Our homeschool family has pets- one cat and two dogs. However recently my son requested a puppy – he made his case by pointing out how much he would learn from watching a puppy grow and taking care of it.
I have always believed pets (http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/family/pets/article7.html) provide a priceless learning opportunity. Kids get a close up and interactive opportunity to learn about:
-every aspect about the type of pet, including its biological history, proper care, heritage, etc.
-responsibility including feeding, providing water, cleaning it’s habitat and ensuring its safety.
-writing by narrating a story about the pet, or writing poetry about them or just plain describing it.
-compassion, as learning to care for and love a living thing that is completely dependent on you can be an illuminating experience.
There are many choices for a homeschool pet. Great options are easily managed pets, like amphibians, insects and fish. Mammal options include a cat, dog, rat, mouse, guinea pig, ferret, rabbit or gerbil.
Taking on a pet is most definitely a commitment, therefore some real research should take place as a family to reach a good decision. Life span should be one of the first considerations. Some commitments can last years. Others just months.
You may want to start small and raise ants, earthworms or purchase a butterfly kit to watch them go from caterpillars to butterfly.
Whatever you choose, keep in mind your child’s age, attention span and how much time you have to devote to the ultimate care of the pet since most likely it will fall on you to ensure it’s survival.
Homeschool Activities by SmartTutor.com
Article by Nuria Almeida
Photo By Mosman Council