Anna’s kindergarten science studies this year have been a conglomeration of African unconventional home-school topics. Here are a few highlights:
Turtle Anatomy and Physiology: The neighbor’s pet tortoise passed away unexpectedly, so Jason and Anna performed an autopsy. I counted this as science class for the entire week.
Entomology: Our living room in Kenya is an excellent place to collect and study bugs.
Mice: We have had way too many opportunities to study captured mice in our kitchen.
Giraffe babies: A few months ago at Crescent Island, we saw a very newborn baby giraffe.
Giraffe Feeding Techniques: This is how Anna learned that giraffe tongues are both scratchy and slimy.
Sea Creatures: Two trips to the Indian Ocean gave Anna opportunity to study crabs, moray eels, and starfish (who knew that starfish can be red?).
Fishing Attempts: Inspired by the coast, she tried to catch fish back here at Tenwek, but all fishing efforts have been unsuccessful.
Veterinary Surgery: Anna eagerly assisted Jason when a neighbor’s puppy needed stitches.
Hospital visits: On special occasions, Aunt Alyssa takes Anna to the baby nursery at the hospital. Anna loves to watch all things medical. She even watched me give blood last week.
Given the emphasis on anatomy and pathology in her kindergarten science experience, it is not surprising that Anna is aspiring toward a career in medicine. Lately she says she would like to be an ophthalmologist. She is already documenting and diagnosing eye disorders, such as these, including the rare eye tumor on the patient third from the left.
While the above science curriculum might not be approved by standard elementary schools, the good news is that Anna has learned to read this year. Yesterday she read me a story about a dragon and a knight, and she did not even hesitate over words including “knowledge,” “fascinating,” and “disappeared.” After the story, she informed me that dragons actually lived a long, long, long time ago in the 1950s. Maybe next year in home schooling, we will focus more on history.