Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nature Stuff

I hadn't really planned to start school until the 23rd, but the kids asked if we could jump in this week. What do you do when your kids are begging to start school? You start school, of course! The simple machines unit was pretty much ready to go, so we started there. We happen to be spending this week with grandparents, so it's fun to do the lessons with them.

We're also using some of Barb's (Harmony Fine Arts) resources from Handbook of Nature Study. We looked at the mosquito pages in Anna Comstock's handbook, read Mosquito Bite by Alexandra Siy, and then wrote about what we learned in Barb's notebook pages. Dude was amazed to learn that there are 2700 species of mosquitoes. Super thought it was interesting that the male Culex pipiens has huge, feathery antennae, but the female has narrow antennae. I was just horrified in general, especially after seeing the magnified pictures of larvae emerging from egg cases.

We spent some time outside, sketching and enjoying the flowers in Nana and Papa's backyard. Sometimes Dude gets frustrated when his sketches don't turn out just the way he wants them to, so I suggested that he start a specimen collection. He also pressed some flowers in some heavy books--we'll give them a couple of days and see how they turn out.

Super sketched a pot of marigolds. She worked really hard trying to get the bright orange colors just right.

I sketched one marigold, a columbine leaf, and a couple of aspen leaves.

We also spent an afternoon at a local nature center. Dad says it hasn't changed since he was a kid!

If we're up early enough, we can see red foxes hunting in our neighborhood. I really wanted to touch this one's fur, but I resisted the temptation!

This may seem silly, but being so close to an adult grizzly was unnerving--even though she was stuffed!

Super took this one--I love it!

Of course, we're spending plenty of time outdoors, just enjoying our surroundings.


Féepoussière said...

Indeed in these cases we start school! :)

Beautiful aspen leaves!

candyn said...

The mosquitos are vicious this year in my neck of the woods. At first I saw your book and thought my family should be learning about mosquitos now too, as it seems timely. Then on second thought a unit like that might be stuff of nightmares until the nasty critters disappear with the cold!

Sparklee said...

The book is VERY specific about what happens during a mosquito bite, and the magnified pictures show every detail of their icky little bodies! Not the best bedtime reading, but still a very interesting book!