parentsong

Stories and thoughts from day to day life in the Bullard Family

Monday Nature Walks October 23, 2011

Filed under: Activities,Homeschool — parentsong @ 9:38 pm
Tags: , , ,

Monday is our day to spend time outside in nature. We don’t have a yard or even a neighborhood that we can easily walk around in, but we live in a nature-rich area. A quick trip in the car can transport us to a variety of natural and historic landscapes. We also have the option of longer trips- 45 minutes can get us more out in the wild. It really feels different in the northern part of the county.

This particular Monday trip was special because we skipped our usual morning activities in the home and jumped right in the car with a picnic lunch. This sounds really great, but with a toddler and baby, it was tricky. Nonetheless, a good time was had by all. We were gone for 5 hours, which is probably the longest trip I’ve done by myself with the children!

When we arrived at our destination, the mysteriously fascinating Ringing Rocks park, we had our circle time in the forest and headed out for our adventure.

At the start of the trail, a few rocks sprinkled the path. Briony made sure to climb each and every one. The large photo below is a nice image of the forest on the over-cast day we were there. I love the large rocks that pop up all over the ground amongst the trees and smaller brush.

Atop a large boulder

As we walked closer to the field of rocks, the rocks on the trail got bigger and bigger. This meant more and more climbing fun for Briony.

Advertisements
 

Preschool Activity: Simple Color Wheel September 24, 2011

Filed under: Homeschool — parentsong @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

To make the color wheel, I colored a circle with the colors of the rainbow plus brown. I also colored the tips of wooden clothes pegs. To introduce our first “lesson,” I sat down with B and showed her the wheel with the pegs attached. She already knew all the colors except for indigo, so I went ahead and reviewed them with her as I removed the pegs.

Then I let B pick up the pegs one by one and identify the color on the peg and try to match it to the color on the wheel. This way, she also got to work on manipulating the pegs. She returned all the pegs to their respective color except for the blue/indigo. But once she realized they were two different shades of blue, she corrected the situation. I think she had fun doing it, even if it wasn’t a huge challenge.

I drew the wheel on the back of a floatie box with pictures of babies in the float. I think she actually enjoyed looking at that more than the colors. Silly me- don’t I know that babies in floaties are way better than colors?!

Since we are using a part Montessori method, I am going to up the ante here and make more challenging color tablets for our next “lesson.” Since I am making most of the materials, this will require a bit more prep work for me, but I’m up for it!

More to come! Thanks for reading!

~Erin

 

The Beginning of Our Homeschool Preschool September 23, 2011

Filed under: Homeschool — parentsong @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

We began our homeschool last week! It is mostly a way for me to create more routine in our lives and help me to give Briony some structured play experiences. I’m not teaching her to do her multiplication tables or to learn the periodic table, we’ll do that next year 😉

I’ll go into more detail about it in another post, but I wanted to give y’all an idea of what we were doing. Here are some photos and little stories from our first few days at the Hilltop Garden Academy!

Briony really enjoyed the finger painting. It took a minute to warm up, but only a minute. She was really looking forward to doing this at “school.” I love it because it is a great tactile experience. We stuck with one color this time, since it was really the first time. I didn’t want to introduce too many exciting variables at once- this way she could really focus on the feel of the paint and how her hands effected the work. Her final piece that we saved was called “The Moon.” It was an orange blob on the paper with hand prints. Beautiful!

Other fun events in our first week included nature walks, a field trip to the farm to observe plowing and preparation for planting winter wheat, and an introduction to our handwork / sensory fabric basket.

For introducing handwork, I chose fabric since I am working on a few things myself right now. Briony unrolled the different fabrics and explored the textures and colors. She tried tying them around her, covering chairs, making capes and other fun things. It was nice because she could observe how I was using the fabric to make something and still enjoy the freedom of doing what she wanted to with the materials. No instruction = Happy Toddler.

We visit the farm quite regularly, so I wanted to make sure to keep this going. It is such a great learning experience! This visit was special because we went on a wagon tour of the fields they were plowing to plan winter wheat. The field here is about two acres, and with two men, two plows and four horses, it takes one full day to plow it.

Briony loved riding in the wagon. We could see the horses working up-close and watch the plow turn huge amounts of earth.

Here is a shot from one of our nature walks. We went to see the sheep but they weren’t around. After exploring the historic site where George Washington stayed during the Revolutionary War (yeah, ‘cuz she understood all that), we walked down to the canal. This part is “new” (as in, it is concrete) where the Pidcock creek crosses the canal. This works as an over-flow area so it won’t wash the path away. It is nice because we can get up close to the canal and look for little critters.

We also climbed down to check out the creek that empties into the Delaware River. Fun stuff!

Briony had a blast tossing rocks into the water and making big splashes. She also enjoyed stirring the water with sticks.

This part of the canal is very close to the wildflower preserve we regularly visit. Due to all the flooding, most of the ground cover plants have been washed away. Even the small bridges that went over streams were misplaced.

Well, that is a little glimpse of what we were up to during our first week. I’ll post some more of the activity-type stuff we are doing.

Thanks for reading!

~Erin