Teaching geology in a home school setting can be challenging for several reasons. Many home school curricula are faith-based and do not discuss geology at all because of the geological time scale. Others alter some of the facts about the science to fit their beliefs. I am often asked the question, “can home school teaching include lessons in geology without having to discuss the timeline or the origin on the Earth.” The answer is a resounding YES.
The fact is that EVERY mineral has a luster. Geologists use so many terms for different types of luster is will make your head spin. Sometimes the luster is obvious and sometimes a little more subtle. Basically, luster is the appearance of a mineral’s surface when light shines on the sample. The absorption, refraction and reflection of the light upon the surface of the mineral will present as different luster.
Salt is a common mineral found worldwide called halite. Many people also call the mineral rock salt. The mineral is very soft in relation to other minerals and can form nice crystal shapes. The crystals can forms individually in crystalline masses. Rock salt forms as a common sedimentary deposit in areas of enclosed salt water. Salt is a versatile teaching tool because it has definite physical properties that are easy to recognize and you can perform in class and at home experiments as a demonstration.