and latitude.  She wasn't getting it with the Evan Moor book I was using.  I felt at a loss.  I instantly regretted not purchasing a book I'd intended to last spring.  So, I walked over to the computer and quickly ordered the book and workbook.  Then, I sat for a minute and felt the push to not give up.  I pulled the book back out and opened it up again.  I brought over the globe and showed it to her.  I pointed out the line around the middle.  She immediately recognized the equator.  Then, I showed her the latitude and longitude lines.  She said, "Wow!  I never noticed those before."  I explained the degrees, which of course she asked "why are they degrees?"  My answer to that was a bad one, because I only knew they always had been measured that way.  She accepted it, though, for now.  

I went back over to the computer and cancelled the part of my order that I knew I could.  I accepted that I'd have to pay for the second part.  But, I was so relieved to realize this morning that I'd never completed the second part of the order.  It wasn't a need--though I thought it had been.  I didn't need the other books after all.  I just needed to use my brain!  And spend some time with my daughter being patient--finding a hands on way to explain latitude and longitude to her.  

As a side note, my husband explained to me at dinner because it is measured in degrees because each measurement is an angle.  
For latitude, picture a line from the center of the earth to the equator.  Then, draw a second line to a latitude line north of the equator.  The angle those two lines create is the degree of latitude--North or South of the equator.  
For longitude, picture a line from the center of the earth to the prime meridian.  Then, draw a second line to a longitude line East of the prime meridian.  the angle those two lines create is the degree of longitude--East or West of the prime meridian.  

I'm so glad to understand now that I'm 38 years old why they're measured in degrees!  My daughter doesn't understand angles fully yet, but will be this year.  And when she does, then I can explain to her better why latitude and longitude are measured in degrees.

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to tell you about Sea Clocks The Story of Longitude by Louise Borden. It was really interesting to Micaela and Nathaniel when we read it about 2 years ago. We will probably pull it out and read it again this year because at the time they were a little young for it, but I thought if you wanted a story book to go along with your study of geography (specifically why we divide the earth in those segments) it's a great book and it's probably at your Library for free :)