Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Roscoe's Plan for the First Week of Homeschool: animal dissection

The latest branch of Roscoe's inquiry into the animal world—his first and enduring passion—comes in the form of dissection. It's something he has expressed interest in for many months now and began with a desire to dissect a snake after he viewed a particular documentary about anacondas. Then, over the summer, after finding several eastern box turtles on various hikes he decided a turtle would be better.

We went online and looked at the different animals available and while he could have chosen either a snake or a turtle, he was enticed by a dissection kit that included seven different specimens of various anatomical complexity: a worm, grasshopper, crayfish, clam, starfish, perch, and frog. He liked that the kit came with all the special tools he would need.

At first, his interest reminded me fondly of my own dissection experiences in highschool and college biology, but then I came to wonder why he wanted to cut open and dissect nature's little creatures. Eventually though, I realized that he is just genuinely curious about what animals look like on the inside, and he likes the close-up view and intimate exploration that the dissection experience provides.


Sunday night I sit down with Roscoe to touch base and to discuss what he hopes to accomplish in the week ahead.

He scowls and says, “Well I don’t want to just have a conversation. That’s boring! I want to type.” So I say sure, and bring my computer to the table. He helps type in my password and then I open up a new document and type at the top: Roscoe’s Plan for the Week. 

He sits in his chair on one side of the table and I find my place across from him. I point to his bulletin board on the dining room wall and read off some of the ideas that he’s had in the last few weeks: create habitats, construct dens or forts for animals, answer the question: "How do I handle venomous, non-venomous and constrictor snakes, and scorpions?", see a baby logger head turtle....

“Do you want to work on any of those ideas this week?" I ask.

He seems genuinely disinterested but continues to type with much enthusiasm. Tap, tap, tap! 

After a moment he stops typing and peers over the monitor to say, “Oh, yeah! I want to order a new animal to dissect.” Then he's back to typing. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

I remind him that he still has four animals left in the dissection kit that we ordered a few weeks ago and ask, “Would you like to finish dissecting the animals you have before you order a new one?” 

He says yes, he wants to dissect the rest of the animals in one day, and declares he will dissect the clam first. He wonders how he will open the clam, and then quickly answers his own question, “I think I’ll use the scalpel to pry it open.”

"Good idea." I say. “Ok, so we’ll work on dissecting the animals you have, and we’ll start with the clam. When you’re done, we can order a new animal.”

“A pig!” He shouts with a grin. 

Then he turns his computer screen to show me the text he has typed and asks me to show him the words he has spelled. I scan through the lines, and highlight in blue the words “yoyo,” “my,” and “poo.”

Here are a few photos from the frog and perch dissections. (He's also dissected the starfish.)

Counting and comparing frog fingers and toes to his own
Practicing proper technique for disposable glove removal 
Drawing frogs post-dissection


  1. this is very cool! :) i know a PBHer who wants to do taxidermy; i will send her this link. ;)

    love how he took over typing notes during your meeting. does he have his own journal? :) there are some pretty cool scientific ones!

    1. Ohh Taxidermy! Sounds like fun :) Thanks for passing this along. If she writes I'd be curious to read how that project unfolds.

      Roscoe does have a journal, but he hasn't utilized it yet. He's just recently become interested in drawing and he does "write" his thoughts which I usually transcribe. Maybe printing off the text and adding it to his journal will peak his interest. I'll try it!

  2. I love reading these posts!! I'm still trying to figure out what to do about work and more and more I'm thinking that I need to be spending more time with Tabitha. Roscoe seems like an incredibly intelligent, inquisitive little boy, and I think you'll both gain so much from this homeschooling experience. :-)

    1. Thanks for reading and for your support Sarah! Tabitha is lucky to have you for her mama and if you're like me you'll keep exploring your feelings and options until you find a spot that feels just right. :)

  3. This is so great! What an awesome first week :)

    1. So far so good! Although Merritt's preschool day is truncated this week and next as they slowly ramp up to the full three hours. And today Merritt wouldn't let us leave... so we'll see about the one-on-one time I anticipated for us this week. :)

  4. It's official. You are the best mom EVER! How amazingly fun for him! I'd guess you have a doctor in the making, for sure ;)

    1. Ha ha, he is totally into it. Happy first day for Lilah today!! :)

  5. You are a fantastic mama and homeschool teacher to do this.

    My SIL once sent my nephew over with a rat or mouse or something to dissect (was from a reputable place like where you are ordering from). I was dealing iwth morning sickness with Bella. SIL did not ask first. I did not enjoy that experience and have been plotting ways to return the favor all these years. :) Ha!


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