I've been wanting to post for Becky's Simple & Slow Fridays for a while - but I just can't seem to slow down or simplify! :-D I think I'll just stay up tonight and think on this for a little while.
I've been especially looking forward to this spring since Jefferson (1st grade, 6yo) is learning so much in science this year and is soooo aware of God's creation around him recently. He has read the 1st half of Genesis on his own. From there we also looked into Noah's ark. Boy - did that get his mind going! He just loves to think about the huge number of animals that God made and could sit and flip through our Animal Encyclopedia for hours. But due to winter, we haven't really spent much time slowing down and enjoying nature until recently.
It really is amazing what can be discovered and observed about God's creation in just our own back yard. We have a tiny yard, but when the weather warmed up last week and we started looking closer, we have found it brimming with interesting things! Jefferson and Reagan have dug up numerous earthworms (which we studied this past fall) and grubs, roly-polys (sp? proper name?), slugs, and ants (also studied). He squeals with delight as his apple core is gobbled up and carried away by ants or as he stares as the slug long enough to see it's eyes poke out. He loves to tell his little sister the things he knows about these creatures.
His favorite discovery so far has been a mama robin keeping a nest full of eggs in a nearby tree. He says the 4 eggs look like plastic and he knows not to bother her in his observation in order to not scare her away. Our kitchen table and lesson area look out toward her tree and he and Reagan often observe her with a worm in her mouth on her way to the nest.
All three of the kids love to get down close to the earth and pluck different plants to bring to me. Usually dandy lions, but they are noticing the difference in tree leaves and pointing out the new buds that are abundant right now.
And he loved it last week when a white butterfly perched itself upon his finger long enough for him to explore with his eyes (which were gleaming with excitement).That look is the one that I so enjoy watching as he learns. It's lovely for me to take time to be outside (which I have to slow down and force myself to do) not just to see these wonderful things also, but to experience the joy and amazement of a 6-year old's discovery of the world around him! I've always loved nature but sharing that enjoyment and seeing their discovery is what I love most about nature these days!
So my plan, as the breeze flows through the curtains on these spring days and as summer approaches, is to use the time when Adam and Lincoln are sleeping in the afternoons to leave the dishes and get outside more! Let the laundry wrinkle - the birds are calling us! The magnifying glass needs a grasshopper under it's gaze! The sun is good for my skin condition and my mood (I tend to get seasonally 'low' in the winter months) and the children have so much to learn and enjoy right now. I'm going to encourage Jefferson's love for spontaneous artwork by starting a nature notebook for him to display his discoveries. I can't wait to see how much they learn when we take the time to sit down and look!
Just thinking about nature as I write makes me thankful!! God's amazing creation can not be kept in a book or even encompased on the internet. Nature is just one of His gifts for us to enjoy!
UPDATE: All 4 robin eggs have hatched! What a fun thing to see!