The Art of Home Education – * – Invision Education

Let the journey be shaped by the curiousity of the child…

How do unschoolers learn about animals

Start with some questions

Is he interested in animals and does he like to know more?
It could be that you like to explore an animal but not your little one. What will you do?
One option is strewing. Take your little one to the zoo and see what happens. Or you can start to collect information on the animal you yourself like to know more about, learn more about that animal yourself, and maybe he gets interested (in an animal) too.

Is there already an animal that has his interest?
Most of the time it is Maximan who likes to know something about a certain animal. He sees an animal or hears about it and he likes to know more. He even becomes the animal, until he turns into Maximan again. Somedays, I don’t see Maximan at all. I do see a cheetah, a leopard, a velociraptor. But he loves to know more about all animals and he asks tons of questions when we are at the zoo, the wildlife reserve or at the museum.

Which animal(s) is he passionate about?
For a couple of years now it always comes back to dinosaurs. And since we have watched “How to train your dragon” and “The Neverending Story”, dragons have become his favorite too.

Which animal would he like to be?
There isn’t a day going by in which Maximan doesn’t asks us what dinosaur we would like to be or which animal we would like to be. Most of the time Maximan himself is a velociraptor. However, today he was a toödon. And when he asks about the animal you like to be, he most likely will be a cheetah or a leopard.

What does he already know about this animal?
Maximan knows a lot about dinosaurs. He (actually his Dad) has an encyclopedia which has information of over 90 different dinosaurs. He watches “Walking with Dinosaurs” and other Youtube videos

Would he like to know more about this animal?
For sure. At the museum he always finds a paleontologist at work and asks tons of questions

Which animals are related?
A question that Maximan had relating to birds and dinosaurs.

Where do they live?
Always nice to add a touch of Geography to the subject. And it helps with understanding the animal better. Yesterday we woke up and it had snowed. A good day to go to the zoo and watch the polar bears and the snow leopards.

Are they still alive?
This is a question Maximan has when he is looking into his dinosaur encyclopedia. Especially when he is reading about a carnivoor.

How can we learn more?
This is a question I ask Maximan. Because it is his learning process.

Observe and Ask Questions

If possible, go to a place where you can observe this animal. Go to the zoo, a petting zoo, a wildlife reserve or an aquarium where you can see this animal you were discussing in action. Unless it is a dinosaur, than you can head to a museum.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most people who are passionate too about the subject, love if others ask questions. They love to share their knowledge with you. Depending on which animal you like to know more of, you can even visit a farm, a veterinarian or a paleontologist. Just be creative. Who might know more about this subject than you do?

Remember that learning happens all the time in all places.

Research

Make use of (library) books, encyclopedias, internet, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and Youtube to find more information about the animal you like to know more about. Go to a Museum of Nature & Science or to a Museum of Natural History.

Activities

Now, you have gathered all this information. You can do something with it. Make a book, make a card to send to your family or friend. Or just give a presentation, film it and add it to Youtube.

A day at the zoo

Yesterday we had a cold day with sunshine and fresh snow, which is a perfect day to go to the zoo and observe the polar bear, pinguins and snow leopard. We had the zoo practically to ourselves and there were a lot of volunteers present, anxious to share there knowledge. Maxi- and Midiman saw the skull of a lion, an alligator and a komodo dragon. They learned about teeth. We observed the different fish and not to forget the snakes.

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