Go to the ant you sluggard!

Herein lies another bonus of home schooling – finding unexpected wonders in the seemingly insignificant!

For nature study on a terribly overcast, rainy day we poked around my Areca Palms and tweezered an unsuspecting ant into a clear bug box and read from Anna Botsford Comstock’s, Handbook of Nature Study.  It is such a pleasant companion and so enjoyable to read!  If ever you are in the nature study doldrums, her writing is the perfect pick-me-up and will enrich your observations.

These little minuscule creatures are so vastly complex and indefatigable!  They are mostly female and they work, work, work!  We were most surprised to find out that they are as particular about their appearance as cats!  They will actually take at least a half hour cleaning their feelers and maintaining themselves.  They have little brush pads on their legs and a teeny tiny tongue that will even act as a wash cloth!

Although not all ants become mothers, they are all incredibly maternal.  The workers are mostly female and care for the young the moment an egg is laid!

I thought that this too was a wonderful aspect to consider.  Sometimes as mothers we’re so busy caring that we overlook the necessity to take care of ourselves.  Saturday found me refusing to fly through my shower and taking the time to make my toes look  a tad more civilized! Thank you, ants!

At any rate we all had a new found respect for the ant and Brandon made sure that our live example was carefully deposited back so she could rejoin her colony and get back to work!

In our journals we listed food for thought.

Do ants have a brain? What is in their abdomen? Do ants have muscles? Do ants have taste buds on their tongue? How do they hunt for food? Does each ant in the colony have a different job?

In Charlotte Mason’s words, “The question is not how much does a youth know?… but how much does he care?”  When the attention is piqued, when curiosity is roused, when the stage, from  this-is-what-I-have-to-know alters to what-else-can-I-find-out? This is when true education takes place.  If my student is thinking of the questions, then he is subsequently formulating the answers.  I do not have to spoon feed the questions.  Let him have the broad view and he will find questions that surpass mine to allow  him a closer, detailed observation on the matter.

We were glad we obeyed the Biblical exhortation!  Definitely in comparison to this tiny insect that plays such a large role in the ecological maintenance of the soil, we truly felt like we were sluggards!  We gave our Creator thanks for not leaving out the little guys to teach us the big lessons!


About Probhita

Quite ordinary, really. Where I do consider myself extraordinary is in that I have been tremendously blessed with the sweetest family and the best of friends. It is nothing short of the richest luxury to be loved as I am! Being challenged to think and break away from status quo is a personal priority. I believe that the Creator of the universe has a plan for my life and random chance is not the way of my existence. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I deeply uphold tolerance - I may not concede to a thought being right - but will always respect it's view. The privilege of having the best parents in the world and growing with caring sisters in a rather unique setting is an aspect closely cherished. My youngest sister, despite being oceans away, always remains my closest friend and my biggest encourager! I have a wonderful husband who loves me and two gorgeous children. I presently live in India. This blog is the embarking of a journey with Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education as I continue to homeschool my children. I hope their childhood will be as fulfilling and memorable, if not, more, than mine.
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