Owl Pellets STEM Box, dissecting a Barn Owl pellet, uncovering three rat skulls and one vole

When you undertake an experiment you do so because the answers are not yet known. You may have an inkling, a hypothesis, an educated guess as to the result, but the truth is still waiting to be uncovered.

And so it is with our/my plans to homeschool next year. After several years of research, I will finally put my hypothesises to the test and uncover the truth for our family, as to whether homeschooling is the answer I have been seeking. Despite the pushback from my husband, family and teachers, the horror stories and negativity, I am still optimistic about participating in my children's education. I am keen to use this time to really get to know them, strengthen the connections in our relationships, explore the world with them more fully with fewer time constraints, and follow and share in their changing passions. 

In the meantime, my eldest was home today with asthma, and we enacted a homeschool day as I have planned out for our submission. Reading, writing, nature study, math, science and STEM. I couldn't have been more pleased. When I came up against resistance in the learning process we discussed it and got to the root of its cause and were able to overcome it. 

With luck, the Owl Pellets kit I bought from STEM Box arrived today upon our return from the doctors. Cohen and I spent the next hour and a half drawing, measuring, dissecting and identifying owl pellets - the hair and bone remnants of their food. As owls cannot digest these parts they regurgitate them instead. Thus, we uncovered three rat skeletons as well as a vole's. Fascinating! Or, in my sister's words, "cool and gross". We had anticipated finding a few bones and hopefully a skull, but were rather excited to find four skulls in the first pellet. Cohen plans to dissect the second pellet tomorrow and I can't wait to see what he finds.

Today's experiments have left me feeling excited and inspired about the experiment we take on next year. I will hold on to those feelings each time I feel the pushback when people realise we want to step outside the mainstream and defend their choices by expressing negativity about ours.

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