Learning at home


                                                                                     Photo by Sherry Heavin
Sherry Heavin is again enjoying having chickens, 
these little ones are a couple of months old.
Steve and Sherry Heavin


By Sherry Heavin

As we begin another full week at home and the weather outside has changed from torrential rain to warm sunshine, I’d imagine that keeping kids studying inside will be quite the task for parents. That’s perfectly OK! I’m sure your wonderful schools have provided information for the students to work online with eLearning at their own level or provided you with packets of prepared materials to keep learning as an important part of their day.
As a child I learned many things from my grandparents, while I wandered through the fields picking flowers, feeding chickens, picking blackberries, and watching for turtles and snakes. I learned a lot at the heels of my Grandpa Kirb Widener as I followed him most every step he took. He would plow the garden with Ol’ Dan and I’d ride along on the back of the old horse as he plowed the plot. Even took an ol’ straw hat and made Dan wear it, as I recall. I’m quite sure he would’ve rather I be in the house with Grandma Pearl, but he didn’t say too much except “Sit still” “Hold on” and “Come on, Dan.”  My Poppie would hold the reins and plowing we’d go. He also had an old wooden cart he’d pull behind Dan when he needed to haul wood or something. I’d beg to ride along and sometimes he would let me go. Mercy that man had patience! My Grandma Pearl taught me to pluck a chicken, sew a seam, and cook. All those things made me the person I am today. So, your children will learn from you as well during these days, and one day they’ll have great memories of your time together. 
Last week I offered a schedule to keep the children on track and by now you’ve either learned that it works or you are pulling your hair out!  Either way, I hope some learning did occur. Today, I’d like to share a couple of online sites that I think will get those kiddos excited to learn.  Both are something that I think they might like and can learn something from while they are home.
First of all, who doesn’t like to go to the zoo? I am retired and these old knees barely carry me along, but I wouldn’t miss a trip to the zoo for anything. You can check out the Lincoln Children’s Zoo on You Tube or Facebook. Daily they post a live video about an animal at the zoo. This is a very informative lesson on zoo animals and the care they receive. Kids and adults of all ages will love this site.
Then, after you check out the zoo, younger students could write a story about the animal of the day, draw/color a picture of the animal, and practice zoo words. 
The next site I’d like to share is one that will be interesting to many of our rural students and parents as well. Virtual tours are so much fun!  This site proposes virtual tours of dairy farms at Dutch Hollow Farm in Schodack Landing, N.Y., Will-O-Crest Dairy in Clifton Springs, N.Y., and JoBo Holsteins in Gettysburg, Pa.  Here is the URL: www.rfdtv.com Virtual farm tours allow kids stuck inside to visit and learn about dairy farms. The learning here would be practical in nature and help children understand what it takes to make a glass of milk!
Enjoy this time with your children and make it a great memory for them! Look at their unique qualities and help them see what a blessing they are to our world!

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