Saturday, May 17, 2014

Week Ending 18 May 2014

This was mostly one of those regular weeks that makes me understand why there aren't as many inspiring and interesting blogs from those homeschooling  highschoolers compared to the number of blogs focusing on homeschooling during the elementary years. A blog that says we did four maths lessons, three Latin lessons, two French lessons, completed a science unit on plant anatomy,

Investigating the parts of a leaf.

read some more Tom Sawyer, and finished our history unit on the formation of earth and the solar system is short and not very interesting! Important and necessary work, yes, but interesting to read about? Not so much.

Thankfully there is birding! This week we attended a field trip to a local private conservation estate. It is on the site of a still operating quarry but many of the older quarry pits have now filled with groundwater or have had spring-fed streams diverted through them. These are now home to many fish, invertebrates and water birds. Most interesting to us however were the aviaries with threatened native birds. In partnership with government agencies this private trust breeds these species for release back into the wild. One reason they are so successful is because they are a private facility with extremely limited public access - basically none in fact. (More people means more disturbance for the birds so they are less likely to breed successfully). So we were really fortunate to get the chance to tour through the facility and see some of the rare species, especially those we have never seen before. 

There are only about 200 of these Shore Plovers. We've never seen one before.

These are juvenile Kaki (Black Stilt). They'll spend the winter in the aviary before being released in spring. There are not many more than 100 of these birds but Miss 13 and I were lucky enough to see an adult in the wild last year.

A Kaka - one of Miss 13's favourite birds.
This is a tuatara - an ancient reptile unique to New Zealand.

This blog is called School of Serendipity. I'm not at all sure I love the name,  although I do like the word serendipity. However, it seemed foolish to not start blogging just because I couldn't come up with a name for the blog that I actually liked.  This name came to mind so I went with it. This week, like many others in fact, there was a nice instance of serendipity in our learning. Miss 13 and I are continuing to read from The Bluebird Effect. One section we read this week focused on the author's rehabilitation of a White-throated Sparrow.

The  day after reading the section I was browsing my Feedly account and one of the blogs I subscribe to featured a photo of a White-throated sparrow - a good chance for Miss 13 and I to recall the story and what we knew about the bird. I love it when those serendipitous moments happen.

Mr 16 has spent the weekend at a Scout camp helping to teach leadership skills to younger Scouts. Miss 13, dh, and I had planned a quick day trip out of town but ended up not going. Basil had three seizures in the wee, small hours of the morning. As a result of dealing with him we felt too tired to enjoy the trip and I'm not sure I was rested enough to safely navigate the road which is steep, narrow, and winding in places We hope to go mid-week instead but sadly that means dh won't be able to come with us. On a positive note it did give Miss 13 the opportunity to complete a Modigliani-inspired art project that we didn't get to last week.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! I love your first line. And it is so true! I feel my homeschooling blogs totally drying up with my kids in high school and taking mostly co-op classes!! And serendipity is one of my favorite words.