When I began this “unschooling” adventure with my son … which essentially began the moment he came home to me … (see You Are Your Child’s First Teacher) … I thought of all sorts of ways that we could keep wonder, creativity and opportunities for self-learning within our home. We keep lots of musical instruments, books, blocks, puzzles, rocks, seashells, crayons, and oh so much more … scattered in baskets throughout our home. But something was missing … we needed a habitat … something where we could house living things … and watch them for a little while before setting them free and replacing them with another local pond find. So, we searched yard sales and found this $1 aquarium. Auntie found some aquarium goodies at another yard sale for $1. Voila! … throw in some pond water and plants, a few pond snails and we created an instant indoor pond for viewing the occassional frog, turtle, or fish that we capture from our “outdoor” pond.
You might wonder how my three-year-old is able to part with these creatures after we watch them for a while … Well, at this age it is fairly simple … you just tell them that the frog/fish/mermaid really misses their Mommy and Daddy and so we have to put them back where their parents can find them. Isaac totally gets that, and would never want to keep a creature from its Mommy.
Anyway, friends of ours have started their own “unschooling observatory river tanks” as well. Their tanks were also yard sale finds … and are currently housing several river fish.
This is such an inexpensive and fun learning experience. No filters or other tank gadgets. Just a tank, some river/pond water and fauna & a bubbling do-dad thingy (for circulating the water). You can feed your fish with commercial fish flakes (as my friends do) or you can just keep replenishing the water and animals so that feeding isn’t necessary (what we do).
Let us know if you give this a try.
Enjoy your day.