Tuesday, October 22, 2013

lessons from yesterdays nature walk

 Yesterday at 11 am I was finishing my own homework when I realized how late it was.  I hadn’t only missed starting school with Boo on time I had missed starting school at our new chosen time on the first day we were going to try it! That is the home school equivalent of being late to the first day of school.  

I quickly pulled out my planner to see what we were late for.  Late for natural science Monday!  Without planning and running short on time before gym I knew where we should go the Wet Land Preserve in our neighborhood.  I sent Boo to let her Papa know, he was out working in his woodshop, that we were leaving.  I head him ask her, “I thought it was a school day?”  “It is! It’s our hiking day.” She called back.  

As it turns out what was an afterthought (almost a near miss altogether!) with no prepared lesson from me, we found our own classroom and topics wide open on the trail ahead of us.  We mapped animal tracks, named birds, talked about horse breeds, snakes, and variants in hibernation methods. Then because of a little thorn the day turned into a fantastic lesson on seed dispersal which rolled back into our book study of genetics and how/why certain traits survive generation to generation.

It shouldn’t surprise me that it works this way.  After all I created natural science Monday or our hiking day as Boo calls it.  I knew there was value in spending as many Monday as this season holds out discovering the changing world.  And yet I was surprised to watch how easily it happens.  If you give a child time and nature they will learn.  And so will you.          

These pic's are of a funny little farm bordering the wetland.  Since I wasn't willing to scale the fence like Boo was I couldn't get a good shot of all the animals in the field but out there together where goats, cows, a horse, lamas, alpacas, geese, and emus!

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