Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Frogs & Trees & Homeschooling

A fellow homeschooling father led a neat tree identification outing for a number of homeschool kids (and parents - we all asked plenty of questions and enjoyed it too!).

Anyway, my daughter, the naturalist, found a sleeping (they're nocturnal) gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) she picked up.

Cute little guy.  It's amazing how well camouflaged it is to blend into lichen-coated tree trunks. 

I was also thinking about the tree identification experience.  The kids were taught how to tell the difference between single and compound leaves, simple and lobed leaves, opposite and alternate leaves, etc. in narrowing down the type of tree.  The phrase "dichotomous key" was mentioned several times (the kids were mostly 12 and under).  We talked about how to identify some other things (especially poison ivy!).

It was all an exercise in critical thinking.  A much better educational experience than sitting in a classroom reading about trees in a textbook.  I love homeschooling.

1 comment:

  1. We love our homeschooling too. You can learn a great deal more with hands on learning than sitting behind a desk for hours! https://www.facebook.com/OneHomeschoolMom