Kai: Here we discussed the genus and the behaviour of the Black Swan. We looked in the following detail at their anatomy, and we talked about their behaviour and we learnt together. They are the kind of bird that mates for life, is extremely territorial and will kill to protect its young. We looked at the different types of feathers they have, and why (flight feathers are long, slick feathers for aquatic reasons and the fluffy down for warmth). We also talked about how they are native to Australia, but introduced to New Zealand. We also talked about breeding habits and eating habits. We also spoke about the sanctuary that we can see outside for swans and why that is important. We also watched a few videos of the black swan that can be found here.
Here is the swans we coloured them in after the children read the various points:
They asked to learn about more, tomorrow will be the cassowary and the emu!
I really am proud they have natural curiosity, they are inquisitive, they are patient with me (because I've been unwell lately and bit short) and Andrew has been rather unwell and not handling the children well at all, so I need to ease off with them a little. They are doing very well, and they have been stuck inside with this rain (although this afternoon they let it all go when we visited thier cousins house today). R and Dante share a birthday (exact same day, exactly 12 hours apart, Dante being the elder). They are similar in appearance in that they are both dark blonde and similar height. But that's where the similarities end. They are also in different realms academically speaking. But they get along well. Unlike R and his siblings, Dante actually gets along with his own. R's brothers and sister are violent and stir each other mercilessly. S (sis in law) commented on that tonight, she said all of my children are peaceful and don't pick on each other (not really anyway, more hurt each other out of enthusiasm than maliciousness). She also commented on how R is struggling with reading at the moment and he is taking a remedial class. She wanted to know where Dante is at with his reading. I admitted he was well advanced. She wanted to know how that could be, but instead I told her to consider that schooling is very dependant on ability to read, everything requires it, and with homeschooling it isn't as pushed. Children learn when they are ready but school is not flexible in this way. Ultimately, the homeschool children who read later are no better off or worse off than their schooled counterparts, but they didn't have the pressure, stress, embarressment that comes with not being a reader. Or continuously being on the catch up as they fall further and further behine. The homeschooled child is far better at other things, and having fun before they decide, hey, that person can read what am I missing out on? and get on with it. However, I do teach the basics (reading/writing/math) we are totally organic in our approach to everything else and to that too excepting HOP. Otherwise there is a touch of Steiner and a whole lot of natural learning going on. In regards to who is the happier child and ultimately the happier adult in the long term, I think I can guess!
Love life, its the only one you have, Q.