Friday, May 20, 2011

Nature Study Notebooks and Literacy

We are on day seven of our rainy weather (with one more to come), but I see sunshine beating through the haze right now. We are in for thunderstorms! I love it...

All this inside weather has made tensions run high amongst the four-legged members of our family. Our pit bull, Lucky (of Lucky Boy, the Wonder Dog fame) gets along really well with one of our five cats, peacefully with two others, and not at all with the remaining two. Individually, the cats ignore him, at worst. However, they have been known to tag-team him, if one of the less dog-friendly ones decides to go on the offensive. Our dog doesn't seem to learn.

So we decided to use our rainy Saturday last weekend to do a bunch of housecleaning. My husband was vacuuming the hallway where the kitty beds and window seats are, so the frightened felines all retreated under our bed. Apparently, the dog decided he wanted to join his friends, and squeezed under the bed. Not good. It's a lot easier to squeeze in than to squeeze back out, especially when there are claws coming at you. He came out happily sporting a cut on his ear that bled all over the laundry room before we wrestled him to put a bandage on it. Our youngest son said the laundry room looked like a crime scene. What fun -- NOT! Needless to say, dog and cats got sent out during a break in the rain.

I wanted to give you all an update on our notebooking and nature study work, and the sometimes surprising things that happen as a result.

We have been having a great time notebooking every day, following up on our zoo trip with more nature studies (on biomes). Our son is enjoying delving into my scrapbooking bag for templates and fancy papers -- it's been a long time since I scrapbooked, so it's been fun for me, too.

Here are some of our recent pieces...

I also just HAVE to share a spontaneous piece that actually was created in the bathtub while our son was bathing (who said writing has to happen with your clothes on?). When I went to see if he was pruny yet (!), he said, "Mom, listen to this song that I made up!" It went like this:

Hungry Herbivore
by MB, Age 7, 2011

I'm a hungry, hungry herbivore --
Plants are what I'm hungry for.
Don't eat insects, don't eat critters;
Just gimme some of those fern-fern-fritters.

When you're a hungry herbivore, 
The world is full of food.
I always follow this simple rule:
"If it's green, it's good!"" 

[Papi, the musician, is helping him set it to music...]


We are going to continue some of our homeschool activities through the summer, with an emphasis on lots more excursions and hands-on activities. If you are in need of ideas for the spring and summer, check out the following links:

  • Math Mammoth is holding a May sale on all downloadable workbooks or CDs. Get 20% off your purchases through May 31.
  • CurrClick is giving away anthologies of homeschool advice, written by kids for adults!  There is a version by younger kids (6-11) and one by older kids (12-18). Good summer reading as you reflect on this year and plan for next. Also check out their other homeschool resources for purchase.
  • Aurora at Supercharged Science is giving away her video series and teacher's guidebook of some of her most popular science experiments. Her projects are all done with materials you probably already have in your house, or can buy on your next grocery store trip. Registration for her very popular Summer Science e-Camp is closed, but you can access some of the activities to preview next year.
 Enough computer time! Go outside! Have fun! Learn something new!


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