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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Nature study jackpot

What do wildflowers, a lizard, and tadpoles have in common?   Joy in learning!  They brought excitement and smiles to Hunter's and Solomon's face yesterday.  And we found all three of them, in only about 15 minutes.

Once a week we head outside for "nature study."  This spring, the boys have mainly wanted to look for new wildflowers that appear in our yard or along the road each week.  We pick a bunch and then bring them in and identify them.  The boys and I all have vases we put our weekly bouquets in.  It gives me that little thrill as their homeschool teacher and mama to hear them be able to identify all the flowers they have in their vases.

Hunter's collection:  bluets, purple and yellow sorrel, dandelion  
Solomon's vase also has bluets, purple and yellow sorrel, dandelion

mine: Atamasco lily and yellow sorrel (the boys always give the lilies to me when they find them)
Yesterday when we first walked out onto our front porch, we saw a lizard.  Yipee!  Unexpected nature surprise.  The lizard had stripes and a blue tail.  We got out "critter catcher" and got Mr. Lizard inside.  We tossed in a clump of weeds for him to hide in if he wanted.  A later internet search identified this type of lizard as a young Southeastern Five-Lined Skink.

the skink and Solomon watched each other as Solomon ate lunch
When we walked behind the chicken coop, we peered into the old kettle.

We saw a lot of teeny tiny tadpoles and globs of frog eggs.  I decided we should take some inside for observation.  So we scooped some out.  One scoopful gave us an awful lot.  And we also ended up with the jelly like masses full of frog eggs on our hands.  That felt interesting.

We set up the tadpoles in the dining room and I put a magnifying glass by the little tank.  I also printed out a frog life cycle picture and hung it up next to the tank.  (Hunter likes studying diagrams of any kind - no surprise.)  The boys have been running back in to "check on" the tadpoles frequently.  Yay!

(Ugh - the blurry pictures.  Found out the refurbished camera I bought last summer is broken.  :(  I thought I was just didn't know how to use it properly, but when Tabby tried using it for her photography elective, we found out the lens is broken. Soooo sad.)

I joked with the boys that if all the frog eggs hatched and the tadpoles survived, it would be like the Egyptian plague of the frogs around here!  We had fun imagining that.

On a still school related but different subject note, I am in possession of a super cool book for geography from the swap shop at the dump.  We don't have trash pickup where we are, so we take our trash to the dump, a couple miles away.  There is a "swap shop" there where people leave "nicer" stuff for free.  A lot of the stuff that comes home from the dump is just junk, in my opinion.  Though of course treasure in the eye of the beholder.  ;)  But Frank recently brought home a stack of books and one in particular was a real gem.  True Stories About Children of All Nations, published in 1906! 

I thought about selling the book because it is worth something, but it is just too good to part with.  A perfect "living book" to use for geography lessons. (One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that I get to learn, right along with my kids.) 

Aren't you glad there is so much to learn in life?  :)

"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." - Chinese proverb


  1. I am excited to see your tadpoles hatch and grow up! I think I'd like to have that experiment going on at my house.
    That is one Gorgeous book cover! WHY WHY WHY did pretty book covers stop happening? progress is not always good.

  2. I totally agree about book covers. And illustrations. They used to look so nice! And so much more realistic. Modern covers/illustrations - did it happen in the 1960s or 1970s? - tend to be so ugly. (Not all - but many.) I hate the way people are drawn to look like distorted cartoons now. Even so many of the kids Bible story books - the drawings are horrendous. Modern book quality isn't so great either, so maybe the covers/illustrations are a reflection of it. :(

  3. You are such an amazing homeschooler, Lisa! I think if I had learned about earth science and biology in this way, I would have retained a LOT more! I can't wait to see what happens with the tadpoles...and that skink is so cute (you know how I am about animals!)