Feeling Crabby

At our house we like to rock homeschool in the morning from 8-10AM.  At that time of day we are rested, well-fed, relatively angst-free, and we haven’t been awake long enough to feel frustrated with anyone else.  That said, kids will be kids, and sometimes a whole house just isn’t enough space to manage the size of our feelings.  When we have those times we (I) like to immediately leave the house.  I just take the time to fill up the water bottles and off we go.  A couple of days ago when it became clear that staying indoors was a bad idea for everyone, we drove over to a nearby college campus where we spend quite a bit of time.


For years now we have been walking to the far side of the pond to check the water level and direction.  The pond is an inlet that connects to the St. Mary’s river which in turn connects to the Potomac River and then the Chesapeake Bay.  It is a beautiful place to live with water everywhere.  Although we don’t have a boat we are still able to enjoy the gifts of the sea just by looking for them.

On the way to the pond we put together our testing kit- pine cones, small sticks, pine needles, fallen bark.  When we get there we position ourselves in the middle of the bridge and toss them overboard.  We wait to see whether they will float out to sea or in to the pond.  It is surprisingly entertaining for everyone.  If the current is fast enough we like to play Pooh Sticks.

This week we caught low tide and were able to spot a total of forty crabs scurrying along the bottom of the pond.  We have Chesapeake blue crabs in our area and even through the water their colors are gorgeous.

We had never found nearly this many before and my daughter was understandably excited.  She felt the need to make a full report immediately. {See video}

We must have stood on that bridge for an hour watching the crabs scuttle over the tops of oysters.  This led to a discussion of oysters, schools of fish, and crab catching etiquette.


When we got home crabs continued to influence most elements of the day.  I overhead a made-up story about a crab family and found this artwork left on the magnadoodle.


This kind of direct and fluid learning makes a lot of sense to me. How lucky we were to come across something so intriguing. The point of education is to learn.  What better way than to stay there in that moment of profound interest and excitement and learn about THAT whatever it may be.


4 thoughts on “Feeling Crabby

  1. This is education!!! That crab is stunning, I’ve not seen them before. Funny, if I tried to do anything first thing in the morning, the fur would fly so to speak. We head out for a good 45 mins to get out morning energy. On days we can’t go out, we actually relay race around the house. No joke!


    • Hi Bronwen. Do you live in a place that allows you to go out easily in winter too? We usually go outside as soon as lessons are done at 10. Our winters are mild enough that we should be able to keep it up through the cold months. That will likely be critical for everyone’s sanity;)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not anymore, we now live in the Northeast and winter is a hunker down and stay inside season.We still enjoy our snow days when they come!

        Liked by 1 person

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