In Which We Travel the Solar System

We're finishing up a lesson in social studies and geography for Eliana's Oakmeadow homeschool lesson this week. The idea was to pick a destination on a map and take a roadtrip following the planned route. We've already learned how to use a compass, find our way to and from the neighbor's with it, located our town and county, and made a drawing of the state of Maine, so I wanted to make this one fun. My neighbor, Joan, happens to be a teacher (and the grandmother of Eliana's new BFF, Lucy), so my original idea to drive to the children's museum as scrapped when Joan suggested we make the drive through northern Maine's solar system model. One road. Multiple points on a map. And the girls get to speed through the entire solar system scaled down to a 40-mile long route in one afternoon?

Bring it.









Joan told me the earth rotates at 6,040 miles per hour and orbits at 67,06 miles per hour. At its core, the solar system rotates at 514,000 miles per hour and the Milky Way at 1,340,000 miles per hour. That means that if we could travel as fast as the universe, we could circle Earth on foot in about two minutes.

A half tank of gas. 80 miles round trip just for the solar system route plus the drive home. Two best friends laughing-shrieking-sometimes fighting-sometimes perforating our ear drums with excitement when the next planet came into view. It was incredible. It was exhausting. It was unforgettable.

And also exhausting.

Lack of wine and the inability to drive faster than the car in front of me makes me wish I was the Milky Way.