“I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.”
One of the best things about homeschooling/unschooling is that we get to choose what we are interested in and what we want to explore further. Both of my girls are little water spirits, and so are naturally drawn to mermaids. They love them. When we go to the store, they look to see if any items have anything to do with mermaids. They have set up a whole mermaid bath area in the tub. When we go to the library we look for mermaid books. They practice drawing mermaids.
They even practice being mermaids, coming up with their own mermaid costumes by putting both feet in one leg of some tights and wrapping the other leg around their waist and tieing. They spend hours in the tub like this:)
My 8-year-old daughter asked me one day to help her spell “mermaid” so she could type it in to youtube…and then she asked me to leave her alone:) She has spent hours and hours on her own exploring all sorts of videos about mermaids, people dressed as mermaids, mermaid shows, possible mermaid sightings, etc. She has watched any movies that are on Netflix that have to do with mermaids. She even pulled up the full version of the 1984 movie “Splash” to watch. That brought back some memories for me!
Learning about mermaids has also led to the exploration of where mermaids live, and has sparked several questions and learning opportunities about the ocean. For example, one day my daughter had a question about how jellyfish sting, so we looked it up and found out the interesting fact that they do not have brains or hearts…or any internal organs, really. We have talked about shells, and how animals form them and live in them, and we have learned about the difference between salt water and fresh water, and what types of fish and animals live in each. Expanding on these topics, the girls grandmother took them to the Denver Aquarium. There they saw all kinds of fish, got to walk underneath giant swimming sharks, fed sting rays, and so much more. They even got to see an underwater mermaid show with live mermaids, and have their picture taken with them.
In thinking about how else we could expand on this topic in a creative way, the girls and I have decided to transform their bathroom into a mermaid habitat. We will be decorating it like an ocean with all kinds of sea creatures, and have even been designing a mermaid throne. One of the first projects we did was to create some jellyfish. We made them by tearing strips of tissue paper and using homemade modge podge (white glue mixed with water) to attach them to the balloons.
Stay tuned for part two of our project to see more of the mermaid habitat as it comes along and some of the fun projects we will be doing to learn more about magical mermaids and our beautiful oceans where they live:)