I’m a huge fan of delight directed teaching. The popular trend of delight directed learning is all well and good but if my boys were left to direct all their learning according to their own delights I shudder to think of the exact nature of knowledge thusly acquired. Besides, delight directed learning is basically what’s going on every minute of the day that school’s not in session, so for just a couple of hours they get to learn about all the things that Mom happens to delight in. The past couple of weeks were an exception to that. You see chapter 10 in our Apologia science text was all about lizards and snakes. As much as I delight in God’s created world and Apologia’s exceptional methods of presenting it, I HATE lizards and snakes. I can bait a hook, catch and clean a trout, pull those nasty gizzard things out of a turkey, and deal with all those gross infant and childhood bodily issues that only other mothers can relate to, but lizards and snakes still make me shudder. My boys know this and delight in that knowledge. They were thrilled to get to chapter 10 just to watch me squirm and gag as I read aloud to them each day. Thrilled to add their own bits of expertise to my uncomfortable narrative. Thrilled to do extra research and illustrate their knowledge by making me piles of pictures of slithering creatures with horrid, beady, glittering eyes. And especially thrilled to hunt down as many live specimens as could possibly be found. And while there is a shocking abundance of lizards to be found here, one of the very loveliest features of this island is it’s absence of snakes. Hawaii is said to have no snakes at all but leave it to my Joel to find the only one on the island right outside our building and get himself bitten by it. Apparently, there actually is one kind of snake here and it is called the Blind Snake and while the Pacific Islands National Parks website assured us that they are harmless and do not bite the tiny little puncture wounds on Joel’s index finger prove otherwise. Incidentally, it was also Joel who at the age of 4 walked right up on a big old rattle snake back in California and thankfully had enough sense to back away while Dad “disarmed” it with a shovel. Enough about snakes. On to lizards.
Hawaii is absolutely crawling with geckos. They get in your house, your car, and if you have little boys around and aren’t careful they’ll even end up in your hair. According to my boys there are several species of geckos on our island but the most popular is the Madagascar variety after which the Geico mascot is modeled. Only here they crawl on all fours and don’t talk. They do chirp however. At night. Usually from the ceiling right over your head.
There is also the much slower moving Jackson’s Chameleon to be found which the boys have made pets of a couple times. The first one we named The Reverend and the second was Stonewall.
Today I sent the three middle boys downstairs around 9:30 to burn some energy by running laps. They got sidetracked catching yet another kind of lizard called Anoles and by 2:00 had relocated about a dozen of them to the pineapple patch outside our building. Yep, when they’re too busy to even come in for lunch you know they’re having a good time. Now that was some hardcore delight directed learning going on there.
This week we’re moving on to amphibians. Oh joy.