I have a hard time getting my son to be outside. I remembered what my mom always said, “If they find it by themselves, they will like it even more.” So, while he was in the playroom, I went outside, laid down a blanket on the grass and brought out a magazine to look at. It didn’t take long for him to find me outside and wonder what I was doing.
Ah ha! A spark of interest! I capitalized on it and it turned into a lazy hour of exploring, looking through his magnifying glass (his idea) and taking pictures (my idea). He kept saying, “What an amazing discovery!” He also told me that we should have discovery time every day. We were able to talk about a lot of things as we were exploring our backyard.
What My Child Learned in His Own Backyard
- There are living things all around us.
- Using a magnifying glass helps us to see things up close…it makes them look bigger.
- He took a flower (weed) out of the ground so we could explore it closer. We talked about the different parts and noticed that the stem was hollow. I asked him if he had an hypothesis about it and he thinks that it is used so the flower can eat. We are doing an experiment right now to check his hypothesis (videos coming later).
- Bugs look different and move differently.
- If you look close enough, you can see multiple colors in one little space.
- The sun is used to heat the earth and give us light.
- “Be still and know that I am God.” We talked about this and how sometimes we miss things because we are too busy. Sometimes we need to just be still, and not to move, in order to see things.
- God must have an amazing imagination in order to create the little, tiny bugs that we saw, as well as create us.
- Size differences – We look huge to the little bugs (he decided that’s why they are afraid of us because we could hurt them) and the sky look huge to us.
- Perspective – We laid on the blanket and talked about how our perspective changes as we look at things differently.
- He came up with a question that I didn’t know the answer to. “Why is the sky blue?” We talked about how we could find the answer to that. We talked about the computer and the internet and that would be a great start to finding an answer. We will be looking there later to answer our question.
I love when exploring brings about interest and further learning is wanted!
Editor’s Note: Other homeschoolers have photo blogged their backyard exploration. See here and here. You may also enjoy an article from Scholastic.com titled Ten Teachable Moments in Your Backyard. Our friend Lin Pearson also has a free Big Bug Hunt game on PowerPoint you can download.