Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Perpetual Motion and Entropy

As many of you who read here know, both my spouse and I are full-time working parents whom have chosen to unschool our youngest child. In stepping off the mainstream path most people follow, we have had to learn some new concepts and ideals about just what constitutes a real education and just what constitutes real value in ones life. These conversations have lead to much reflection on both of our childhoods, time spent with friends, time spent with parents, and just how did these life events effect our overall growth and life choices.

My spouse had an incredibly happy and carefree childhood. His father was an incredible man, deep thinker, inventor, who traveled through his life in a very unique way. His mother was a woman far ahead of the ladies of her generation, working in a man's world, piloting planes when very few women even stepped near a cockpit. These two people raised a very interesting man that I'm proud to call my husband.

So....now let me share with you why this praise is being shared today.

In choosing to unschool, as working parents, we needed to find a way to keep each other informed (or more so, he needs to keep me as recordkeeper, informed) of just what type of topics are discussed, learned, and or played with. Recently, we have started using emails as they make for easy filing and future reference. So here is the recent email I just received on just what these two deep thinkers have been discussing:

From my spouse:

George and I are studying Perpetual Motion Machines today. This covers basic physics, research techniques and critical thinking. As usual George has impressed me with his understanding of the world around him, which is well beyond his years.

George's entry:

Perpetual motion machines are machines that last infinitely without any outside energy. One example is where there is a water wheel that powers a generator that powers a pump which pumps the water back up to the water wheel.

This is impossible because of friction. The friction between the water wheel and the generator converts some of the energy into heat this heat is not harnessed so the machine always loses some energy and will eventually grind to a stop.

In raising children, it is truly a blessing when two parents can find some balance and work together to enrich their children's lives. I've been incredibly fortunate to have such a spouse.


ComfyDenim said...

Very Cool!!

Annie said...

Now that is what I call the record of a perfectly beautiful teaching moment!!