Saturday, May 20, 2017

Summer Reading

School is almost out in Nebraska. We have to keep our children's minds sharp. A weekly trip to the library is a inexpensive way to continue teaching your child. I prefer to go with a theme so my son can read books that suit his interest.   Last summers theme was books on gardening. We found books that were based on different ethnicity, cultures, but stayed with the theme of a particular plant or way of gardening.

What Is A Good Age To Teach Children About Nature?

My children are extremely helpful in the garden. The question is what is the best age to starting delegating gardening responsibilities.  Young children should know that vegetables don't just come from the  grocery store.  My son is only two so he his knowledge of seasonal gardening is limited. I plan on teaching him a lot this year.  Beans are the  perfect plant to start with, because they are big enough to fit in their little hands comfortably.

Simply soaking a seed will jump start the seed into sprouting in a day or two. This will give the child the option to remember that  the seed has changed from its original state. I would suggest using beans such as hyacinth, fava beans, or even a  scarlet runner.

I once used a method of starting a bean in a a jar so my kids can watch them grow.  It was a perfect way for the child to watch the bean swell, loose its protective shell, develop roots and sprout leaves.

The method of growing beans in  a jar is better for a child between the age of 4 and 7.     At that age kids have a better understanding.      Please watch the video below to watch my son talk about growing hyacinth beans inside of a jar.

Are Video Games Good For Kids?

Kids don't  play outside like they used to.  Most children prefer to stay inside and play video games. I will admit my kids like to sit inside and play video games too. But, I do push them outside and tell them to enjoy nature. Brandon started his own little garden and started with growing clovers. 

However, in the process he discovered a little friend. He chased around this little frog and had a great time. My only issue with Brandon was convincing him not to mess with every animal that he saw.

For example, he came inside the house one day and told me that he was trying to catch a giant guinea pig. He said that the guinea pig was very pretty and it was black with a pretty white stripe down its back. He said he tried to chase it but it ran away. Judging  by his description I discovered he was actually talking about a skunk. I am so glad he didn't get sprayed. 

I will admit I am highly impressed by Brandon's infatuation with nature.  It seems that most animals enjoy his company as much as he enjoys theirs.  I do my best to encourage him with by frequent trips to the zoo and purchasing books about animals. 

Thanks to his love of video games like Minecraft, Terraria he has learned about rocks and minerals.Yes, he is a all around nature boy.        
But as much as  I want to condemn video games like most parents I did  notice there is certain knowledge that he has gained that was not provided by his homework. When I hear him talking about uranium, obsidian, quartz and I am not mad at all. Minecraft and Geometry dash have given him extra math and team-building skills. I guess the best thing we can do as parents and make sure there is a balance. We have to make sure they get their physical activity and monitor what games they play.