Friday, 28 February 2014

Insects and reptiles are my favourite animals (Project II)

'Do you want your children or students to love learning? Don’t say “Here, we know what’s best for you — sit down, be quiet, and listen.” But also don’t just say “Go, do whatever you want.” Do better than that. Support their interests and their self-chosen work fully — with your attention, your time, your space, and your cold hard cash. Invest in their interests. Invest in their talents. Instead of letting them ride in the back seat while you take them on a wonderful adventure, show them how to drive the car.' (Project Based Homeschooling)

Over the last few months, Mr A's main interest has slowly shifted from Sea Life (Project I) to Terrestrial invertebrates and Reptiles (Project II). 

I am learning to step back and observe. Then I help him find real material of interest (soil with earthworms, stones with woodlice, caterpillars, frogs), tools for exploration (books, magnifying glass, microscope), take him to places (museums), show him online resources documentaries, you tube videos). 

Mr A makes it very clear whether he likes something or not. Whenever we pick up a book, he bluntly ignores all the fluffy mammals and feathery birds saying 'I don't like those!'. Also, he always speaks about specific group/species which I find quite fascinating; Johnston's chameleon, Tokay gecko, gharial, dung beetle, stag beetle, trap-door spider, orchid pray mantis,... Even Miss R can recognise a gecko now... She has been told so many times :)

And this is what we have been up to.

We watched our caterpillar turning into a chrysalis and then into a moth. How lucky is this! And how precious to witness those AHA moments in your children...


We had a gecko birthday cake. 

We did a little bit of alphabet work (very little indeed). See how the selection of animals reflects Mr A's current interests :)


We explored various crocodile species at the crocodile zoo. Children were able to handle a baby Nile crocodile, which was exciting. 



We visited the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, which reopened after 14 months of renovations works. Mr A really enjoyed exploring various animals, while Miss R just kept running around and poking her nose into heating vents. On our visit, they had a workshop with live insects, which fitted really well into Mr A's current interests. 'Leaf insect is my favourite.'

We painted, sculpted with playdough and played with loose parts.


I drew a gecko outline for Mr A to paint, decorate with glue and fabric, colour in,...  And this is want happened. He picked up a red felt tip pen and scribbled all over. And then he explained: 'The dots mean this is a Tokay gecko. The circle on the tail is an egg, where a baby gecko will come from. The red lines are veins with blood, which carries oxygen. Some of the veins popped out.' 

We were pretending to be geckos climbing trees (barefoot of course) and hiding under a suspended bench. And much more animal pretend play with daddy... Usually fairly noisy...


We love love exploring our garden. There is never a shortage of earth worms, spiders, woodlice, ladybirds and if we are extremely lucky we even get frogs, toads and newts.


We have been watching youtube videos about a range of reptiles and terrestrial invertebrates and Mr A finds this dung beetle video absolutely hilarious. There is so much giggling that I end up laughing just watching him...

No comments:

Post a Comment