Friday, October 19, 2012

Nature Study, Field Trips and Family and Friends

Oct. 6th - 14th (Saturday - Sunday) A Week of Field Trips and Family:

Charlotte Mason encourages nature study of familiar places throughout the year. One place we've chosen for our familiar place is a nature area that is a short drive from our house. We try to go at least once a week. We will go when it's raining, when it's covered in snow (which is rare), when it's hot, when it's cold and when the weather is perfect. We will go in the morning, afternoon and evening too.  It's good to make observations about the seasons and weather at a familiar place.

In R6's new language arts program we are reviewing, IEW's PAL, we are studying a poem that has a reference to purple asters. So, on this particular nature walk, we were specifically looking for purple asters.
We found many!

Our whole family explored our favorite nature area for about two hours. We found a great deer track, too!

 We took two field trips with our homeschool group this week.
The first was a tour of our local police and fire department. We learned some great details about a policeman and fireman's job. We toured many of they key rooms, including the courtroom in the police department and the living quarters in the fire department. One of the most intriguing rooms was within the police dept. It had an enormous  monitor showing more than a dozen live cameras in various places in our city. You never know when your being watched!
The kids exploring a police car.

  • Our favorite resource this week: We have audio CD's of the Sugar Creek Gang to review. These sweet stories full of Christian values and adventure have been perfect during our extended time in the car this week.

I assist in one of R6's co-op classes, Edible Art. We do such cute projects each week. R6 brings his knowledge home and regularly tutors his siblings on how to make art out of their food!
Below, R6 has created a caterpillar with banana slices, peanut butter, a grape and noodles for the antennae. He also created a spider using an oreo, two tiny M&M's, frosting and licorice for the legs. Buzz Lightyear made his own caterpillar after R6 gave fabulous instructions and C8 made eyes and a mouth with peanut butter on the caterpillar's grape head. I LOVE art and personal expression!

On a personal note, we traded our paid-for van in on a new one. (The old one was having a few issues.) It's amazing how technology has changed in the last five years! Although it's not fun having payments again, we are loving our new ride.

Near the end of the week, my mom drove up to visit and join us for our last field trip of the week. We attended Disney On Ice's Rockin' Ever After show. It was nice to share this memory with my precious mom. Here's one picture from the two hour performance.

 The next day, we took Nana to our favorite nature area. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was a great day to explore with Nana. Here's one of my favorite pictures from the day:

My mom and C8
Sunday, Mom attended our church's 15 year birthday celebration. It was another very special day.

Oct. 15 - 19 (Monday- Friday) The Week of Friends

 Making extra time for friends is so important. I'm thankful that this week has been full of friends - outside of our normal activities. 

We enjoyed another field trip with our homeschool group! This time to a farm, and Daddy took a vacation day to join us! We toured the petting zoo, pumpkin patch, baby chick incubator, corn maze, took a hay ride around the farm, watched a pottery and spinning wheel demonstration, heard stories, and touched different types of fabrics. Best of all, we enjoyed our three hours at the farm with good friends!
 While at the pumpkin patch, we were invited over to sweet friends' house for dinner. We had the best grilled hamburgers and to top it off - the kids helped prepare our dessert ~ peach cobbler cooked in the fire pit. Our combined five kids from age 4 - 11 had the best time playing outside games the whole time! Over the four and a half hours we were there, the only time the kids sat down was to eat! ~ We are in the process of trying to plan a camping trip together, too!

The next day, we schooled normally in the morning and in the afternoon another sweet friend came over with her 2 1/2 year old and newborn.  Look what she brought for us!
The ingredients to make Elderberry Syrup!
 We love Mrs. L and her sweet family. They are always thinking of sweet ways to bless our family.  Next week, we are taking our kids on a field trip to the Wren's Nest for a tour and story telling by the Wren's Nest Ramblers! I've been wanting to visit this place for years - mainly for the storytelling! The Brer Rabbit stories are so much fun to read! Mrs. L and I share a love for Uncle Remus tales.

The next day, we were invited over to a dear family's home to decorate potatoes for an Awana class project. We got to visit with an almost three year old, a three week old, an eight year old ~ that we took back to our house for the day and a precious mommy I've been friends with since we moved to GA.
J4 and his "forest" creation on the left and C8's Most Girly potato on the right.

J4 came out of his last co-op class this week with "lion" whiskers. He really thought he was a lion and proceeded to sharpen his claws on a wall of bricks - this was at a restaurant, too. After taking a quick picture, we gently reminded him he was human and in a restaurant.
We've had some busier than normal days the past two weeks. Below are a few of our favorite resources from a busy week:
  • I've also figured out what I will be teaching next semester at co-op. Have you heard of the Wild Brothers? This DVD series is excellent. The kids and I have enjoyed watching and learning about tribal missions the past couple of weeks. C8 and I are excited about turning this series into a great co-op class for 2-3rd graders. ~ We have about three more weeks to explore two volumes from the Growing up Wild series and then we will post a review for the Crew.
    • I've been thankful for online lessons the kids can do on their own. They've used a lot of our online subscriptions the past couple of weeks like Time 4 Learning, Speekee, ZooWhiz, the Kinderbach App (which is on sale today in the app store for only 12.99) and The Pilgrim Story for C8. 
    Most of these are great programs we've been blessed to review for the Crew. They are accepting applications!
    Mary at Homegrown Learners currently has a wonderful series going about read alouds

    We are currently visiting my husband's family. I think I'll save updates from this trip for next week's Highlights. If you are still with me, thanks for reading about our past two weeks.

    So, this post was once again two weeks of highlights. I just can't seem to manage my time well enough to get these posted "on time." Twenty-four hours is just not a long enough day!

    I'm linking this week with:

    Homegrown Learners

    Favorite Resource This Week

    Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop


    1. What fun learning activities! We like to get out in nature as well. Those deer tracks are a fabulous find - wow! Love spending time on a farm - we're headed to a corn maze tomorrow :-)

      1. Thank you, Dorie! Deer are a favorite animal around here =) Have fun in the corn maze tomorrow!! And thanks for taking time to comment!

    2. I really like what you say about CM about exploring a nature area at different times. We need to start doing this, Hope -- maybe you can be our guide at Line Creek one day. You know, Grant just thinks I'll get lost! ;-)

      Congrats on the van. I already told you I'm jealous! One more year! ha!

      1. I would love to explore Line Creek with you guys! Let's pick a day and go! We will be sure to take you to the opposite end. I always tell the kids to be super quiet b/c it's a perfect place to spot deer. The kids can never be quiet enough though... ;-)
        ~ We wish we could've gotten at least three more years out of our old van...ugh! At least your plan is actually working for you! That I am jealous of =)

    3. The field trip looks like it was great fun!

    4. Wow, lots of fun stuff!! Thanks for linking up at FTF!!

    5. It sounds like a beautiful two weeks of learning, Hope! That photo of your Mom and daughter is great :)
      Thanks for sharing at Favorite Resources.

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    Thanks for taking time to comment. I appreciate each and every one! =)