Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Green Hour Challenge Week 1

Not sure where my pictures went. They were there yesterday and they were really good. Sorry you won't get to see them.

I have decided to drop all "formal" science programs and concentrate on getting outside and studying nature. I wasn't quite sure how to get started but then Barb at Heart of Harmony asked fellow homeschoolers if having some sort of weekly "green hour" challenge would be helpful. I jumped all over it! The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

So, on Fridays she is posting our weekly challenge to complete the following week. Here is this week's challenge. I am hoping to have our nature studies posted by Thursday. Guess I am ahead of the game this week!

I read the first eight pages of Anna Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study and got so much out of it. Let me share some of the sentences that spoke d
irectly to me...

"The chief charm of nature-study would be taken away if it did not lead us through the border-land of knowledge into the realm of the undiscovered." pg. 4

"In nature-study the work begins with any plant or creature which chanced to interest the pupil." pg.5

"A course in biological science leads to the
comprehension of all kinds of life upon our globe. Nature-study is for the comprehension of the individual life of the bird, insect, or plant that is nearest at hand." pg. 5

"Nature-study is perfectly good science within its limits, but it is not meant to be more profound or comprehensive than the capabilities of the child's mind" pg. 5
I am going to tattoo that to my forehead!

"If nature study is made a drill, its pedagogic value is lost. When it is properly taught, the child is unconscious of mental effort or that he is suffering the act of teaching." pg. 6

"Curiosity may elicit facts, but only real interest may mold these facts into wisdom." pg.6

I planned to take the boys for a walk after their school work was completed. Magnus came up with the idea of visiting the Stones River civil War Battlefield that is nearby. So, that is where we headed. before we piled into the car, the boys stopped outside our door and picked some flowers to la
y on the headstones of the fallen men. Totally Magnus's idea.

I guess my first act of business is to try and figure out what these flowers/weeds are. No matter, they are pretty and now laying as a badge of respect and honor on the tombstones of courageous men. I will admit, it was challenging to get them to focus on the trees, clouds, moss, rocks, and lichen around us when there were cannons and cannonballs present.

We finally made it to a wooded area and found some treasures...

The boys didn't ask me a bunch of questions like, "What's this, Mom?" or "Why is the moss only growing on this side of the tree?" There really wasn't anything they wanted to investigate further. But you know what? This was a huge success! We got outside, even though it was chilly and windy, explored a part of the National Park we hadn't seen, and they paid their respects to the many men who deserved it.

When I asked Thane "how many 'thumbs up' was our outing", he replied "as many to the end of the numbers!" Guess that sums it up!


LisaWA said...

Very good... I am still reading the first 8 pages.....

I just see boxs.....

Hugs, Lisa

PS.. Tomorrow is Wednesday!!!!!!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Reading everyone's experiences to this week's challenge has brought tears to my eyes more than once but your son's comment about the number of thumbs up just about made me do a happy dance. So perfect.

This whole experience has been so positive that I wonder why we haven't thought of doing it before. :)

Thanks so much for sharing your outing with us. I am so encouraged and ready to get started on the next challenge.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

SKELLER said...

what a fun slogan, "no child left inside" :-)

Brittney said...

I like the slogan too! Wish I would have thought of it. I am pretty sure Barb at Heart of Harmony or her daughter coined that one. Pretty clever, huh!?

Anonymous said...

I have seen this on so many blogs; I think we are going to have to start participating too! It looks like a lot of fun.

Amy :)

Anonymous said...

Looks fun!

Zelda said...

Excellent! But I'm sad about the pictures because you are so good. I'm sure they are lovely.

We're very excited about this new direction in our world.

Mama Peep said...

I read about the Green Hour Challenge on your site. We are participating too. You did a great job. I did not get to read the Handbook as the link Barb provided didn't work for me. I will have to order it when we get back from our trip. Thanks for inspiring me.


Mamasmurf said...

What a shame your photos disappeared! It sounds like you had a really good time - especially from what your son said afterwards!!

Tina said...

I too wish I could see the photo's.

What a GREAT outing you all had though. And what a thoughtful little boy.