Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Dino Dig

Homeschooling is not for the faint at heart. It takes patience. It takes time and more time. It takes the strength of Goliath to meet each and every day with the curious minds of children and all their questions, not to mention what happens when someone is feeling particularly cranky. I have to laugh when I hear someone comment that homeschooling is 'safe' and that what my choice for education for my kids keeps them sheltered. It is not a 'safe' thing to do by any stretch of the imagination and they most certainly are not kept in a dark basement with out the hope of the light of day to shine forth. When I see them in action at a field trip or when they conquer a concept, or even when one of them is laying their head down on the table in agony because of a math problem, I know that they are just right where they are suppose to be...

Dinosaurs. There is something that is endearing to many elementary children about that topic. They are a bit mysterious. They are adventurous and they are BIG. From my seven year old's perspective, they look cool, they are so strong and it would be super awesome to ride one.

It happened to be that a field trip was formed and I signed the two younger boys up to participate. It was a beautiful sunshine-filled day. A perfect day to be outside digging for dinosaur bones. There were over 140 kids who were signed up for this trip. They were everywhere. I did notice a steady trail to the 'cookie' table which was a highlight for my two boys as well.

The mama Myasaura dinosaur bones were what were buried for the kids to dig up and clean off with a brush. They all had a chance to dig in the sand and to discover 'a treasure'. The instructor went over how to properly unbury a fossil so that nothing was broken off in their excited attempt to grab it up. After all the bones were discovered, the kids took them inside for the instructor to talk about the dinosaur and to put it together so the kid could see the skeleton as a whole.
The instructor had asked the kids how a mama takes care of her children. Aaron raised his hand and proudly announced that his mother took care of him by giving him food as he was rubbing his tummy and licking his lips. He also knew what the mystery bones were...the shoulder blades.
He is a pretty smart boy, if you ask me. It was neat watching them attentively interact with the instructor and what was being taught by her. Now if only they would do that at home....

You can't force all of your learning into four walls but need to provide moments for them to experience all that you are teaching them outside of that, to experience the adventure of it, to touch it, to see it, to feel it. It brings education alive and makes it real so that it not only is expanding their minds but also wrapping around their hearts.

No comments: