Nature Study: Cattails

While we walked today, I had a specific destination in mind.  I had been searching for Cattails all winter in hopes of joining along with ‘s Winter Nature Study that I had purchased when I first moved out here.  I have always loved this blog and its many accompaniments but have not been able to participate in much of it.  The first study for Winter was Cattails.  Since, we have had no less than 6 inches of snow on the ground and temps well below freezing since the beginning of winter, I have not been able to find Cattails locally.  Finally, I saw some road side during a drive I dont usually take that was close to our house.

When we arrived T. was very surprised to see them and was really thrilled.  I talked about where they grew, as he discovered how soft they were and how the stem was made of many layers similar to corn.  We pulled a little fluff from one and discovered that they were little seeds.  We plan on checking on them and watching the changes they go through over the seasons to come.

Here our some photos of our discoveries.


Some Lessons

From our Fourth Grade Studies:

We began our story with Joseph and Katie pulling up camp and meeting Roak, the bear.  Katie learns she can talk to the bear and anyone can if the bears want to be heard.  Roak travels with them as they head toward the sea.  On the way, they meet a Bison.  A Bison is similar to the Cow in its behavior and body, so we take a closer look into “The Cow”.  We learned how it eats with molar teeth and it’s four stomachs, to create milk.  We learn a little about it’s personality and how it walks on it’s tippy toe nails.  We drew a cow in the field and wrote a small paragraph about the cow. T.’s first paragraph!  We then read and tried to memorize some of a lovely Poem titled The Cow.

While this study has been commencing, we I have brought T. back to the very beginning of learning to count and use all the four processes. We have taken each number, so far only 4,5,6,7, and 8 and found all the fact families for addition and division, but using subtraction and division principles to discover them.  Using gems we see if they can be split evenly, whether they are an odd number or even.  Then we discover the many ways these gems can be split up to create the total.  T. has enjoyed this process and I think it has  helped him immensely to see, feel, know each number in this way.  He seems to be holding onto the math facts much longer than he has in the past.

Looking back…Saying goodbye

Here are a couple pictures from our last playdate in NY.  Before we left, I was truly Blessed by the universe in giving both myself and my dear friend Paula increased stamina and stronger constitutions to handle one last playdate before we needed leave for Iowa.  Ben and T. got a chance to play for a really long time and say goodbye.  Me and Paula got to play and say goodbye, too.

We will miss them dearly.  Hugs!!

A Wet Day 1 of Faerie Fest

Set  up in an open circle was a challenge but the kids were up for anything.  They were perfectly flexible!  One  minute to show time and the sky opened up and poured down upon us for the entire performance.  Amazingly, these kids kept plugging along and not one complained, even through close drowning moments!! 😛

We even had an audience.  Wet, but really fun!!  B. had a most memorable moment of creating a huge SPLAT! upon falling to his death.  LOL!  All the Homeschool Players did such a wonderful job.  We are all so proud for them.

Mind you, all actors are getting poured on the entire time!!!  Enjoy the pictures!

A Midsummer Nights Dream performed at Faerie Festival NY

Curricullum so far….

So far I have gathered the following resources for this years curricullum for third and seventh grade.  I am awaiting a few more sources to arrive via mail.  I am also still searching for many biographies and historical fictions for B. to read for the Middle Ages theme that carries through this year.  I will also be using The Story of the World vol. 1 and vol. 2 for both boys to enhance the already begotten resources for eaches historical time period theme.  I still have to purchase Vol. 2.  These are heafty expenses. T.s’ thematic units are related to Jewish history/Old Testament mythology and latter, Native American mythology.  I am ordering main lesson books through Paper Scissors and Stone.  I ordered the astronomy main lesson books and a caligraphy pen from Mercurius USA.  I will be trying to find a musical outlet for T.  He has been playing with the Piano for a while on his own, now, so I might see if he would like lessons.  Don’t know if that will turn him off from it, though.  B. is ever progressing with his guitar like crazy.  He is sounding really nice and coming up with some new sounds.  T. also needs a physical activity, but not sure what to persue.  I personally would appreciate a workout for myself somewhere squeezed in all this “for the kids” stuff.  I will be trying to plan out my year with B. this week.  His is more of a challenge for me.  I would really have preferred to have purchased an entire curricullum for Live Education for seventh grade to help organize it all, but I can’t afford such complete programs.  I will also be trying to keep track of credit hours this year for him.  Not sure how to go about this, but I am working on figuring that out. 

Third Grade:

Live Education: Weights, Time, and Measurement, Keepers of Life and Earth, Handwriting Without Tears; Cursive,  Little Garden; Journey Through Third Grade, Donna Simmons; Old Testament Unit.


Seventh Grade:

Live Education: Astronomy, Live Education: Beowulf, Making Math Meaningful by Jamie York, Roy Wilkenson Teaching History; Middle Ages, Donna Simmons; Middle Ages Unit, Chemistry for Class 7.

It is going to hopefully be a busy year.  I am trying to use Homeschool Tracker to help keep me organized.  This software is free online.  I used it for a short time last year, but my computer crashed and I lost all the data I had strored.  Hopefully, that won’t happen again.

This week we are going to Hanger Theater for our last show of the season.  Les Miserables.  It should be great!  We are going to try to make a day of it and spend the rest of the day hanging out in Ithaca.  I hope the weather will be nice.