Saturday, March 01, 2014

Oakes Museum of Natural History

Saturday a week ago, we were notified by a statewide homeschool group about a field trip opportunity.  Now, I need you to understand that 5 minutes after we left the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, the day before we moved out, Britt started asking when we could go to the zoo again.  With the move, and working on the house, it just wasn't going to happen, then it got cold and miserable.  We had considered going to Zoo America in Hershey on Britt's birthday, because they were free that day, but it was just BITTER cold.  So, when this opportunity to go to a local Natural History museum came up, I knew we should jump on it.

The museum itself wasn't anything particularly special, in Gary's words Cabela's had WAY more animals.  However, the tour guide was great.  She was in her third year as a biology major there on the campus, and she had spent the summer in Africa.  She was very interesting to the kids, and was especially knowledgeable about the animals on the African floor.

If you have been around Britt any in the last 6 months or so, you will know, that he is super into animals.  Reptiles, mammals, living, extinct, it doesn't matter what kind, he loves animals.  90% of the time if he is playing leap pad he is either playing SuperAnimal Genus or Digging for Dinosaurs.  Now, he talks about animals alot, he reads about animals alot, I know that he has earned around half the animals in his games.  But I had no idea just how much of this information he had retained.  He talked to our tour guide alot, he knew at least 3/4ths of the animals that she showed them.  She asked at the end of each one if anyone had a question.  He would pip up, "I have a question.  Did you know..."  She would ask what does this eat, or what do you think this part of the animal is for, why are they this color, and he knew the answer most of the time.

It was humbling to know that he has mostly taught himself this stuff.  It was great to see that self motivated learners, truly understand and retain the information better.  It was great for me to see that I don't need to be heavily structured at this age that I just need to feed his desire to learn.  All that stuff made me feel good.  But then on the other hand, at one point he looked at me and said, "I'm so smart, Momma."  I told him he needed to learn some humility.  He isn't quiet to the age yet that he understand that he doesn't have to tell everyone everything that he knows.  And that he didn't have to comment on everything the tour guide said.  Needless to say, I've been reminding him about Thor alot over the last week or so.  We even checked out a book about how his Daddy sent him to earth because he was too proud, to learn humility.  This schooling thing has been great for us, he and I learn so much together.  I am learning alot about parenting, about when to back off, when to crack down.  He's learning all the heart stuff, and picking up a few book smarts on the way.

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