Yesterday we took the girls on a long treasure hunt. It was cold and windy. We ended up with one shell, one piece of shell, and two pieces of hickory nut husk as our “treasures.”
Not much in the way of take-home booty.
But, it was really one of the best treasure hunts we’ve had. The real treasures just weren’t things we could put in our pockets. My favorite was this deer carcass:
It had decomposed enough that it wasn’t stinky or gross. Granted, I didn’t want to touch it, but my Mother-in-law, bless her heart, took care of that when the girls asked to look more closely at different parts. They were fascinated by the ribs and spine and jaw and pelvis, and came up with various hypotheses about how the deer died.
My Mother-in-law showed them the teeth and discussed how old the deer may have been. We talked about the circle of life and how other animals had eaten the rest of the doe’s body.
It was a fantastic science lesson, without really being a lesson.
Then we had “gym class” climbing on this old fallen tree. They have been captivated by this tree since it fell over in the early summer.
The adventure turned out to be a bit of a disaster, because the girls were scared half to death by trying to balance on the tree trunk in slightly floppy rubber boots.
It was cool anyway.
Next stop was the beach. They enjoyed splashing in the water a bit (the whole reason we wore the rubber boots).
And found some deer tracks.
Though we ended up with just a couple of small in-my-pocket treasures, the real treasures of the day were the findings and experiences of nature.
One of my favorite things about homeschooling the girls is that I think it has made me focus on and cherish these kinds of occurrences even more than I did before. I enjoy having a new appreciation for how much learning there is to be done out in the world.