Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Homeschooling Today - Raccoon Unit Study

In our homeschooling, we often glide naturally from one study to another along with the seasons.  As winter moves into spring, the critters are waking up and starting to nest.  Before long we will see baby raccoons wandering around our yards at night, looking for food. 

For the past few weeks Logan and I have been reading the book “Kit - the Adventures of a Raccoon” by Shirley Woods.  It tells the story of the adventure of Kit’s life from the day of his birth until he leaves his mother and finds his own mate and den. 

When Kit was about 10 weeks old, his mother needed to move them from their natal den to a den that was closer to the ground.  The kits (baby raccoons) were getting frisky enough for the mother raccoon to get worried about them playing and falling out of the tree.  As we read about how she grabbed the babies and carried them out of the tree and to a den in the fallen tree, I was struck with the thought that I had seen this before.  In my own yard, years ago. 

This mother raccoon lived a fir tree in the backyard of our rental  just before we bought this house 4 years ago.  One day we noticed a big commotion out our backdoor and we watched the mama raccoon move her 4 kits out of our yard. 


She brought them, one by one, down the tree.  Two of them were pretty passive, but as she started to take the third one out of the tree, he would grab on to the ivy roots, or the smaller branches and would get a growl and a big cuffing on the side of the head for his trouble. 


She took them down the tree, across the yard, and up a smaller tree, over the fence to the wetland area behind the house.

Since Logan was just over 2 when this happened, it was neat to relive it by telling him the story and showing him the pictures.  Also, by reading the book, I discovered that these babies were probably not being moved because of danger in our yard (as I thought at the time) but because the natal den was too high and they were probably in danger of falling out of the tree like Kit was in the book! 
It was a fun day to be a homeschooler.  Smile

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