Topic Development

Often in home education I find things seem to come together in a way which is not planned, but works out really well! One such instance happened today when we visited some Reflection Gardens, a lovely thoughtful project symbolic of the Christian spiritual journey. As we walked through the first garden, "The Loving Creator", our guide pointed out a sculpture which used hexagons. He pointed out that hexagons are the shape of a 'benzene ring' of carbon atoms, part of the molecule of many organic substances and a building block of creation. My third son (6) remarked that bees also build their waxy cells for larvae and honey in hexagons. We had read this in a book yesterday as part of our ongoing 'bee project'. It occurred to me that a spin-off for our eldest son (10) might be a study of hexagons.
Later, whilst speaking to another of our hosts, I mentioned our recent interest in bees when she told us they also kept bees at the gardens. She went to find a piece of beeswax, which she gave to the boys - with hexagonal pattern. She then offered to show them how to assemble a bee hive, which she did, explaining how a beekeeper checks the hive. The highlight for the boys was being able to use a traditional smoker, which she lit for them.

We left our phone number with the promise that, when (if) they get the opportunity to spin some honey from their hives this summer, they will call us to go and watch.