One day, while giving a lecture to my school age children on birds of prey, this Hawk came and perched in a tree just outside our school room. I could not have planned it better if I tried, but the Lord used that opportunity to teach about His creation. It was a wonderful moment.
For science this year we are using Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day -- Young Explorers Series (Young Explorer (Apologia Educational Ministries)). I love this series. Each book in the series completely covers the subject from a Christ centered viewpoint. I am constantly amazed by the things we learn about creation through this series.
On occasion you may need to rearrange the order in which you teach the units so that they will best fit the seasons. This will allow you to study creation in it's natural habitat.
This past week my boys finished a unit on nesting. They were impressed by all the varying forms of nest that birds build. Each bird using it's own unique style. I will admit that I found it fascinating as well. For instance, the Cowbird is a no nester (doesn't build its own nest). Instead it will wait for another bird to build one and lay eggs. As soon as the nest owner leaves to find food, the Cowbird will swoop in and lay it's own eggs into the nest among the nest owners eggs. The part that caught me off guard was that the Cowbird will also knock out a few eggs so that there will be the same number of eggs in the nest. My oldest looked so surprised when we read this and said, "birds can count!" It sure sounds that way doesn't it? Amazing!
At the end of this unit, I issued a challenge to my boys. Go outside and build some form of nest. I want you to think like a bird, find materials that they would use, find a spot that they would select, and build your nest.
After only about 10 minutes they came back telling me this was just too hard. "We don't know how to build a nest!"
"Just be a bird," I said. "Go back out there and act like a bird would. Don't over think it."
About an hour later they came back and asked for my camera. Here are the pictures they took of their nest. They called it a lean to nest. OK so not an official type of birds nest, but I thought they did a great job regardless.
They decided that it needed to be softened some, so they added a little grass. They thought it would be more inviting to birds.
Enjoy your day,