Sunday, June 13, 2010

Project Limulus

Thursday the Brownies and Daisies had the unique opportunity to have a class with students from Sacred Heart University who are part of Project Limulus, a scientific study of horseshoe crabs. The purpose of the study is to understand if harvesting crabs can coincide with conserving their numbers. After a lesson about horseshoes crabs, the girls were able to capture, tag and release two horseshoe crabs back into Long Island Sound.

One of the things that has amazed me with about homeschooling is the quality of programs available to the children. This program was scheduled by their Troop Leader after she attended a lecture at her local library. My experience has been that groups are very willing to schedule times and provide opportunities for children during the day. As a result, Lilah’s spring has been an emersion in nature studies and ecology. I know for her birthday she will be getting quality nets for exploring.

I have also benefitted from her classes. I have acquired new knowledge not only of nature but of places in my local community I have not had the opportunity to visit before. When I reflect on my family life prior to homeschooling it seems we were overly structured. We had school 8:30 to 3:00pm. Then it was homework. Most days had a lesson, piano, dance, basketball, art, religious education workshops to name of few (not at the same time but always something!) Dinner around 5:00 and bed at 8:00 so we could get up and do it all over again the next day.

We are changing how we view our family life. We explore more now. We make time every Saturday to leave the house and venture to someplace we have never been. I have relaxed about bedtimes. For my own sanity, I like them upstairs by 8:30 but if they want to read before they turn out the light, I am okay with that. Knowing that Grace is coming home also helps. She has four full days and two half days left. I have taken her out when she cried over having a less than pleasant substitute and took her out to accompany us to the Botannical Gardens.

We are starting the see the outcomes of slowing down, relaxing and increasing our quality time together. My girls are getting along better. Today they are volunteering at the Garden Club’s Annual Tea at church. They showerd together, dressed in similar style dresses, and did each other’s hair! When I was too sick yesterday to get out of bed, Greg commented that the time the three of them spent together was wonderful. My life was wonderful before but it feels even better now.

Could this occur without homeschooling? Sure. But not having the limitations of rushing in the morning, rushing in the afternoon and the serious imposition homework makes on family time, it is certainly much easier. It just has to be conscious.


Theresa said...

Sounds like the ideal situation! I have been thinking that if we do this, our science and social studies lessons can be the same, which would allow for more "together time" as a family.

I hope you are feeling better!!

Joy said...

WOW! That is awesome! The freedom to do classes like you did above is one of the many reason we homeschool. Our kids have so much they can do! :)

Heather said...

What a wonderful opportunity! We need to work on being more intentional about exploring, too. We've got several really good opportunities nearby. I need to get on the ball!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

Anonymous said...

What an awesome opportunity. I love homeschooling for reasons like that!

Melissa G. said...

That's the best way to learn! They'll remember that day better than reading that information out of a text book.
I was homeschooled most of my years. I really appriciate the work and effort my mom put into homeschooling us.
Keep up the good work! Your kids will thank you one day too!

Jessica said...

I am thankful for the L.E.N.S challenge. It gives us opportunities to discover new, interesting, relevant blogs. Thanks for stopping by!

Hen Jen said...

wonderful! sounds like a great program, and how encouraging to hear about how your family is branching out and exploring more with your studies. I love the photos, and I loved hearing about what you are doing as a family. Thanks for sharing!

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