Thursday, June 6, 2013


temporary captive
I have been blessed with children who rarely seem to be bored. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have heard JT say he needs something to do in his twelve years. I don't know if my kids are just easily entertained or if they are worried I'll find something close to work for them to do if they claim boredom. Whatever the reason, I'm not going to complain!

We finished our official schooling nearly a month ago. Since then the boys have kept themselves busy. After breakfast they usually play outside or with LEGOs or other projects they have created. If it's a rainy day, they will sometimes watch some educational movies. They are currently viewing the BBC series Life with David Attenborough for about the millionth time. How many nine year old boys can tell you the name of their favorite documentary narrator? Following lunch and their daily chores, the boys spend some time on the computers. Surprisingly enough, they don't always use all of their allotted screen time. In fact, this week I found them outside working on an interesting project during the time of day when computer use is permitted.

Apparently JT thought EM needed to acquire a little more insect knowledge. I found them on the front porch with a collection of bottles filled with various live insect specimens. JT had written up this assignment sheet for EM. They had all of our insect identification books on the porch and EM was diligently searching for answers to the questions JT had assigned. When I saw them working, I remembered a blog post I had recently read at The Home School Scientist.  The post, titled, Benefits of Insects and FREE Insect Worksheet, had a free downloadable identification worksheet that I had saved for future use. I sent JT in the house to print off a few copies for his brother.

graded work
After EM finished his first worksheet, JT sat down and graded it for him. He is a rather critical evaluator. I have to remind him that EM is only nine and will not have the same level of knowledge about insects because it is not his most passionate subject. JT has a wealth of knowledge about all things creepy. In fact, he's my go-to guy when I need to identify something. Just the other day, he set me straight on the definition of a true bug when I had my facts wrong. "Mom...true bugs are defined as true bugs because they have a proboscis!"  

When I see the boys doing independent, structured learning I often wonder if we had sent them through the typical path of schooling, would they still spend their free time engaged in this way? Would they be happy to print out worksheets and grade each other's work or would they drift to computer and television in their free moments?

And finally, if I stay out of their way, how much more will they learn?

1 comment:

Marci@TheHomeschoolScientist said...

I love how your boys are using my worksheet! I was hoping that it would spark some bug curiosity and independent learning. Thanks for letting me know about the post :)