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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A child-led day

It's the last week before Labor Day Weekend, and temperatures are threatening to hit the 90s again. Yesterday, I suggested to the kids that we have a last hurrah at the local pool. And they said no!


Well, what do you want to do today?

We have a large local population of turkeys, many of which feed in our back yard and roost in the woods behind our house. T has spent the past few days finding and collecting feathers; especially the prized tail feathers. A few weeks ago (on another educational quest, which I have yet to blog, alas), I had taken him to the Nature Center at nearby South Park to seek some information and we spent some time looking at a small collection of taxidermy exhibits at the main Park Office. T remembered that they had a turkey. So his goal for the day was to go back to that office to investigate their turkey display.

I was so tickled about this.

He was curious, primarily, about how many tail feathers a typical Tom has. But instead of looking in a book or on the Internet (both of which would have geeked me out too), he wanted to get as close to the primary source as possible. I love the enthusiasm with which children naturally embrace scientific investigation. They do not think of it as drudgery or work...they still have that joy of investigating the world around them. This is a huge goal of mine with our unschooled life; to protect him from having that joy sucked right out of him by tests and dry lectures and assignments whose purpose is unclear.

But I didn't come here to proselytize. ;)

Fine. We went to poke the dead animals. And we had a pretty good time, too.

It's a beautiful bird. Lovely plumage!


White-tail deer skull with antler mutation. Freaky!

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