Friday, March 7, 2008
Green Hour Challenge week 3
This week was the third week in the Green Hour Challenge we are participating in at Barb's Heart of Harmony blog. Be sure to click on the links if you are not familiar with Barb's fantastic blog or the Green Hour Challenges. You will be sure to find treasures!
Anyhow, this week's nature study was pretty much "Magnus Lead". I had plans of going to the local park to hike the trails, but Magnus had a different idea. I loved that he was taking responsibility for his own learning and did not in any way want to stifle that. He put on his "adventure clothes" and gathered up his "adventure gear" and off he went to explore our yard.
It was a precious sight! He is truly excited about being outside, exploring the world around him, and finding treasures. The one thing I have noticed is both boys are not anxious to dig deeper and learn more about the things they discover. They are content to just explore right now. Don't get me wrong, they are constantly reading about birds, animals, and insects but the probing questions about things they see are not there yet. I will give it time and try to lead more in that direction by engaging them in questions and discussions more while we are out.
This week was about recording your findings in your nature journals. The boys and I have sketch books we are using along with nice carbon pencils, colored pencils, and watercolors. I asked the boys if they would like to draw a picture of the boxelder bug they found and they both eagerly got their materials and started drawing. Here is their first entries in what I know will become treasured journals...
I decided to sketch the cotton I brought home from a previous nature walk. I am by no means an artist but that doesn't matter. I am holding true to what Anna Botsford Comstock wrote on page 17 of the Handbook of Nature Study...
"Too much have we emphasized drawing as an art; it may be an art, if the one who draws is an artist; but if he is not an artist, he still has a right to draw if it pleases him to do so."
She goes on to say, "We might as well declare that a child should not speak unless he put his words into poetry, as to declare that he should not draw because his drawings are not artistic." (I like her!)
This book is for me to record my love of nature. Who knows, maybe my drawing will improve! However, I am not able to share my sketch this time. Collin took the camera to CA, therefore leaving me camerless (Which has been a little difficult. He did, however, leave me with his laptop which was a sacrifice for him! Thanks, Honey!)
Also this week, and every Thursday, we go to our local park and attend a nature class designed for homeschoolers. We meet for an hour and half with a handful of other kids. A biologist/naturalist leads a discussion about a topic pertaining to nature and then we go on a hike and put that knowledge to use. This week they talked about different habitats. As they went on their walk, they had to complete a scavenger hunt. They needed to look for things like a cap of an acorn, a decomposing log, moss growing on a tree, insects, ect. The boys enjoy attending programs there. Once swim lessons end, we'll be able to go back to attending the other nature program they have on Tuesdays. Oh, and we might participate in planting and attending the butterfly garden on Wednesday afternoons at the park too.
Be sure to check back next week to see our discoveries!