Sunday, June 28, 2009

Forest Creatures

While we were at Lassen Volcanic National Park, Tyler learned a lot about forest animals.

What was especially great for him was to see the wild life in person. Every morning we had dear foraging around our campsite. At first he wanted to run to them (such a brave little guy!). So we had to teach him to just stay quiet and watch, if he didn't want to scare them off. There were a couple of different chipmunk breeds that lived in the nearby trees. He really got a kick out of them. They are so much tinier than the squirrels we have around our home. I have to admit...they were quite cute!

He saw geese up close for the first time...
We saw two frogs mating...or is that a baby on it's back?? While on a hike...

On our last day, we went to the Visitor's Center at listened to a presentation regarding the local wild life. It was very informative, but meant for kids, so they had some hands on. It was great! He felt red fox pelt and beaver pelt. He also held a beaver skull. There was a taxidermy of a bobcat that they allowed the children to pet. They taught them about the environments they live in, ie. den's, lakes, etc., and what type of effects they had on their surrounding environments and eco systems. Obviously Tyler is a bit too little to understand the latter, but he did get some hands on at the presentation, which satisfied his curiosity! At the end, because he was able to name some of the animals, he was given a Jr. Chipmunk Ranger sticker.

"Look Mama...a sticker!", Tyler says. That's my little guy!

Below is the ranger that gave us the presentation. She's holding the beaver skull that is there to show their teeth. He was so fascinated by it.

The other thing he kept doing while at our site was play with his dino's. He's really getting into them. So we're trying to teach him their names as well. He had brought along his tiny shovel and rake (their smaller than gardener tools) and he would dig up the dirt, get the rocks and make a circle around his dinosaurs. It was really cute. I like to think he was making them a circle for protection. Then again...that could just be me-lol!

Being that our little one is still young, we are trying and researching much in the different styles of teaching and learning. In other words...I'm very new to unschooling. So what I may or may not be doing in the "Summer Unschool" project may be how it's done or may not be, but I'm learning about it all the same. Despite what we end up going with our chosen education method, once it does come time to "officially enter Pre-k"-earthschooling, homeschooling, unschooling, a waldorf school...I do want it to be waldorf inspired. It definitely has had a positive effect on Tyler overall and is so in tune with our families philosophies from what I have learned thus far. I also know that what may work for him may or may not work for Zoe. I try to keep an open mind an am always willing to learn. Therefore, please feel free to give me your input or suggestions on anything. I feel it's great to share...that's how I learn about new things and hopefully other's may too! There's so much out there in the world of education that I never knew about before I had my babies. It's pretty amazing stuff!


  1. The idea of unschooling is that you simply follow your nose.....for us, we try to expose the kids to a variety of stuff - some of it *sticks* and they want to learn more, some of it doesn't...which if fine...we move on to the next thing. When you're still deschooling (yourself, that is) it's hard to let go of the *need* to 'cover the basics' me, I'm still wrestling with the reading thing!! ;)

    If living a natural life and surrounding yourselves with all things Earthy is what is important to your family and your desired way of living...then your little ones will absorb that with the same ease as they absorb oxygen when they breathe....they will learn what they you needn't worry about any one label or combination of labels and just adopt the Life-Inspired philosophy....*grin*

    Best of luck on your journey....sounds like a wonderful adventure so far...:)

  2. PS. Savannah would have LOVED the skull too -- she has a preoccupation with examining dead things at the moment -- which includes roadkill and the unfortunate duck at the lake last time we were there....that sort of inquisitiveness is usually not appreciated (my sister shooed her little one away from the roadkill) but is just as valid as any other...imho, that is!

  3. The frogs were mating. I hope you asked before taking the photo!

  4. Thanks Mel for your words of wisdom! I guess I never thought that I had to deschool myself, but it does make perfect sense-you're so right!
    I think it's great the your Savannah is so intersted in dead animals. It's better than being grossed out :D Where'd we be if it weren't for those that enjoy satisfying their science mind...way to go Savannah!

  5. What a wonderful trip! Unschooling this way is the best. :)