April 11, 2006

First Frogs of the Season and Homeschooling

Well life as my family knows it has now changed for the next few months. Tonight I heard the first frog or toad calls of the season. Ciaran would know which frog or toad made the sound but not me :) He was already asleep which is about the only thing that saved us from putting boots on, finding flashlights and going out that very moment if he knew the first frogs and toads were out.

For anyone new to the blog you will quickly understand that my son Ciaran REALLY loves frogs. I mean really and we get really into them. There is not a doubt in my mind, weather permitting, that we will be out and about on a frog hunt in the morning or early afternoon of tomorrow. He has been asking since there was still snow on the ground when we the first frogs were coming. It is not nearly descriptive to say he will be very excited at the news tomorrow.

So the next few months will be filled with frogs, toads and other slimy and furry creatures that Ciaran manages to catch and find. Last year he caught a baby duck who was injured and numerous frogs, toads, worms, grasshoppers and other little critters. What will this year bring?

We filled the bird feeders and tonight's news was about the swallows that are apparently building a nest in our tree and there are many robins all around. The arrival of these little animals and the wonderful weather we have been having, the sounds of frogs at evening and being able to leave the windows open are truly wonderful features of spring!

Spring brings so many opportunities to school in nature. The nature notebooks come back out, the field guides and books on animals and just being in nature and experiencing it. Lessons about God and his creation are a natural follow up to all the awe and wonder going on at creation all around them. Science is easy as we watch the circle of life in birds, butterflies, frogs, and so many other critters. We watch the ice melt to ponds and lakes and see the fish begin to swim again. We feel and see the changes in season. We witness the natural blooming of flowers from a silent buried plant to something green, to buds to full blooms.

Somehow PE time is so easy and fun as bicycles, skateboards, scooters, baseball mitts and balls of every kind come out and begged to be used all day. Impromptu kickball, hide and seek, freeze tag and other running games are played by kids all around.

Spring may be the easiest, and the hardest season for homeschooling. Easy because everything around you is truly an easy lesson in itself. Tough because the call of playtime and leisure is so loud. Easy because you submerge yourself in learning all around you. Tough because you never want to come inside or do anything else. In balance it definitely comes out on the easier side for us. So you adapt and you go with the flow but the real life learning and passions sparked during this season are truly wondrous things that do far more to encourage and solidify learning and knowledge and a passion for them than any book or serious study ever could.

Soon we start our frog lessons, we start our flower lessons and we continue learning through life. In the end we are trying to raise life long learners who have a passion for learning, knowledge and wisdom. Also children who love the Lord and the wonderful world he created. What better way to close this post then in the nightly words of my dear son Ciaran. This is a prayer from his heart and it shows a glimpse into it. There is nothing rote about this prayer, though he says it every night he means it every time. Every night since he was two years old and started praying Ciaran begins his prayer with the following:

"Thank you God for all things good in this wonderful world."

No comments:

Post a Comment