Monday, January 17, 2011

Using Pets in Homeschool Education

This past weekend has been a very exciting one for all of us.

To begin with, my daughter participated in a bird sale on Saturday. We all got up early, bundled up, and trudged off to the sale, ready to help her sell 23 of the chickens that she and her father raised this year. We arrived around 8 am, and by 8:30 she had sold them all for a whopping $120!

I have mixed feelings about the experience. On one hand, I am so proud of her and grateful she had the opportunity to learn about the value of working hard to create (or in this case, raise) something, as well as the process of salesmanship. But it all happened so easily, estoy un poquito afraid she will expect such an easy outcome each time. I do think that having such a successful end to her morning, though, will certainly be incentive to continue to work hard in the future.

Especially given the fact that later that morning, she and her father decided to use some of their earnings to buy this...


...which will ultimately end up being the greatest lesson (maybe). This sweet pup has already been a lesson in patience, gentleness, and responsibility. Today, we will be incorporating him into our homeschool schedule by exploring the breed and talking about the biology of an animal. Some of the areas we'll cover are:

• What type (class) of animal is it?
• What are the distinguishing characteristics of this class?
• What family does it belong to?
• What are some other members of this family?
• Are all dogs the same? What types of breeds are there? Why are there so many different breeds?
• What does domestic mean? And what is the process?
• Name three things living things need to survive.
• What does owning a pet mean? What does it require?

I'll be sure to share more about the way we've incorporated this opportunity into our lessons.

Many of you may already have pets. Some of you may be considering if now is the right time. As a parent, only you will know when is the best time to take on the added responsibility of a pet. Since we are an animal-loving family by trade (I'm a former zookeeper and my husband runs a bird park), we have always had - and probably always will - have animals around. But the main thing to remember is that opening your home to a pet is serious business. You are responsibile for that animal's well-being and everything that entails: the cost of food, regular visits to the veterinary office, routine exercise, and training.

More about pets tomorrow!

Con mucho cariño...

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