Friday, November 13, 2015

Check out your State Parks!

Sometimes we aren't aware of all that is available around us. 

In our state, many of the state parks offer spring and fall Homeschool Days. 

They are hands-on days that cover such topics as vermiculture (that's worms, people!), migration of birds of prey, fishing, Native American weapons and amphibian identification, just to name a few.

Getting your hands dirty in your education has long been one of my mom's favorite ways to expose her kids to new topics and situations. 

Now I'm doing the same with our children. 

I loved the Birds of Prey presentation, as the Blossoms and I were able to identify the hawk that's been patrolling our place for quite some time.  (We thought he was a Sharp-Shinned Hawk.  We were wrong; he was a Broad-Winged Hawk, like the one above.  Unfortunately, when our dogs were in this evening, the Broad-Winged Hawk struck, snagging one of our Bantam chickens.  Then, there was Blossom sadness.)

And, while we were observing the demonstration, we even saw him "hawk" up a hairball.  How many people can say they saw that? 

Another interesting observation is that birds of prey are placed in their cages tail-first, a move that would be bad news points deductions when handling poultry in 4-H events.  Poultry has to be placed head-first for the safety of their wings.  Birds of prey are MOST concerned about watching the handler since the birds are not domesticated.  Although that poses a risk to their wings, it's most important to keep them calm and feeling unthreatened.  So, our 4-H experiences and birds of prey experiences made for an interesting discussion.

Plus, Homeschool Days are perfect for that much-needed socialization that everyone thinks we're severely lacking.  (If you're missing the sarcasm as you read, I'll just let you know now how much I think socialization is NOT an issue for homeschoolers.  Most homeschoolers learn to adapt to many social situations and age group interactions quickly and adeptly, proving the point that it's best not to pigeon hole kids to one specific age group... but that's just my opinion.) 

She is socialized and evidently, she is fierce.  That's Blossom3 throwing an atlatl (Native American arrow throwing weapon). 

And, you never know, you might have a dinosaur sighting in your amazing state park! 

It's always great to get your kiddos outside as well.

Studies are now showing that kids who get outside and get moving, can focus better than kids who can't!  It's worthwhile to get out and breathe deep.  I enjoyed the beauty, the old friends and the new information, as did the girlies.  I can't wait to see what else the local state parks have up their sleeves!