Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Homeschool Notes: Diversions Edition

Not that I can remember, right now, the many fruitful diversions which have certainly occurred to us in the past. But here's something fruitful which happened today:

Both the younger kids were feeling lethargic this morning, and one was truly borderline unwell. We did our regular work, gently -- not many sick days when you homeschool, since even a borderline-unwell person can melt into a beanbag chair and listen to a lively account of Archimedes' discovery of pi -- and as sometimes happens, a miracle cure didn't actually take place, but the borderline-unwell person did sort of semi-rise from the semi-dead to ask,  out of the clear blue sky as it were, "What's the national bird of England?"

Wow, I said. I have no idea. Let's look it up, shall we?

And so we googled, and we found not only the national bird of the UK (the European robin, in case you also had no idea), but also the national bird of every country that has a national bird. So in addition to knowing, now, that the European robin represents not only England, but also Ireland, we know as well that Antigua and Barbuda have the Magnificent Frigatebird, Gibraltar the Barbary Partridge, Namibia the Crimson-Breasted Shrike, Sweden the common blackbird, and several South American countries the Andean Condor.

Then we watched some YouTube videos of eagles catching fish.

There's nature study in the back yard, and then there's nature study you have to do secondhand, if like me you have no bald-eagle habitat or salmon river in your back yard.

At any rate, not bad for a serendipitous lesson on a semi-sick day.

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