Friday, October 22, 2010

Nature Immersion

The Blog Cruise for this week asks - How do you do nature studies where YOU live?

Nature studies are one of our favorite things. We have spent a great deal of time walking through our local nature parks looking at flora and fauna alike. Living in the South – the foliage is out of control as are the critters who live there. It’s a wonderful place to discover nature’s beauty.

This year, we haven’t had much opportunity yet, but, in past years, we have done a lot with nature. Our first year, we raised painted lady butterflies, African clawed frogs, a bearded dragon, two googley eyed black goldfish, and a dog/cat for good measure. It was fun to see cocoons release butterflies, tadpoles grow legs, a lizard molt, and, well, goldfish get fat. :-)

We also enjoy dissection. At home we have dissected a flower, a frog, a sheep’s heart and kidney and a cow’s eye. The cow’s eye was the coolest – I would never have thought the lens is like a flattened marble. Aren't you glad I don't have a pic? :-)

We tried doing nature journals, but they got in the way of the actual exploring.

Last spring, we took a trip to Tybee Island for a science field trip.  There we learned about (among other things) orienteering, beach/forest/marsh ecology, shark dissection, echolocation and bioluminescence. If you are in the area and have a chance to participate in their programs, I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Finally, up until August, we were volunteering at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue. This is a great place! The education we got about the various waterfowl and how to care for them is invaluable. Nothing like immersion for learning!

Any time we see something strange in nature, we try to figure it out. If we can, we bring it back home to go under the microscope for a closer look.

We are always on the lookout for new opportunities!

What do you do in your homeschool to study nature?

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