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Friday, May 30, 2014

Teach Your Children Well

I live in New Jersey. The beach is not far away. When I walk on the beach--which is often--I pick up shells. Until I retired, I taught young children and I used to save the shells and put them into a big box. I brought the box to school to use the shells for projects with the kiddies in my class. I did that every year around this time. Without fail, every year someone would ask me, "Where did you get those?"

That anyone who lives here would ask this question never ceased to amaze me. True, some of the shells were picked up on Sanibel Island and a few other Florida beaches. However, the majority of them came from the local beaches right here in NJ.

The kiddies all knew they were seashells, but none of the kiddies knew the names of the different types of shells. They could not tell a moon snail from a mussel--which I think is very, very sad. My own daughters grew up with Golden Nature Guides and Audubon Society Field Guides. They knew the names of various trees, birds, flowers, as well as shells.

Even a five year old can learn the difference between a scallop shell and an oyster shell. Sadly, many of the parents didn't know the difference either--and worse--they didn't care. How many future scientists never got a chance to blossom because Mom or Dad didn't have a field guide?

Pick up a shell. If you don't know the name of it, look it up. Show your children how to do it. Today it is even easier with the internet. You don't have to own a field guide.

The world is full of variety. Get to know the intricate, delicate, beautiful world you live in.


Leann said...

you're right Penelope, it is sad. Especially when those lovely shells are right in their back yard.

We were always a few hours from the beach, but the kids learned the difference between sand dollars, china hats, mussel shells, etc.

K. said...

It's good that you were able to expose them to something new.

MarkD60 said...

Seashells come from the sea? Who knew!