bird tagging

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the day started out rainy. somehow, even through her own umbrella and a raincoat with a hood d still managed to be soaking wet upon arrival in the car. when she shed her jacket and plopped in her seat, she sighed out “what a dang, darn day” with the exasperation more fit for someone with sixty years her senior. in a short, the day looked to be a rough one starting out.

we’d plans to meet friends at the scioto audubon {you know a usual for us} but we weren’t aware of the fact that every september and october the audubon takes on a big bird tagging project. yeah, you see that up there? those are bags of birds. I SAID BAGS OF BIRDS! although i personally have some conflicting feelings about this process, i feel like it was a great thing for the kids to witness up close. darla was allowed to gently pet a few of the birds. we saw a warbler, a catbird, an american goldfinch and a cardinal.

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after a few hours at the center we hit up the north market because it just seemed like another good thing to do on a rainy day. unschooling helps me see that we’re learning in everything we do. darla LOVES to look at the flowers at the market. we identified several and talked about their prices. and what better way to talk about math than by getting a gumball at the end? commerce is a great area for learning practical math.

so, in the end it was kinda the opposite of a dang, darn day. it was pretty great.

unschooling: the audubon center

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darla,

one of the things i struggle with the most with unschooling is feeling the self-imposed pressure to see that you squeeze every ounce of information from the great resources we have available for free in our world. i often have to stop myself and ask is she enjoying this right now? if she’s enjoying it then she is learning. if she’s not then she is reciting information to pacify me.

this was my struggle when we returned to the audubon center last week. our last trip here was on a monday when the center is not open. i actually love breaking this park up into an indoor/outdoor experience. there is just too much to experience to fit it all in on one day. but you had been asking to return on a day when the center was open ever since so that’s what we did.

you seemed to breeze past all the things i wanted you to explore at first. i could feel myself switching into control mode and i had to take a deep breath and let it go. you really wanted to play dress up in the animal outfits. me thinks those outfits are the whole reason you’ve been asking to come back. once i reminded myself that you are learning by playing i was able to incorporate some substantial information into our play. eventually you became curious and wanted to put a little more effort into fact-finding. we spent a few good hours there playing, looking at exhibits and lunching while reading books about caterpillars and butterflies in the bird-watching library.

i will have to remember that sometimes you’re going to be locked in and intent on information intake like when we went to blacklick and sometimes you’re just going to want to put on a bird costume and run around. both are valid and important. sometimes you’re going to want to read a book and sometimes you will want to veg in front of a movie. both are valid and important.

i want this to be fun for you. i want you to know that the whole world is yours to learn from. it’s there for the taking. i know i need to put the work into myself to remove the expectations i have so that this can be fun for both of us. let’s have an adventure together. let’s let it last all our days.

ps. plus when i let you do what you want it often looks like this

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msg week

here’s our week from my iphone:

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we found walking sticks and were proud of it. we said hi to our sycamores.

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we had lazy picnics in the park

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and kicked our shoes off for a bit. we let our bodies become grounded again.

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we hung our new nature prayer flags and added darla’s new books from maine into heavy reading rotation.

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we rode ruju to the audubon center to continue the bird learnin.’

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we dressed up like our forest friends,

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and came to an understanding that darla has no chance of normalcy under her current parental guidance.

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“the older i get the more i am into taxidermy.”

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we gathered blossoms and walked trails,

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and spied on the pond creatures.

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did you know ohio has white sand beaches? oh. no. that’s just a volleyball court. my bad.

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we tried out the thursday food truck festival at columbus commons and enjoyed the commons activities.

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we took in a game at huntington park.

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i was sure to wear my protective head gear since our seats were pretty close.

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but really the most important development of the week was my complete surrender to my msg addiction. i think i’m on my second bag of rold gold cheese twists for the week. my body is NOT happy with me.

I’m incredibly thankful for all these moments the universe has bestowed on us this week. Goodness is abundant.

ps. if anyone is interested in obtaining maine themed books you can find them here: One Morning in Maine, Blueberries for Sal, The Little Fisherman, About Birds: A Guide for Children