Many schools are going to be in session on August 21, and if your kid goes to one that is NOT in the path, you might want to think about taking them out of school to see totality.
Not sure that you want to do that? We understand. But consider this personal message, from the webmaster of eclipse2017.org:
I am not a teacher, though I hold a High School Math teacher’s license. (The classroom is just too tough a place for me!) But I have been a private tutor for 26 years, and I have three kids of my own, who I would like to think have been raised to be the best they can be, while respecting the system that has allowed them to achieve their fullest potential. (My youngest daughter has been accepted into Engineering School at Purdue, and none of my kids has ever done anything that I would consider terrible – so my wife and I consider ourselves truly and absolutely blessed beyond measure.)
I have always believed that we are our children’s first and best teachers, and that the public education system is only an extension of what we ourselves would be doing for the kids in our communities – if we only had the experience, knowledge, education, and time. That is what we pay teachers to do, and we as a society are more than fortunate that we have VERY special individuals who are willing and able to do this MOST important job. Many people do not understand the unique difficulties that teachers face on a daily basis – but those of us who do, DO!
Respect for the system, for authority, and for society’s established constructs is one of the lessons we must teach (and model in our own behaviors) incessantly, and it is important to set a positive example to ensure that our kids learn what they need to know in order to function in society, and to contribute positively. That lesson can never be undermined, because adherence to it is the glue that literally holds our society together.
But as parents, there are times when we need to step in and respectfully exert our authority as our children’s first and best educators. Those times are few and far between, and should always be undertaken with discussion, cooperation, and mutual respect. But when they are called for, no substitute can serve.
A total eclipse is one of those times.
As an educator, a parent, and as someone who has seen 12 total eclipses, I can think of nothing more amazing on this Earth that would warrant taking my kids out of school to go see with them and my wife, as a family. The experience of totality is overwhelming to the point of complete emotional and intellectual saturation, and is life-changing. Many eclipse chasers in their 50s and 60s remember a time so long ago, when their parents took them to see totality – and they can still close their eyes, return to the time they were 7, and remember the experience in their minds. For them, their parents became [even greater] heroes for them on that day, and there is no trip to mouseland or a kids’ pizza place that can ever hope to compare to this. Total eclipses are rare, they are stunning, they are beautiful beyond description, and there is no way to overstate the experience that a family can have together, bonded by what they experience in the path.
Whatever these kids might miss in school on that day, they can make up. Whatever they see in the path that day, they will never ever forget. The scales are tipped irrevocably in favor of the adventure, the surprise, the promise, the majesty that IS totality.
So, go see the total eclipse… and take a kid with you! I promise you, they’ll never forget it!