Animal Research Adventures!

A New Year

2018… apparently is shaping up to be one hell of a year. Went to bed last night with three snotty, coughing children (one of which gagged, vomited down the back of the top bunk, and went back to sleep) and a bit of a queasy stomach myself, even before the whole top bunk fiasco. Woke up this morning to a 54 degree house and an outside unit that makes enough noise to wake the dead when I attempt to turn it back on. Awesome!!

So here it is, 7:22am and I have piled blankets on the sleeping children, layered up and grabbed my robe, made the coffee, and texted a family friend in a desperate plea for his expertise in the matter of furnace mutiny. Despite the cold day, inside and out, today is the day that life officially gets back to normal after the holiday season. As always, the end is always bitter sweet. There will no longer be an excuse for eating cookies for breakfast, no more sneaky spy elf to carry tales of misbehavior to Santa,  no more pretty sparkling lights. However, when all of these Christmas decorations go back to the attic, and we reinstitute the ‘no toys downstairs’ rule, I may actually get my living room decently tidy!


Animal Research Day

Even though we don’t really go with the public school schedule around here, we have had our winter break and it is definitely time to get back on track and back into good morning routines. Today was to be the start of 2018 in our morning binders, the start of our Fish, Amphibians and Reptiles animal kingdom units, and a good solid math review. Unfortunately, our school room is in the basement that is already about 15 degrees colder than the upstairs on a normal day. Sure, we have a kitchen table and various other locations that could easily accommodate school work, but Bug doesn’t work so well upstairs. Too many distractions.

So on to Plan B:  A day of sneakily educational TV under warm blankets.


Today’s marathon of choice will be anything involving animals, mainly Wild Kratts, with some Magic School Bus and BBC Documentaries thrown in to keep it interesting.

Bug has long since decided that she wants to be a vet when she grows up. She wants to travel around the world helping animals who need her (as opposed to Boo, who just wants to catch them for an unspecified and most likely nefarious purpose). This love of animals led Bug to her current favorite show, Wild Kratts. The show is about two adult brothers that help animals. It has both live and cartoon segments, all filled with facts and information about the episodes chosen animal. Chris and Martin Kratt are fun, engaging and knowledgable. They also have a few other shows, including Kratts Creatures and the original Zaboomafoo. These shows have been great for Bug since she has such good recall of things she sees and hears, especially when it is a fact or other interesting information. These two men, traveling and helping animals, have now become the embodiment of what Bug would like to do in life. She shall learn everything there is to know about animals, and then she shall set out to travel the planet in search of creatures that need her help. She figures this ought to be able to happen by the time she is 10.


Oh boy.









In the true spirit of our semi-child driven homeschool, we took this opportunity to create our very own Wild Kratt Animal Research Journal. If one is going to learn everything about animals, then there needs to be a place to record all of this knowledge!

Our ‘Research Like A Kratt’ Journal

This notebook holds several printed copies of a simple Animal Research page, a list of animals she would like to add, and a zip up pouch with vocabulary words. I am currently toying with the idea of making a binder section for random knowledge; yesterday in the car she spent 5 minutes telling me the science of bioluminescence and it’s 3 main uses.

Our notebook with extra pages and a zip pouch for vocab cards!



Our first entry into our awesome notebook somehow managed

Our first Shark page. Believe it or not, Bug’s handwriting has improved a lot this year!

to be the Tube Nosed Bat.. which very little is actually known about. After that, I guided the animal choices a little more. It has been a very successful venture so far.  So much so that Bug often wakes up and comes downstairs asking to do some animal research. She even willingly writes down 90% of the information she finds! That, my friends, is huge. Bug does NOT like to write. Far too much sitting still and concentrating for my little fireball. However, she is determined to learn all she can before she turns 10 and begins her grand adventure. For now I will take any motivation I can get.. and I’ll deal with the fallout in about 3 years.




If you want to grab a copy of the Animal Research paper we are using, you can click the link below.

Wild Animal Research DL

Feel free to leave me a comment with an idea for an interesting animal to research, or a good show/YouTube channel to learn more about animals!!