Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nature Study:Deer Rubs and Evergreens

Nature Study has become a big part of our learning. For years I didn't quite know how to incorporate it into our day to day, walking outside and becoming overwhelmed in the vastness of all there was, not sure exactly how to narrow our selection to one lesson for the day.
Even reading others blogs, trying to follow what they did, usually ended in a misfire.  Looking for or studying an object that a homeschool family found in Kansas, we sometimes couldn't find in our neck of the woods in NWA.
These setbacks plus my lack of knowledge on things of nature just kept me from doing it.  Fill it in with unpreparedness which brought on frustration from my kids and by me.

This time, I  decided that it would be kid led with structure and learning  brought on by me.
So that is basically what we did.  We set out without a plan, scouting out the area, looking at the changes winter has brought and then picked two things to learn about.  
If a discovery or sighting was made that didn't follow the direction we were going, a drawing or note could be made and further research done at home was great.
One of John's sightings.

Jacob and one of the many deer rubs on our land.   So much can be told about the rub which is made when the deer is traveling from his feeding and bedding area, marking his area, letting other deer know that he is there.
This was definitely Jacob led, he has been spotting them since last fall, watching the trees for new sightings and tracking what deer he sees.  He is very protective over the rubs, not allowing anyone touch them.
With the Evergreens, we talked about the difference in male and female trees.  The importance of having both and what they produce. We also learned the difference in deciduous vs. coniferous.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Life at Green Gables

Loving how different (but good) my views on Anne Shirley are compared to my boys. It is so fun listening to them talk about Gilbert Blythe and Diana Barry...it feels like I have introduced them to close friends from my childhood and then seeing them fall in love, want more, cry and laugh like they are really there running through haunted woods, eating ice cream for the first time ..

questioning why anyone would want puffed sleeves, getting angry at Marilla for false accusations and loving her all over again. I have overheard them discussing how great Matthew is, "a kind a soul, they are using words like "kindred spirit, naming places around us imaginative names, and talking about Mrs. Lynn like they can't imagine how someone could be that awful.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

How our Life became a Story

We've been reading.
They read books by themselves and I read books individually but we always read as a group. We read My Side of the Mountain and are now reading The Other Side of the Mountain.
All about Sam who runs away from home to live in a Hemlock forest that was his grandfathers. Sam's wonderful tale of living off of the land, in a 6ft. wide Hemlock tree, catching trout, skinning deer and rabbits....has set my boys in wonderment. They love the idea of living out in the woods, catching food by day, making traps, tanning deer skin rugs and doors, gathering berries, crushing acorns for flour to make their own pancakes and simply living outside with nature all around.
They have listened intently to these stories and Jacob decided last week that he could live out in woods alone. Trying to not discourage my son, I played along....how will you keep warm, what will you eat, where will you live and keep your food storage. He had a reply to it all...I'll build a fire, eat nuts and kill rabbits and squirrels, I know which berries are safe, I'll live high up in the trees and store my food in the holes.
He was convinced he could make it on his own. Jacob is determined, he packed his bag with the necessary essentials, not over packing, keeping it light. He had a plan and was setting out to do it.
Once I realized that he was for real....I had to put on the brakes. Jacob you have to eat supper first, let's make sure you are clean before you leave, brush your teeth one last time, lets have our Bible study before you go.
Then as everyone was headed to bed, he was heading toward the door. WHOA, I yell....why don't you try sleeping on the deck for a little while before you venture off. He wasn't to crazy about this idea but settled on making his bed on the deck and snuggling up.
The boy slept out there with me peeking out the window every few minutes. Two dogs guarding him and wondering what he was doing sleeping outside with them.
He eventually came in a few hours (yes hours) later, saying he kept waking up because his feet were freezing.
But the next day he started it all over, with me finally saying when you are older you can run away into the woods, 13 he says and I finally nod my head.
My boy dreams of living in those woods and living like Sam Gribly did.
All this came from a book....reading.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Trees and Leaves

We are learning about the forest.

The differences in deciduous and evergreen trees.

So today we took some time to learn what certain trees were.
We made leaf presses with ink.
And are drying our leaves to make leaf tiles.

John's Drawing