Wednesday, July 4, 2007

My Nature Boys

You know, I've been very perplexed in reading about Charlotte Mason education, how I was going to get my boys interested in nature study. With Pooh, it has been very difficult to interest him in much of anything nature-wise. Oh, once in a while he has gotten hold of a subject and verbally beat it to death. For instance, bees. He watched a magic school bus video on bees and honey-making and has repeated it the facts he learned from it over and over and over and over and over and, well, you get the idea. I must preface this story with the fact that he does like spiders and has known about Black Widows for a while, but I think he really enjoyed a "nature study" event today.

Often, in our yard work, the King and I discover black widows. And yes, although I allow most things to live, I do kill these. (Not to get too far off the subject here, but a science center nearby informed us that they are not native and they have invaded our state too well to even think of eradication. So i feel slightly justified in killing them. They're not supposed to be here anyway. And if it's them or my kids, I choose the kids. At least most days. LOL) Anyway, we discovered several today and most were guarding their egg sacs. The kids loved seeing them and watching daddy "take care of things" (I'll try not to use the word "kill" anymore, for those of you inclined to save all living creatures). We discussed why we had to "take care of" the egg sacs as well as the spider. The next thing I knew, Pooh was coming out with a colored pencil drawing of a black widow, complete with hourglass spot. Then a few minutes later, here comes Tigger, not to be outdone with his own 4-legged black widow and accompanying egg sac. They were so cute. I thought, maybe we can do this nature study stuff after all.

Tigger was also completely fascinated with worms today. Even touched and held them. Something he wouldn't do before. He, unfortunately killed (oops, i mean "took care of") a couple of them by trying to push them into tunnels he had dug for them. We discussed how they had to do their own wiggling and tunneling for themselves. I took a couple of pictures of him with his worms. He even touched a big fat slug! He's braver than I am, that's for sure.

Both boys decided today that they were going to be scientists. Pooh will be a black widow scientist and Tigger is planning on a general insect science.

Of course, Tigger has changed his future jobs a lot lately. He went from wanted to be a builder and working at Lowe's Home Improvement to being a fire fighter just this week. Now he's going to be a scientist. Wouldn't it be cool if we got to do all the jobs we dream up as kids??

1 comment:

The Glasers said...

I think you just found the secret to nature study! (1) Spend time outdoors so they have enough time to process what they see. (2) Let them find things to draw that interest them.

I also keep my own nature notebook and, when we are frustrated with our drawings (David and I), we talk about how we might improve. Or when we really like a drawing, we explain what helped us do better.

Also, you might want to read about people who kept nature notebooks and how it helped them find a great job: Beatrix Potter (wanted to be a scientist, became an author), Michael Faraday (did not draw many natural things because he was a city boy, but filled notebooks with scientific ideas and drawings), George Washington Carver (he was quite an artist, too), etc.

Nature notebooks help them become better observers and that could help them become better scientists (or whatever career they choose).