Pets, animals. Bugs. We do it all here. I must say I am the instigator in the volume of animals we have acquired. I do most, if not all the work for most of our pets and animals (although my husband does the heavy lifting for the horses). But, dogs, cats, birds, fish, these are my domain. I know non pet people walk into my house and think I am crazy. There’s always fur, muddy pawprints. Our furniture is torn up, and it always faintly smells of dog.

I watch my girls with our pets, and I think how they will grow up to be gentle, caring, and empathetic people. They have been taught since birth how to treat these creatures in our home that can’t communicate. Even when the dogs wake them with kisses, bump them by accident, bug them for treats they now respond appropriately and in a caring manner.

The dogs also get us out walking the trails more than we probably would if we didn’t have them. The horses and chickens force us out in the bitter winter cold, when we would normally stay inside all day.

Animals also provide a biological science education. As a nurse, (and wanna-be vet) I love comparing their anatomy to ours. My girls love this too. For my three year old, her love of animals shows in her book choices. Right now, it’s the Bad Kitty books, Zoey and Sassafras, and the classic Beverly Cleary; Socks.

Having pets,I think, lends well to  writing and art. The observations you make, especially comparing between several pets can lead to a lovely painting, or description in a short story they write. Just today we talked for awhile and reenacted how each of our dogs and cats walk around the house. I am fairly new to cats, but we have one that is silent in her travels, and one that literally sounds like a toddler stomping around the house. The girls and I practiced our cat walks around the kitchen.

There’s so much to be gained from our furry, feathered, and scaley family members.

Do you have pets? How do the effect your homeschool?


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