Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spontaneous nature study and education

I was feeling like a hen in a coop waiting to be let out after all the rain we've had and also being under the weather a bit (both Rebekah and I) of late!
So at the first glimpse of sunshine yesterday morning we seized the opportunity to head out to one of our nearby nature reserves.

It turned out to be a very educational morning (though I didn't plan for it to be that way!)

For instance on the drive there, we were listening to the classical radio station and a piece of music we recognised came on, so we spent some time trying to guess the composer. I don't actually think that either Rebekah or I got it right but we tried never the less:)

(On a side note, we recently flew down to Melbourne for a wedding and guess what Rebekah listened to on the plane - the classical channel - she went through a few of the channels they had and chose that herself - she actually loves classical music, hallelujah!)

Anyway, back to my day yesterday:

This nature reserve has a lake with ducks and up until a couple of years ago, a duck was a duck to me.
I did not realise that there were so many "types" of ducks with their own separate names...I know, I'm a city born and bred, nature ignorant person.
My favourite I think is a "chestnut teal".

Anyway, Rebekah was having so much fun feeding the ducks when I decided to get out our field guide for birds (which I always carry in our outdoors bag) and try to identify some of the ducks we saw in the pond.
I didn't manage to get pictures of them all but here's some pics I took.

We then collected some feathers and thanks to Anna Botsford Comstock, I am now learning that ducks have different types of feathers on their body that serve different functions. We collected some to take home and study.

We then did some tree climbing after lunch and yes with Rebekah being an only child, I have to "join in" on Rebekah's play many times, so don't laugh:

We then observed some of the fallen leaves and as we headed back to the car after a couple of hours, Rebekah said to me that we should have "drawn" something in our nature journals!

Then later at home, Rebekah called me to our back yard to check out some "cute little creatures" that were swimming in a unused pot of water.
I told her they were some type of worms!

This morning she went out to our back yard again to check out the worms and I decided to use the opportunity to actually find out what they were.

Turns out that these little "worms" that I would have previously called them and even referred to them as late as this morning are actually young mosquitoes...once again Anna and her "Handbook of Nature Study" came to the rescue and we spent some time observing and learning about Mosquitoes. The wonders of nature are truly amazing if we just have our eyes opened to observe them.

Rebekah then proceeded to get out her "Christian liberty nature reader" and found a chapter on "mosquitoes" which she read herself. She then proceeded to tell me why the little wigglers or larvae stick their tails up at the surface of the water...it's because they have little hairs at the end of their tails that they breathe with.

So, there you go....all of this education happened spontaneously with Rebekah and this city girl is enjoying and learning alongside her daughter:)


Clara said...

That sounds like a wonderful school day - don't you love the way schooling doesn't HAVE to be tied to a schoolroom?! Life-learning is so much more important than some of the things textbooks teach!!

Amanda said...

I enjoyed reading this post Rosemary. I love your daughter's hunger for understanding nature... what a blessing to be homeschooling her.

I am like you I'm afraid... I would think a duck is a duck, end of story lol. I love watching ducks when we go to a place similiar to the one you visited. They are quite cute and funny!


Ron said...

I really liked this!

Sarah said...

Hey Rosemary...how awesome! Delightful learning in the best way...naturally!


Lauren said...

Have you listened to "Keys to music" on Classic FM -- the show talks you through the elements of classical music so you can learn to appreciate the different styles.

joyfulmum said...

Thanks for the nice comments everyone!
Lauren, thanks for stopping by. I have not listened to that yet but will look into it. I couldn't access your blog today for some reason! I'll try again later!