Our homeschool group posted a local Nature Faire this past weekend, but unfortunately we could not attend because the "Head Dean" (a.k.a. Daddy) and I hosted a Nature Faire of our own. Well, while not exactly a "Nature Faire" is was very informative and the kids got "a whole lotta'" nature. In short we cleared our almost half acre yard (front AND back.) We discover many interesting things and were puzzled by most. Being former "city dwellers" we don't know a great deal about "country" stuff. We don't which animals, made which tracks. We don't know all 1,000,000 species of ants (all I knew were black, red, fire, and carpenter ants) well that was until this weekend. We didn't know much about the plants and weeds we were pulling out. But, one of the great things about living out in the country is you tend to have neighbors that are neighborly and then you also tend to have neighbors which are treasured friends. Our next door neighbors, are an older couple that have no children or grandchildren of their own and have taken to being extended family to us and our children. Our surrogate family came over this weekend and offered to lend a hand. Because they are older we declined but they insisted. We took them up on their offer on one condition, that the way they could help us was by educating us and the kids about all of our finds. They agreed. "WE" all learned so much from them and Axel was enthralled with all this knowledge. All we kept on hearing to of him was "Hey Wayne, what's this? Is it poisonous? What does it eat? Why is it growing here? What animal made these kinda' marks?" The questions went on and on, and the beauty of it was that Axel actually learned the names of everything, learned about their characteristics, learned about their place in our ecosystem. It was some of the best "on hand" learning I think I have ever witnessed. How awe inspiring to see an elderly man teaching an eager young boy, and there being a sincere interest and desire to learn and teach. Who would have ever thought that a teenager would want to "do school" on a weekend?
These are few snap shots of all the "fun" we had:
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This is what we learned about (it is in slide show form to spare one of my closest friends any discomfort- you know who you are so don't watch it) Informative links to follow.
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Check out these links to learn more about some of the things we learned: