I remember playing family games when I was little and loving the idea of a "conservatory" from Clue. Our city has an amazing conservatory to visit that houses some of the most exotic and beautiful plants we've ever seen. Since the climate can be regulated, plants that normally wouldn't survive the North Texas climate can thrive.
As a part of integrating scholé (or restful and contemplative learning) into our homeschool, I've been looking for places to take my kids to expand their horizons. This week, it was to the Ft. Worth Botanical Garden's Conservatory.
Traveling to a new world, without leaving your city...
When we stepped into the garden, it felt as if we'd traveled to a new world. We all stood in awe of the lush tropical plants and the sweet warmth that enveloped us (and fogged my glasses). Thankfully, it wasn't like the Texas humidity!
Sparking Curiosity with Texture and Pattern
It didn't take us long to circle the conservatory, and previously, that would have been the end of our tour - I mean we'd seen everything right? No way! Our first time around was just the introduction. Now we could return and really see. So we looked for texture:
Sparking Curiosity with Shape
Some of the flowers there had the most unique shapes. Walking down the path, we each fell in love with curious shapes of different flowers.
Sparking Curiosity with Size
We saw some familiar and unfamiliar plants in the Conservatory that blew us away because of their size! At times it felt as if we were in a scene from a Jurassic Park paradise (minus the scary dinosaurs).
Sufficiently Sparked, Curiosity will Follow you Home
After we made it through our second pass of observation, I asked all of the kids to go pick their favorite plant and take a picture of the sign that identified it. Their task when they got home was to research their favorite and write a paragraph and draw a picture. Grace finished hers first:
I love watching my kids research something they're actually curious about. It takes the pain of a written report out, and inserts the drive from a hunger to know.
Where do you go to spark curiosity in your children?
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.