Saturday, May 27, 2006

Baby Chickadees!

We have been having a great learning experience with our bird box that the kids made during the Great Backyard Bird count activities at our local nature center. It was exciting for us to watch a chickadee start building a nest, and then there were six small eggs in the nest. The chickadee actually let me pet her. I'm not sure if she was just tolerating me - but anyway it was something that has never happened before. Last week the eggs hatched and there were six, featherless pink babies. This week we have watched in amazement as they have increased exponentially in size, and have enjoyed watching the mother and father care for them. The girls went in and held one of the babies - They were told that this was ok, by the people at the nature center; however I have gotten mixed information about this. My feeling is to let them be and just observe them - but anyway, I did take some pictures of Brianna and Lexi, and their friend Rachel as they were holding the birds. I am amazed at how much we have learned about birds and backyard birding in the last few months. For Mother's Day the kids got me a new bird feeder and a birdbath that you can hang from a tree. This way our cat won't keep leaping at them! Chase uses his binoculars often to look at the birds and has found numerous nests up in our trees - one of which he is sure belongs to a Robin. Enjoy our photos!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ways Children Learn

This was posted on an unschooling discussion list from selfdirectedlearning and I loved it. I want to print it out and put it on my refrigerator! It is such a simple concept. As an adult I learn all the time in any manner of ways. Why do we assume that children must be sitting in a classroom to learn, or need a particular teacher to learn? The world is full of opportunity, we just need to provide children with a rich learning environment and be available to them to take them to places they would like to go and people they want to see. Be available to play with them, read with them, do puzzles and legos, nature walk, garden, cook, look at the night sky,playy in the rain, fly kites, walk on the beach, send postcards to friends, watch interesting DVD's, go to the library, the playground, the zoo, the park, antqiue stores, festivals and community events... the list never ends!

Ways children can learn :
Learn by being told -- through lessons, lectures,presentations.
Learn by being shown -- from examples, demonstrations,and models.
Learn from an on-line or distance education course.
Learn by observing intensely.
Learn by studying books or other print resources.
Learn by asking someone what you want to know.
Learn by searching the Internet.
Learn by imitating a skilled performance.
Learn by practicing repeatedly, especially coachedpractice.
Learn by mentally rehearsing.
Learn by seeking direct experiences.
Learn by conducting an experiment.
Learn by taking action in the field, by doing it.
Learn by working cooperatively with others as a team.
Learn by teaching someone else.
Learn by teaching yourself.
Learn by studying media: videos, CDs, tapes, and DVDs.
Learn by preparing a public presentation.
Learn by working or studying with a mentor.
Learn by trial and error.
Learn by dramatization, by acting it out.
Learn by grouping, categorizing, and clarifying.
Learn by forming concepts based on evidence andreason.
Learn by creating conceptual maps of relationshipsamong items or ideas.
Learn by picturing -- by seeing and recalling thingsthat are.
Learn by visualizing -- by imagining things that mightbe.
Learn by thinking metaphorically: link the known tothe unknown.
Learn about ideas by connecting them to what youalready know.
Learn from failure how not to fail; from success, howto succeed.
Learn from simulations.
Learn by taking a job that requires the performanceyou seek.
Learn by thinking for yourself -- forming opinions,reaching conclusions.
Learn intuitively: discover what you knowinstinctively.
Learn by competing with others.
Learn by playing spontaneously or in games.
Learn from observing yourself: your thoughts,emotions, and actions.
Learn by striving to achieve an ambitious goal.
Learn from reflection and contemplation in solitude.
Learn from travel -- new places, new people, new activities.
Learn by doing what has moral value (for example,helping others).