One of the cool things about homeschooling is the ability to take advantage of some activities that occur during the day, which we may otherwise miss. This week, those non-traditional activities were carnivorous plants, and acting. One thing always leads to another, and we end up down a rabbit hole reading, watching videos, and writing about our new endeavors.
Thanks to my husband, this weekend we adopted two Venus Flytrap plants, later named Clyde and Liza, who were received with mixed reviews. There was morbid curiosity (they eat WHAT?) followed by disgust (Daddy, we are not feeding living bugs to plants, GET RID OF THEM!) This of course led to watching videos of Venus Flytraps, reading about them, making plans to watch, “Little Shop of Horrors,” and some silly renditions of “Feed Me, Seymour!” Last spring, I’d planted a vegetable garden with my kids and we spent the summer caring for and learning about it, but I would never have thought to bring home a Venus Flytrap. I guess that’s the benefit of having a wacky Dad who delights in finding slugs and watching the plant’s “arms” swallow them whole. We decided to do a unit study on the plants, incorporating them into our science studies and branching out to examine different plants with unusual features.
After my kids spent their mornings looking for recently-deceased insects to feed to Clyde and Liza, they spent their afternoons rehearsing for a play that is being performed at a play festival in Westchester this weekend. This has entailed reading lines, memorizing them, and lots of practicing and practicing again. My eight-year-old got to be the director, and had the opportunity to give her input on blocking and delivering lines. She got a little drunk with power if you ask me, but it was a neat experience regardless. They’ve been on stage before, but this time was much more in-depth. It was neat to see their confidence develop as they memorized their lines and successfully navigated the rehearsal process.
I don’t expect they’ll pursue a career in botany or theater simply because of these experiences, but do like that we have the flexibility in our lifestyle to expose them to new and interesting things. While any of these endeavors could be fit in after school or on weekends if they were truly of interest to a child, I find that homeschooling gives us the additional wiggle room to take on extra activities, or delve into them further than we’d otherwise have time.
What activities has your child discovered in his free time, or would she like to pursue if given the opportunity? Share your experiences and ideas with our readers, below.