This is our journal. This is what we did. This is what we played. This is what we learned.
"Unschooling encourages exploration of activities initiated by the children themselves, believing that the more personal learning is, the more meaningful, well-understood and therefore useful it is to the child." (from Wikipedia)
woah…it's been a while. what can i say? old habits die hard.
lots of unschooling being squeezed into our very busy school year schedule. i need to get used to the fact that summertime is going to be our time to really bang out our homeschooling. for now anyway. while Ol's articulation therapy needs are so intense and we have to follow the public school calendar for his sessions. He has made such great progress, hopefully we will be able to cut down on the number of sessions he has per week.
The reason I have returned to blogger: I wanted to post a bit about the value of animals in our lives. I've always loved animals and have always wanted all kinds of pets, but I never really appreciated how much you can get out of having a pet until watching how my kids interact with animals.
In our home we have a 29 gallon community tank that is just awesome! We actually are hoping to get a larger tank sometime and try some different kinds of fish.
The kids love to pull up chairs to sit and watch the different behaviors of the different fish, and have learned about classification, nocturnal v. diurnal behaviors, diets and eating habits… and yes, even mortality and death.
They know the responsibilities of maintaining the tank- feeding (which daddy lets them help with), cleaning, and testing the water.
We also have a dog. The kids have learned a ton from her, too- feeding, cleaning, playing and loving. Such a love fest between the kids and the dog. It's adorable. The whole unconditional love thing is my favorite part of my kids having her.
The other day they asked me if the dog has teeth… which prompted a lesson on why mommy insists that they be nice to her. Our dog, a pit bull we found through a rescue organization about a year and half ago, has the patience of a saint and takes quite a bit of love (in the form of abuse) from the boys. I have said many times, she is not the smartest dog, but she is a good dog! It may sound crazy but she is proof that pits are amazing family dogs. I honestly don't think I could trust another kind of dog to have the temperament that she does. If you want to watch a great documentary check out "Beyond the Myth." It's on Netflix.
but I digress…...
My kids have their parent's love of all animals that is for sure. They love going to 4H fairs to see and learn about cattle, sheep, goats, chicken, and even llamas. And they are fearless about feeding them right out of their hands!
We've also made sure to point out and explain to them how animals communicate without words. Ol definitely gets it. He understands what we mean when we say to respect the animal who doesn't want to be bothered. Owen is still young, but he does know to ask both myself and the owner when he meets a dog he wants to pet.
I love the learning opportunities that come from interacting and caring for animals. I also feel like animals can boost a person's confidence and self esteem too. I can't wait until the kids are old enough to participate in 4H themselves. In the meantime, I am pretty excited to be adding a new animal to the family for us to enjoy and learn from.
My husband challenged me to find a cheap cage, and should I accomplish that, he would agree to buying a ferret. I did it! I actually channeled all my DIY energy and scrounged up enough materials around the house to make my own ferret cage. Now we just have to add the cute little animal.
Here is my finished product… for the sake of Pinterest I will post a DIY instructional later! ;)