Child-led Learning for the Summer


Because of a snow day that was never used, my kids are home today.  We are heading up in a few minutes to visit some friends that we haven't seen for a while who live about 45 minutes North of us.  This morning was a relaxed morning - steel cut oats and I did my best to clean the kitchen.  While we ate breakfast I said, "Let's have a topic of the day each day that we get to research and learn about."  It was a total whim, but my 8 year old son jumped on it and said:

What is the lifecycle of a turtle?

I said, "Well, let's consider what we know about turtles already, and then in a little while we will do some research."

We spent a few minutes talking about turtles.  They already knew that female turtles lay eggs in the sand and that baby turtles have to get back to the ocean while being pecked at by seagulls and other predators.  We talked about some additional questions that we had like:

How many species of turtles are there?
Which ones are endangered?
Where are turtles located?

Then we got on the computer and googled, "What is the lifecycle of a turtle?"  

Quite a bit came up, but fortunately we hit gold on the first link.  www.seeturtles.org.  After we did our research, which took about 10-15 minutes to read, we bookmarked the website so that we can come back to it with more questions if we want to.  

I also wrote out the question in crayon on a piece of paper and taped it to the fridge with the date.  Maybe I will get more ambitious and write out the question and then have the kids write out on the piece of paper details about what we discovered.  Then keep a giant binder that can someday go into the Smithsonian.  

Just kidding.  I'm not that ambitious.