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!

Wonder found in a conservatory


sitting under the waterfall

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:

curious about texture and pattern

Ellen loved this one because it felt like silk!

leaves with stripes

pattern on leaves

fern

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.

Grace loved this flower. I thought it looked like flamingos standing on the backs of one another!

Grace loved this flower. I thought it looked like flamingos standing on the backs of one another!

This was my favorite flower. It looked like pearls and whiskers. I took many pictures of it from many angles as it offered so many unique patterns!

This was my favorite flower. It looked like pearls and whiskers. I took many pictures of it from many angles as it offered so many unique patterns!

This one reminded me of Ellen because of its delicate elegance.

This one reminded me of Ellen because of its delicate elegance.

Will's favorite - a vibrant yellow.

Will's favorite - a vibrant yellow.

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).

enormous plants in the conservatory

giant leaves in the conservatory

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:

research from a conservatory

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.

Sparking Curiosity at a conservatory

Where do you go to spark curiosity in your children?

 

Classically Homeschooling

2 Comments

  1. amy on September 14, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    This is wonderful! It sounds like you succeeded in guiding your children toward wonder and curiosity. I love all the up close pictures you took!

  2. Carol on September 15, 2015 at 6:58 am

    The flower photos are just beautiful!

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