The school year will end this week and, with that ending comes a beginning. The Hippie family is embarking on a whole new adventure. My sweet 3rd-grader will be home schooled. If you’re new to LHM and wondering why on earth such incredibly rational folks like us (teehee) would choose to make such an unconventional decision you can read all 100 reasons.
Knowing that I have the massive responsibility of my child’s educational future resting on my own shoulders has made me VERY alert for wonderful learning opportunities. One such chance came to my attention recently and I’m excited to share it with you.
The National Wildlife Federation offers a very cool program in which your outdoor space – be it a farm, forest or 2nd floor balcony – can become a “Certified Wildlife Habitat.” There are five requirements:
1) Provide a food source for native wildlife. This can include nuts, berries, nectar, seeds or native plants.
2) Provide a water source: a bird bath, fountain, stream, pond, etc. (Hmmm…. an art project to build a stone bird bath? Or even better… a motorized fountain?)
3) Provide shelter: a wooded area, a bird house, rock pile, thicket, or other natural cover. (I’m thinking that there is a math lesson in the measuring and fractions involved in building a bird house.)
4) Provide a place to raise young: Mature trees, Nesting Box, Host Plants for caterpillars, cave, water garden, etc.
5) Send NWF a check for $20. OK… obviously this is a fundraising thing for them. But I’ve got no problem with that. It’s a win-win, I say.
How simple and totally fun is that? I’m so excited!
For our efforts we get:
1) A very cool chance to talk about, explore, and research the plants, animals and insects native to our area.
2) The opportunity to teach about the importance of caring for the planet and ALL of its inhabitants.
3) A certificate for our wildlife habitat.
4) A free one-year membership to NWF which includes a subscription to National Wildlife magazine and 10% discount on their merchandise.
5) A subscription to Wildife Online.
6) A press release for our local newspaper (I’m thinking… another learning opportunity about advertising & media?)
7) Inclusion in NWF’s National Registry of Habitats.
And for an additional $30, a very cool weather-proof recycled aluminum yard sign.
In the fall, when we start working on this project in earnest, I will share a bit more about exactly what we are doing to meet the stated requirements. In the meantime, I’m keeping an eye out for other fun educational projects to add to our non-school year. Any suggestions?