For their geometry homeschool class this week, the kids are constructing bridges using 125 flat toothpicks. The bridge has to be more than 5cm high and 4cm wide. The goal is to see how much weight the bridge will handle before collapsing. Yes, the bridge will be broken at the end of the week, which seems rather sad, so we'll see how that goes. They are both in the planning stages still, so I'll share pictures at the end of the week of their finished bridges. I'm excited to see what designs they produce.
We've been inspired by this artist and his stunning creations (see video here.)
Meanwhile, I read aloud To Kill A Mockingbird a couple of years ago to the kids, but they are reading it for their homeschool literature class this session, so they needed to have a re-read. To help free them up to work on the bridges and do a bit of car-schooling (lots of road trips to visit friends lately), we got the audio book on cd. This production is simply amazing and it's well-worth a listen, even if you've read the book a many times like I have.
I remember so clearly when my own mother read this book aloud to my sister and me. I was eight and she was six, and since then, the Finches and their neighbors have been as real to us as our own blood. Listening to the book again, rather than reading to myself or the kids, makes those memories with my mother flood back, as do the memories of my own childhood--the riding in truck tires, swinging on board and rope swings and sleeping hot summer nights on the porch. When Adam and Olivia make their movies and create elaborate stories and act them out with the friends, I'm always able to picture the Finch children (and Dill, of course) act out their own far-fetched stories. There's something so wonderful in knowing that children still play pretty much the same as they always did.
When the kids wrap up their literature discussion, we'll watch the movie again. I've long thought this was one of the best book to movie adaptations, ever. It remains one of our family's favorites. The book/film are constantly quoted in our house, too, usually around the dinner table. Speaking of which, pass the damn ham, please!