When you expect it the least, nature has a way of surprising you — with its beauty, its mystery, and its school lessons.
This past week, my children had several encounters with wildlife. My five-year-old somehow spotted a small snake in the grass, and we all searched for a minute until we saw it again. It was striped green and yellow, so we caught it, held it for a few minutes, and then let it go. Researching it on the Internet confirmed my guess: it was a very small garter snake.
Later, when our cousins came over to spend the day, the children went exploring around the building behind our house. Inside they found a small bird that seemed to be trapped; it flew around the building, but it couldn’t find its way out. After an hour or so, one of the children caught it and brought it back to the house; it was a little wren. My younger son tried to feed it some bread, as he often does with our chickens, but his aunt told him this small bird was an insect-eater, and it probably wouldn’t want the bread — Another science lesson to pursue!
The week was marked with even more discoveries outside. One child found a cicada shell while another discovered a large spider. We went outside one evening after dark and saw a small brown bat flying overhead. An unexpected visit from a humming bird and a piece of an egg on the ground brought even more excitement.
Homeschooling allows for all these sudden discoveries — we can postpone our seatwork in science for the day and instead investigate all the wonderful finds. The children will not only complete their science for the day, but it will be a lesson they won’t easily forget.
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo from garyirwin