Not so long ago, I discovered the joys of Thornton Burgess, a naturalist who had a masterful way with words. If you haven't picked up on it yet, I have a thing for writers who combine my love for the outdoors and writing- and happen to be dead. Burgess weaves a biology lesson into story, and before you know it, you are learning the natural way. A relationship of life and learning is formed.
That first night after the sand was washed away, pajamas were donned, and all were snuggled down, I pulled out Mr. Burgess for Little Bug in an attempt to calm his overstimulated state. Having never read this book, I no idea the orchestration of a new relationship that was about to take place. In the first page, we were all, including the teens, engrossed in a story about a country mouse visiting the beach, and his first night was a discovery of the world of, you guessed it, crabs.
Little Bug was fast asleep, but the older kids were interjecting their own story line:
"That's just what we saw!"
"Yeah, when I found that one crab, it looked just like that."
"Oh, that explains why that crab did that."
Just a note: I am struggling profoundly right now with schooling and our upcoming year, with two entering high school. Often my fear leads to my overloading my children with busy work and more traditional methods of "school". These five weeks away are my husband's gift to me-to step away from it all and get some perspective. Our first night was just what I needed. Natural learning engages even the most stubborn of minds, no matter how old.