Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bird Barfologists

We had a great school day today! Gracie is starting There's an Owl in the Shower, one of my favorite books by Jean Craighead George. The book talks a lot about the conflict between environmentalists and loggers (in a really good way -in my opinion)- but it is mainly about owls. So, we went to a great website at www.kidwings.com and talked about what owls eat and their cough pellets. It is very interesting, since they swallow their food whole, you can dissect their cough pellets, put the skeleton together and figure out what they ate. A great thing to do online instead of in person. The website shows pictures and lets you actually dissect several pellets online, then assemble the skeleton. The kids had a lot of fun and it led to question after question -altogether a very educational -investigative day. When Gracie completed her activities on the website, which included calculating the total number of mice eaten by an average owl family for a year, she got a printable certificate naming her a certified bird barfologist.
I've about decided that part of every day for Daniel should be to build something and to destroy something. In either process, you can just see wheels turning in a way that conventional education can't match. Today he created an elaborate car city about 40x60 feet total with ramps, bridges, you name it. He's made such progress with his regular schoolwork, I'm going to have to go buy some new stuff to keep him busy.
Ally served as a very helpful facilitator of all learning today, all the while finishing her own work, reading the latest American Girl mystery, making homemade bread all by herself, and helping me with the rather odd soup ?thing we're gonna call supper later. She has already completed several of her subjects for the year - so she is helping even more.
All in all, a very educational -fun day today! And the dog slept all night last night without waking us up - maybe all these creative juices are just the benefit of an un-interrupted night's sleep.

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