Seeds

Main lesson today on Seed Dispersal.
Wallace ate crackers and dried cherries on my lap while we read from a few books.
Wallace threw sticks in the fire pit while we collected seeds.
Wallace stood up at the kitchen sink on a chair, while we made charts in our books, and dumped water all over the carrots, himself, and the floor.
Wallace is throughly enjoying homeschooling so far this year!

I feeling so grateful for “Exploring Nature with Children” this week — a simple curriculum that guided us into learning about seed dispersal and gave purpose to our morning lesson during a time when I’m having a hard time finding the energy I would like to devote to our homeschooling. Taking an overhead photo was a way for me to capture and save a moment of beauty in the midst of a lot of challenge and chaos. I share this because it gives me hope and reminds me how resilient we are when surrounded by support. Seeds of hope.

Journey to France

I’m preparing for the “Journey to France” class that I will teaching at our homeschool partnership this fall. The girls have been helping me to gather books, posters, art materials, classroom supplies, and props for puppet shows . . . They are thrilled about setting up our classroom and making it inviting and interesting to all the French students!

For the first few weeks, we will be learning simple French phrases and words, as well as exploring Paris through literature, images, maps, and discussions. I hope to have the class singing in French and rhyming too — in an effort to learn as young children do: through sounds and word play as well as conversation and stories.

Notebooking

Working on covers.
Sitting together
during precious nap time minutes.
Listening to “The Mouse and the Motorcycle.”
Watching a robin flit back and forth.
Admiring clouds.
Noticing that it’s easier for me to sketch things close up.

Robin Mapping

It started with a question: how much territory does a pair of nesting robins like to have?

We came across the following information, and today Amabel started making robin map!

“Somewhere out there, a robin ‘calls’ your backyard its home territory. A robin’s territory — the place where mating and nesting occurs — is usually less than half an acre. Territories often overlap, perhaps because of the feeding grounds that neighboring robins share. If you think robins are everywhere, you’re probably right!

Robin Squabble Story

One summer a Minnesota woman had a pair of robins nesting in her backyard. A pair of robins also nested next door on one side of the yard and yet another nested on the other side of the yard. A fourth pair of robins nested in the yard behind hers. After a few territorial squabbles, the robins pretty much kept to their own yards for feeding. But this woman had the only birdbath on the block, so two of the neighboring pairs of robins started sneaking into her yard for drinks and baths. At first, the male and female robins who “owned” that territory spent a lot of time chasing the intruders away.

But when the female started incubating her eggs, she stopped chasing off the other females. The male chased off the other males until the babies hatched. Then he had to spend so much time searching for food for his nestlings that he stopped chasing off the other robins — unless they started exploring beyond the bird bath. As long as the neighbors flew directly to the birdbath along the shortest possible line from their territory, he left them alone. But if they veered off that path for just a few seconds, he charged the birds!

For several weeks, the woman observed where each robin spent the majority of its time. She noted where each robin could range and be ignored by the others, and where each was when disputes took place. This information gave her a clear picture of each robin’s territory. She could have drawn a simple map with each territory outlined.

Activity: Map A Robin’s Territory

Observe your own robins and see if you can map their territories! Here’s how:

Begin by drawing a map of a small part of your neighborhood. Mark in the trees, bushes, houses, fences, and other things that robins might notice. Mark any robin nests you find.

Use this map to study the robins in your neighborhood for a week or two. Give each robin a letter, number, or symbol. See if you can start to recognize different individuals and notice where each spends its time.

Mark a bird’s letter, number or symbol in the right spot on your map every time you see that bird. Do the robins spend more time in some areas than others? Can you draw territorial boundaries on your map based on where the various robins spend their time?”

(All information from: www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/robin/TerritoryStudy.html)

A Single Shard

“A Single Shard” by Linda Sue Park may have been one of my favorite homeschooling books we’ve read so far this year. The beauty and simplicity of the story and especially the integrity of the characters really captured my imagination. As the girls and I were talking about the orphan boy who works as an apprentice to a Korean master potter in the 13th century, we agreed that we will not be likely to forget Tree-ear and Crane-man.