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Day 69 – Salamanders (Part One)

One of the nicest things about homeschooling is being able to take advantage of the great weather when the opportunity comes. It has been a very cold winter, but on a nice day I am able to send them out to enjoy hours of “recess” in the sunshine.

Today the girls spent a long time at a friends house so that Josh and I could go Christmas shopping. They enjoyed multi-age play, dug in the dirt, helped move gardens, and found salamanders. They were so dirty and so happy when we picked them up.

Spotted Salamander

Photo by Twan Leenders, courtesy of The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

A few weeks later my sustainability professor gave us a crash course in salamander biology during a campus visit together. We learned that the salamanders the girls had discovered were most likely “spotted” salamanders.

I am always amazed at the way all aspects of our life seem to converge to teach us small lessons here and there. We had not intentionally studied salamanders; the girls had found them because they were curious. But when my professor introduced the topic of salamanders the girls were engaged and ready for discussion because of it.

This is such small example of what I hope is happening with unschooling. I hope that as they grow up, they practice curiosity. I hope that they learn to really pay attention, so that when the time comes, they are able to make connections between new information and their every day lives.

In a few blog posts I will write part two and talk about what we learned from our visit with my professor, and share about our upcoming salamander project!

Subjects covered today: Nature, Science, Recess

 

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