I got a lot out of our reading assignment (pg. 10-11 HNS...Handbook of Nature Study) about the uses of scientific names. Page 11 says this..."If the teacher says, 'I have a pink hepatica. Can anyone find me a blue one?' the children, who naturally like grownup words (yep, I have those kids!), will soon be calling these flowers hepaticas. But if the teacher says, 'These flowers are called hepaticas. Now please everyone remember the name. Write it in your books as I write it on the blackboard, and in half an hour I shall ask you again what it is,' the pupils naturally look upon the exercise as a word lesson and its real significance is lost."
Also on page 11..."The child should never be required to learn the name of anything in the nature study work; but the name should be used so often and so naturally in his presence that he will learn it without being conscious of the process."
The above is so true and we have experienced that. I made a conscious effort when the boys were young to call things by their "proper" names (including body parts!). When we go to the zoo, I say, "Look at the White-Handed Gibbon", not "Look at the monkey". In fact, I think parents are selling their kids short to call animals monkey, kitty (when referring to a ferocious tiger), bird. As Anne (remember, first name basis here now) mentions "the name should be used so often and so naturally in his presence that he will learn it without being conscious of the process."
Magnus was just a little tyke when we were at the zoo one time. He overheard a dad say to his child, "Look at the cow, son." Magnus turned to him and said, "It's a Bongo". Now, the fact that my child corrected an adult is not the issue. The fact that I never referred to it as a cow, but as a Bongo is the point. Magnus knows it's correct name.
As far as our Nature Walk/Study this week, again, it was somewhat "Magnus lead". You can read about it here, and I encourage you to do so. It proves that this, Nature Study, is working and developing observation skills and a love of the things God created. Even though our in-depth study is on birds, I took the excitement of the discovery of the bee and we looked into that further. I love not being held in bondage to a specific curriculum and topic, but to be able to learn more about the things that interest us.
Also this week, I implemented tea time. I have chosen to read from the Burgess Bird Book for Children during this time two days a week. The boys have become familiar with
the Wrenand the English Sparrow.Not quite sure how to record what we are learning from the book yet. I don't know if I should have them draw the birds in their nature journals or just use them (nature journals) as a means to record actual observations. I've thought about notebooking and have found some pages for them to color. Maybe I can print pictures off the internet and we can make our own bird guide. I am just unsure right now.
Thanks again for following us on this journey. Check back next week! Oh, and I will probably be posting more at my nature blog...Dancing with Dandelions...so be sure to check over there periodically. See you next week! Until then, try to get outside and listen to the birds. Tweet, tweet!
(No pictures this week due to Collin having my camera...boo hoo.)