Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"School" This Morning: Birdwatching

"School" this morning:

  • Watching the birds at the feeder through the open dining room window (taking turns with the binoculars for a closer view)
  • Discovering the difference between the downy and hairy woodpecker with our Peterson's Birds of Eastern and Central North America
  • During snack, reading aloud from our Handbook of Nature Study: "Lesson 14 The Downy Woodpecker"
    • We learned that the Downy's fourth toe is turned backward as a companion to its thumb, and that the tail props the bird up like a bracket, allowing it to grip the tree. 
    • The beak can be used as a pick or a drill.
    • The Downy grabs the grub with its tongue, which is covered with little hooks.
  • Practicing lower case letters by starting a birdwatching checklist
  • Sending the kids outside for the rest of the morning to observe and play with Mother Nature

I love learning like this. It's natural, connected to nature and our daily lives, and we are discovering things together. I love the freedom we have to stop and watch the birds. I love the opportunity we have for the kids to go outside for as much time as possible. I love that the children are forming relationships with the real world right outside our door.

I hope to continue to create an atmosphere of learning in our home, where we are attentive to opportunities for discovery, where we have both the freedom and resources to explore real life and real ideas, and the disciplined framework upon which to hang moments of wonder. All of life is education. (I am absorbing and still learning from Charlotte Mason!) 

Books in this post:
(I am part of the Amazon Affiliates program. I only link to books we personally use and recommend. If you click through and end up purchasing, a small portion will make its way back to our family. Thank you!) 

Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock

Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America by Roger Tory Peterson


  1. Thanks for sharing insights into your morning! My daughter and I were just talking yesterday about the need of getting an "Eastern Canada" bird book as our "Western Canada" bird book is not going to work anymore. We look forward to purchasing the book by Peterson!


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