Some of the best learning is spontaneous and real.
I knew something was up when I heard the elephant commotion and squeals upstairs. I sat placidly, waiting for the burst of enthusiasm that would inevitably end up in front of me (one of those lessons you learn as a mega-mom–you rarely need to rush to the scene of an uproar–it will find you).
And there he was; a most beautiful toad with amazing warts, a soft, squishy belly, and a fierce desire to escape.
Poor guy. There was no way he could have anticipated being handled by so many sets of hands within a few minutes, but he seemed to take it in stride.
In a 1950′s science-fiction manner every square millimeter of his tiny body was examined, including having his mouth opened up so the little girls could see his tongue (“But he doesn’t have any teeth, Mom” the five-year-old informed me as she was bounding down the stairs after something).
The children found a container, and then tried to make him comfortable, which took considerable thought and much running around a rummaging both inside and outside.
Then the camera was brought out, and photography experiments extended the lesson further. Posing, twirling (complete with a peanut-butter-and-jelly face), different settings, angles, even some B & W.
After much pomp and circumstance, including naming the animal Hubert Georgenson, he was humanely released in the same place he was found a few hours earlier.
Memories created, lessons learned, a beautiful homeschool day.