Lessons in the Mountains

A lifestyle of learning continues even through vacations.  We usually school year round, but did only minimal formal work this summer.  Extra learning opportunities oozed past our planned start date, and we’ll just be getting back to our full school schedule tomorrow.

Kaira (11) spent an extended weekend with Grandma and Grandpa at their mountain cabin.  Before leaving, I gave her an assignment: Learn three things while away, and report back.

Kaira is usually conscientious and thorough, going above and beyond the requirements.  The following is from her journal entry:

Grandma and Grandpa are taking me up to their cabin for the weekend.  Mommy told me to learn three things.  I’ve learned more than that already, so I’m just going to make a list.


1. When Beetles kill a pine tree they kill it with a fungus then their young eat the dying or dead tree.  Hundreds attack the same tree.  The tree can spit them out with sap if the tree is healthy.

2. Grasshoppers are bigger than locusts and have much bigger legs.  Also, grasshoppers mostly hop while locusts mostly fly.

3. Mica is used in electronics as an insulator which stops the electricity’s flow.

4. Humming birds display their bright colors to scare off predators.

5.  A salad is not officially a salad till you add pepper.  Grandpa said so.

6. A first cousin once removed is your Mom’s or Dad’s cousin.  A Second Cousin is your mom or Dad’s first Cousin’s children.

7. Some snow high in the mountain is there all year long and it keeps the streams running in the summer.

8. To tell the difference between a chipmunk and a squirrel: Chipmunks have stripes on their heads.

9.  Female hummingbirds share better than males.  If one hummingbird’s nest is destroyed, another female hummingbird will share her nest.

It’s good to have my Kaira back home.   We missed her this weekend, but we enjoyed having a canine house-guest to take her place.  (Ok, he didn’t quite taker her place, but he is a cool dog!  He’s a fetching machine with the waggingest tail!)  It’s good to have Kaira home, but I will miss our borrowed dog.

Speaking of George (that’s the dog’s name):  I’d told Kendra (9) that few people enjoy their work as much as George enjoys his “job” of fetch.  She said, “I know someone who does!”  I asked who, and she said, “You, Mommy! ”  I do love my job of tending and training and loving my family–but I don’t know if I always show the joy in our daily life.  Being compared to a dog can actually be quite a compliment.  It was encouraging to hear that they know I love my work!

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One thought on “Lessons in the Mountains

  1. This post shows very clearly a couple of the sweetest attributes of the personalities of Kaira and her mother. Very heartwarming as a first-thing-in-the-morning read.

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