“If we get a cat, I promise I will help take care of her!” are the words that my sons spoke to me when they wanted a pet. Well, you know how that scenario ended up going. :) Belle lived for 15 years and well beyond the boys staying here at the house. She died a few years ago and we really didn’t have any intention of getting a new cat, but then Oreo came along… He was going to have to return to the SPCA and I thought his chances of being adopted again weren’t going to be that high. So, I talked my husband into taking him in and he been here since the fall. I promised Dale I would take care of him….
So, how does this tie into homeschooling? I think making the decision to have a pet and care for it is part of education. Now, maybe you don’t want a pet or can’t have one, so please excuse this post. I wasn’t paid by any of your children to write this post either. :)
Researching what type of pet that will fit your family is a practical way to incorporate a number of subjects because of your child looking at different breeds of dogs or cats, birds or fish, etc. (language arts) Not only that, but what type of environment does it need? (A cage, an aquarium, a dog house- science) What type of food does it eat? How much will it cost to take care of it? (math creeps into this!)
Pets can teach our children a number of things, responsibility being one of the most important lessons. Feeding, cleaning up after them, and grooming can all be duties that are delegated to several members and incorporated into the chore list.
Patience seems to be a character trait that pets bring out in me. Oreo has a propensity to begin letting us know he is hungry two hours before we feed him. He is extremely quiet the rest of the day until it comes to his belly clock telling him he needs to eat NOW! Waking up at 4:00 in the morning to a plaintive, insistent meowing at our bedroom door can be extremely frustrating! So, one black and white cat helps me with showing kindness when I’d rather not.
So, when your child asks for a pet, you can think of all the ways that critter can help your children with school and living. I hear Oreo calling right now and he still has 60 more minutes until he gets to eat. Patience… patience…