C has, since he was quite young, had a special place in his heart for birds. I remember when he first learned to sign it: We would be sitting at the table and he would point out the window and sign “bird.” Adam and I couldn’t see any so we just said, “yes, birds live outside.” After a couple of weeks of him regularly insisting that there were birds out that window I finally decided to take him to that side of the house to see his reaction. It turns out there was a bird nest right above our window. You couldn’t see the nest from inside but C must have seen the birds flying in and out of it when Adam and I weren’t looking.
He was about two when we splurged and bought him a “Birds of Alberta” book. He flipped through it pretty regularly for a while but then it got put in the jumble of books on the shelf.
The birds have recently returned from their soiree in the south. And the bird book has reappeared. My father purchased a set of small binoculars so C can now officially go birdwatching. It is incredible how much he know about specific species and how many he can identify! For a while we would read about a bird (or two, or six) every day. Now he brings the book a couple times a week to learn (or relearn) about one bird at a time.
I believe that this is unschooling at it’s finest. Provide the opportunity, and children will get curious. Learning without pressure or prejudice. All I need to do is encourage him. And learn about birds alongside my son.
Random bird fact: Did you know that a house swallow waits until other birds build a next and then swoops in a takes it from them? (C doesn’t think that is very nice.)