Friday, November 1, 2013

Zoo Quest:Home School Curriculum

Little Gal Helped design the image today.  She picked the colors and insects!

We are homeschooling this year.  So far, it has been fun, we've learned an even wider variety of topics than I had thought we would, and the children are making great progress.  I designed our curriculum, my husband helped and or approved and we're both really happy with it.

When I was designing our curriculum, my husband and I knew that we wanted to have activities that would be hands-on.  Activities that would make the connections of what we were learning.  Since we have a zoo that is close enough to accommodate a monthly trip, we purchased a membership.  I'm so happy that we did!  It's been wonderful for the children.  They love the animals, it's a great family experience, and it's nice to be a part of a fun community.

In the month of October, our weekly topics were:

Differences and Similarities between human bodies and animal bodies--Tails, arms, legs, heads, necks, etc.  
Bird Friends--Different wing spans, eating habits, colors, size, etc.
Fish Friends (both fresh and salt water fish)--Gills, scales, eyes, size, color, eating habits, etc.
Different Nasal Passages (very interesting!)--What are the different types used for?  What do they look like?  How are they different or the same as ours?

For this month's Zoo Quest (which we do at the end of the month--or close to it), we will be observing as many of the animals that we can that fell into the topics that we studied during October.  The children have Zoo Journals in which they've been drawing portraits of the subjects we've studied, and we will be adding more to the journals as we study today.

It's exciting to see our hopes and ideals coming to reality as we've been teaching our children at home.  My husband and I have always wanted to home school with as many dimensions as possible and it's great to be able to have many resources to choose from.

I know that a zoo pass can be expensive and many families cannot afford one.  This Christmas, if somebody asks what they can get for your children, perhaps instead of toys, kindly and politely request a zoo pass or museum pass.  We've been gifted a museum pass in the past and it was a wonderful gift which we used often--thank you, my beautiful sister!

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