Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Green Hour Challenge Week 2

We are on our second week of Barb's Green Hour Challenges. This was a bit of a challenge. The weather was not cooperating with us when we first went out. Magnus is learning that when mom says to dress warmer, she means to dress warmer. We were out for a total of 4 minutes. But, during that time we, well Thane and I, were able to collect some cotton off a cotton plant in a field. It is patiently waiting for me to sketch it in my journal.

Saturday was beautiful and we were determined to spend some time exploring. So, after spending an hour at REI buying me some new hiking boots (a birthday gift from those who love me!) we headed for Radnor Lake in Nashville.

This park hold special memories for us and we try to go there whenever we can. While we were there we saw duck, squirrels, lots of birds, some turtles, and a red tail hawk! Oh, and lots of people which explains why we didn't see any deer or otters this time.

We also saw evidence of recent beaver activity.

We heard many finches, cardinals, and even a barred owl with his distinct "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" call.

I have to admit, I failed to follow up our walk with the probing questions that were to get them thinking about what they see, hear, and feel. I am determined to do a better job of this in the coming weeks.

I did, however, complete the reading in The Handbook of Nature St
udy. I am thoroughly enjoying this book. It is packed full of great insights and information. It gets me thinking and asking questions. As I review the notes I wrote in the margin, you'll see what I am thinking about now...

"Should I be doing a "formal" science program in addition to this or wait until they are older? Is "digging deeper" and doing some hands-on activities enough? I am so in the mind set of following specific, laid out curriculum. This is a huge challenge for me, but one I am ready to face. I don't want to be a slave to a curriculum or even to a schedule. I want to use them as a tool. I want them to work for me and my boys."

I am going to be giving this more thought, but so far I think I w
ill just continue down this path and maybe follow Ambleside Online's science schedule. I may add a unit study of sorts during the winter months when it becomes more difficult to get outside. I do plan on using Apologia Science (or something else) around fifth grade as a spine.

I will leave you with some more photos of our nature walk...

Be sure to check back for my post this week on Green Challenge week 3! Thanks for virtually exploring God's creation with us.


LisaWA said...

How fun! The tree the beavers worked on is so cool! I love all those wood chips all over...

The turtles... oh I love em too! What a great time you all mst have had...

Im envious of all the animals you were able to see.... Great week 2!


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...


I wanted to encourage you this week by letting you know that just getting out your front door sometimes is the hardest step to nature study. You accomplished that and then some. You saw an amazing amount of wild things on your day at the lake and your boys will remember that. Nature study sort of becomes woven in as the weeks go by. I was thinking about the beaver stump....some day you will be reading a story and it will include a beaver and your boys will remember this day at the lake and what a beaver can really do in real life from their own experiences. It may not happen tomorrow or next week but it will happen. That is what your aim is...to make those connections as they arise.

I highly recommend the Apologia science books...we did birds and botany a few years ago and they are so easy to adapt to a CM approach. The notebooks that go with them alone are worth the efforts.

Sorry this got so long...have a great week.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Lori Carr said...

I love your pictures!! So nice!! I am hinting for a new camera for my birthday.


Dawne said...

Love the turtles! Are they sliders?

Tina said...

What a great time you all had! You got some wonderful pictures. My dd would love to see those turtles in the wild.

I just love tree pictures. Those pictures were wonderful to look at.

Can't wait to see your next report. :o)