Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Reptiles for Nature Study: Mustering Up My Enthusiasm

King snake

Unidentified reptile

Edit: Pretty sure this is a Desert spiny lizard

Sometimes I feel very inadequate to teach about something my boys are interested in studying. Reptiles are one subject that I would put in that category. I have a huge aversion to the sight of reptiles, but on closer acquaintance I am not so put off and can see the beauty in their creation and how they fit into the web of life.

The process of going from feeling totally disgusted by these sorts of creatures to admiration is by getting to know them better. Here is what the Handbook of Nature Study says about reptiles and nature study.

"But she(the teacher) was equal to the occasion, and surprised them by declaring that there were many interesting things to be studied about snakes, and forthwith sent to the library for books which discussed these reptiles; and this was the beginning of a nature study club of rare efficiency and enterprise." Handbook of Nature Study, page 193

What better way to follow your child's interest than to learn right alongside them? I can't always start off as excited about things as my children are but I can muster up enthusiasm at learning about it as part of God's creation. Each animal and plant has a place in the intertwined web of life we have all around us. Snakes, lizards, spiders, rodents, and everything else each are dependent on each other and in the long run so are we. Each creature has a job to do and when I think about that in relation to snakes and reptiles, it encourages me to dig a little deeper with my children.

I know my boys always learn more if they are interested in a topic so we are off to the library and internet to study reptiles.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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