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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Creation Science: Small beginnings

It was a laboratory, that sidewalk that stretched in front of the vacant lot by our house. I didn't dress in a white lab coat, and I certainly didn't carry a clipboard, but I was a scientist, nonetheless.  

Day after day of my childhood was spent staring at the tiny creatures that lived under the concrete; sometimes spreading crumbs so I could watch the ants as they struggled to break them down into small bits and drag them into the labyrinth that was their home. Other days I would stomp them like a huge, malevolent giant, and then watch hoards and hoards of their comrades scurry around after them, amazed at how they could communicate without making a sound. 

Thankfully, children don't need to be introduced to nature study. Even in the most urban setting, they are immersed in it--it's all around them. If they can see the sky, watch the birds fly by their windows, or notice the crawling things that abound, they can learn about the Lord God's wonderful creation. All we have to do is to encourage their natural curiosity and channel it. 

One perfect way to boost interest is to read living books aloud. One of our favorites is Nature Readers: Seaside and Wayside, by Julia McNair Wright, which you can download and print out (I have a tutorial here) so that you won't have to be tied to a computer in order to enjoy it. It just happens to contain a number of chapters on ants, written in a very descriptive narrative style that grabs the interest of a child and then draws him in.
Two of my girls exploring in our front yard.
Whenever I notice one of my own youngsters staring at some ants, I get involved. I've been known to tip over a rock or two so they could see the nursery underneath, or put a few specimens into a Ziploc bag and grab a magnifying glass so that we could look more closely at some "bug anatomy." Of course, I've also been known to give them a cracker to crumble, and even to play the a malevolent giant! 

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8)


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