Homeschool Pond Study – Late April

homeschool pond study

The more we visit our pond, the more we enjoy it. These days, when it’s so easy to travel far and wide, it’s such a treat to spend time becoming intimately familiar with one special place. I continue to be so appreciative of Angelicscalliwags for inspiring us to to this.

Courting Swans

The swans were the stars of the show at our pond this April. Back at the start of the month we noticed that they had built a nest on the island.

The following week we witnessed some very beautiful swan rituals. C(9) said it looked like they were synchronised swimming.

Swans mating ritual homeschool pond study

There is a final photo in the series but I’ll spare your blushes and show you this preening close-up instead!

Preening swan


Bird Ringing Scheme

Later, one of the swans gave us an excellent view of its leg, on which it wore a metal ring. By zooming in on the photo, we could read that the ring was labelled “BTO British Museum Nat Hist London SW7”.

swan's leg - homeschool pond study

ringed swan homeschool pond study

swan ring - homeschool pond study
Example ring from the Ringing Scheme website

We looked this up when we got home, and learned about The Ringing Scheme, which allows members of the public to report sightings of ringed birds.

The rings on the Ringing Scheme website had numbers on, but we couldn’t find a number on our swan’s ring. C(9) has emailed the Ringing Scheme to find out more about this.

Nesting Coots

The coots are also nesting. They’ve picked an excellent spot, at the edge of the pond but very well concealed. I was only able to get this (very zoomed in) photo from the far side of the pond.

nesting coot - homeschool pond study

Our female coot has been sitting on her nest for the last few weeks.  The incubation period is just over three weeks so we should see coot chicks at our pond very soon! (When we were wondering about the correct name for the young coots, J(8) suggested that they should be called “cuties”. That one may stick :-))

The male coot, meanwhile, has been much less shy.

coot - homeschool pond study

Watercolour Art

We admired how green the trees and plants around the pond have become, and brought a few small samples home to paint.

spring branch watercolours - homeschool pond study


Nature study homeschool art

 spring branch watercolour - homeschool pond study

braiding willow - homeschool pond study
C(9) loves to braid willow into “ropes”
Evening visit to the pond
We visited the pond at 7pm one evening as we dropped C(9) at a Cubs walk. The light was gorgeous
Testing pond temperature
Testing the pond temperature


Den building in the woods
Den-building in the woods by the pond


homeschool pond study at outdoor play

Science Sunday

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Spring Carnival

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44 thoughts on “Homeschool Pond Study – Late April

    1. Thank you, Theresa! There have been one or two pond visits where my son’s “interest” has been reading Captain Underpants while his sister and I explore the pond, but mostly we’re all loving it 🙂

  1. Lucinda I just love seeing your Nature studies. They are so beautiful and calming and full of goodness! I wish I could bring Keilee to each of your outings to join it. She would love it. Those swans are gorgeous aren’t they? Their art is really good! Your children are just beautiful and look so at home in Nature. Happy weekend!

  2. Your Pond Life study pictures are great and the swans are so beautiful, how lovely to have such a fantastic place to explore and investigate. Den building is a definite favourite past time with both our children and the guests we have on the farm, thanks for linking up to Country Kids.

    1. Thanks, Fiona. My children would love to have den-building at home as yours do! I think next time I will take a book so they can spend the hours den-building in the woods as they would like to.

  3. I just love, love, love the swan photos, like poetry in motion – gorgeous! Our little pond couldn’t support swans in the long term, although we very occasionally get them visiting!

    1. They were amazing to watch (and then a bit shocking at the end of the display!). I was looking at your frog and terrapin photos again earlier, they are so cool. I so want to find more animal life at ours!

      1. We just did our last pond study and whilst we were there the pair of Canada geese got out of the water. One had banding, the other didn’t, which surprised me. Although what I know about banding could be written on a postage stamp!

        1. me too! We just got a reply from the banding society, they said the number would be on the other side of the band. Don’t think we’ll be getting that close to the swan!

  4. This all looks so exciting to do as a child. I used to love looking at pond life as a child. Also love the painting – so good!

  5. The courting looks very interesting. I did not know that about the rings.
    Watercolour picture is amazing!

    Thank you for linking up to the Spring Carnival.

    1. Thank you for hosting the Spring Carnival, it’s a great idea. I’ve just dipped into your blog a bit further. My son has Sensory Processing Disorder (and possibly high-functioning autism) so I shall be exploring much further!

      And thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

  6. Wow that painting is impressive! Den building is the best activity for the kids – mine can while away hours in the woods – although we’re having to avoid them at the moment due to hayfever 🙁

    1. Oh, shame about the hayfever! Hope it passes soon. Thanks for stopping to say hello – I love your blog! (I think it was the link to the cava post that did it :-D)

  7. What lovely photos! You’ve caught the light beautifully, especially in the first photo in which the green is so lush. Absolutely beautiful. Just being outside and spending time at the pond has so much to offer children. Den building has been Tiger’s favourite woodland activity for the longest time. There’s something very appealing about being able to build one’s shelter in the wild. 🙂

  8. A lovely wholesome post, there’s nothing like using the resources close by – saves money, time and the planet really doesn’t it! Also love the willow braiding… Have you tried making corn dollies? Last summer we picked a bunch of wheat from a field (asked mr. Farmer first of course – his reply was ‘as long as you don’t use a combine harvester to pick it…be my guest!’) and then we soaked in for a couple of hours in an old plastic window box to make it supple and had loads of fun with that… You can thread the stalks into themselves and make really big ones! You can also do it with those dark green pond/marsh grass too… Maybe there’s some of that near your pond?

    1. Thanks, Claire! I like the idea of using soaked wheat – we’ll look out for a friendly farmer! We made corn dollies at the Weald & Downland Museum, which was fun. Last year C(9) and a bunch of friends spend weeks making a massive willow plait. They took turns fetching it home to soak in water between meet ups. At the end of the summer they used it to climb a tree – they were very pleased with themselves 🙂 We’ll have a look for plaitable pond grass next time too.

  9. I’m formulating my own pond study too because of you and the study over at Angellic Scalliwags. It’s really got me thinking how to best go about it.

    1. Fantastic! It would be so interesting to see how different ponds are in the different places people live. I’ll look forward to hearing about yours.

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