May 13, 2013

Spring Scavenger Hunt and Nature Study

 Anyone who is a homeschooler knows that school is not limited to worksheets and desks and books and videos and four walls! Spring is a time for us to take school outside and do things that the boys don’t really recognize as “school” in the classic sense.

Real education is about using things experienced EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE to further the development in the areas we consider important in our child’s learning process. One of the best places to do that—and have your kids typically in 100% agreement to whatever you want to do-- is outside!

Whenever I say “Let’s go outside!” I rarely get a negative answer…
unless of course there is a serious session of engineering going on with the LEGOS

But typically, no arguments—instead it’s a drop everything and run—as if they don’t do it I will change my mind. Which of course then leads to literally dropping everything and leaving it on the floor—Legos, cars, tractors…sigh.

Tell me I’m not the only one who is just baffled why this happens day after day even after many reminders of “pick up your toys FIRST!"

We took school outside on Monday afternoon and enjoyed spring while doing a simple nature scavenger hunt. The printables we used today came from Marcy @ Ben and Me and they are so cute! There are so many fabulous scavenger printables out there---I just happened to already have this one printed off, so I went with it!
spring scavenger hunt

He found all but two of the things (no frog, no ducks) and he had fun running all over to find them! In the process of finding a green leaf, he discovered a leaf with fuzz on the underside of it...

...which then led to a speculation of what it was and why it was there (LOVE RABBIT TRAILS!).

After he finished with the scavenger hunt, I gave him a nature journal page (also in the printable) and told him to find something he sees around us and draw it—then to write about it. If it is free writing, I do not correct his work as he goes—instead he finishes and then we go over it together. I find he is more willing to write if he knows he can ask me for help—but isn't worried about spellings and grammar.
nature study
Can you read what he wrote? "Silk is a tipe (type) of thing that caterpiler (caterpillars) yous (use) to bild (build) a sack."
He decided to draw and write about the sack of caterpillars we found this past weekend. They are nearly gone now--but you can see the white sack in the photo collage above...it used to be 3 times that size.

When he was done, we played hula hoops 
the favorite activity lately
The boys rolled in the grass.
Yes! We did a tick check!

And then we just all put our arms out and spun around in a circle until we were dizzy.
Hilarious to watch Baby Britches!

I taught the boys how to play "wheelbarrow".
Baby Britches did it the best. 
I think because his legs aren't as long.
 I didn't take pictures because I was doing it too! 

Baby Britches used several words--roll, hoop, hole--to describe various things we were doing. It is so nice to hear him--he even put two together "roll hoop!" 
Baby Steps...just taking baby steps!

I took a break and sat down in the grass. Baby Britches was holding the stick he'd used to roll the hoop, but was breaking it into pieces. So I took some pieces and Baby Britches and I practiced our letters...we had to stick with all the straight line ones because he couldn't figure them out otherwise.

ABC in Nature
He though it was pretty neat that I could make letters he knew with the twigs.
I don't know why I never thought about doing this before. 

The last thing to share--I was doing something on the porch and Little Britches called out "Mommy--come quick! And bring your camera! I can't describe it, but bring your camera!" And so I did...here is what he had found!
nature study
They are what appear to be Chrysalis pieces! 
Looking at this picture now I wonder if that's not the brand new butterfly there on the black behind the chrysalis on the right...

We enjoyed our afternoon outside--that's the great thing about spring and summer. Nearly EVERY day is just right for outside adventures here on the farm!


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