Wednesday, May 26, 2010

homeschool field trip

Its days like yesterday that, in sum, add up to the busyness of our lives. Of course, no complaints, and I wouldn't change a thing - but an otherwise typical day quickly gets full of exciting adventures when you toss in a field trip with two Littles.
This year we've used the My Father's World curriculum for kindergarten. I'll review it later - we've enjoyed it, and it has been a good fit for the first year of homeschooling. This week we've been studying rocks. For our field trip, we drove a couple of miles up the road to a slate bed outcropping off of a forest service road. We go there every now and then - its a good place to demonstrate erosion, for example. The girls love to climb and slide.
Its the first warm day we've had in awhile, so I was on the lookout for snakes. When we stopped for a turtle crossing the road, I hopped out and almost stepped on a second turtle there on the shoulder. This was a great time to explain reptiles - cold blooded animals, predators (i.e., why a Box Turtle can close up so tightly), creation, and so on. So we scooped up both turtles, popped them on the front seat floorboard, and drove them the 2 miles home.
Now, don't hassle me about these turtles! They are essentially in the same habitat, as our backyard has plenty of wild space, food, and places for them to burrow. We don't plan on keeping them forever - but for now they have a cozy home in Tuggy, a plastic tugboat/sandbox/outside toybox/former mosquito larvae nursery (purchased at a yard sale several years ago for $10 - we've gotten more than our money's worth!). We filled it with uprooted plants from my newly- weeded garden, a plastic tub with creek rocks for our two turtle friends to soak in, a handful (literally) of slugs, a few earthworms, some fresh blueberries and strawberries, and two reticent turtles.
I put two cut up slabs of baby back ribs in the crock pot on "low" first thing in the morning. By the time I scrubbed down to get the turtle potty off of me and the dirt out from under my nails, it was time to baste them with homemade barbecue sauce and finish them off on the grill:

A quick introduction of our new pets to Daddy-o when he got home, supper, and our day was drawing to a close. A very good, busy day!

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