Saturday, September 12, 2015

Nature Study

We celebrated one of our last weeks of summer with a beautiful Friday morning nature scavenger hunt.  I found this printable online that had these wonderful things to find on a summer hunt.  We engaged all of our senses.  We found things by sight, we touched things in nature, we smelled beautiful flowers and found some surprises along the way.

I love to set out a blanket under the grove of trees in our front yard.  It invites the children to sketch and sit for a while.

Our basket is ready with our nature scavenger hunt printables, magnifying glasses and binoculars.

Little sweets dressed herself this morning, hat and all!

We found this spider in our Zinnia patch.  I thought it was just a common garden spider, but after some research, we learned it was a Green Lynx Spider.  
It's quite beautiful with a lovely pattern on its body.  
The children decided they wanted to sketch the spider in their notebooks.  So, I ran inside for some field guides to learn more about it to share with the kids.  We learned that the Green Lynx Spider lays her eggs during September and October.  She can lay up to 600 eggs!  It seems my flower patch will have lots of spiders come springtime.  We also learned that the Green Lynx Spider seldom bites, but its bite is venomous.  However, the bite, while painful, is not deadly and usually just leaves some swelling.  The species name, viridans, is Latin for "becoming green"  It seems they also hunt many crop pests, but sadly also eat honeybees.

Here is Joseph's Green Lynx spider drawing.  
And Nicholas in the background enjoying the sun on his back and warm breeze.

Matthew really took his time on his nature journal entry.  His spider was very detailed and quite beautiful.
Even Sweets is impressed!

A warm sunny morning spent with my children in nature is such a gift.

To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.”
                                                                                           -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

 First Day of School

Our First Day was August 24, 2015.
Two eighth graders, one preschooler and a spunky, sweet 2 year old tagging along.

Our little Joe started preschool!  Sweet, precious Joe is my special student~he just loves to learn.

We will be using All About Reading Pre-Reading to get him ready to learn how to read.
We are continuing with lots of songs, crafts and stories.
I've got lots of fun scheduled for him this year.
  Preschool is my absolute favorite time to homeschool.  I just love to watch those light bulb moments when he makes connections and realizes he is figuring things out.
He is such a joy to teach.
Joseph will be enjoying lots of field trips this year, storytime at the library and gymnastics twice a month with our local homeschool group.
I've learned over the years to really savor and enjoy this time.
To take it slow.
And, to say yes.

Nicholas and Matthew started 8th grade this year.
I pray this year was not like the last year.  To be honest, I really, really wanted to give up last year.
Battling two very strong-willed and difficult children, along with hormones thrown in the mix did not make for a pleasant year.  I pray this year we can work together more, smile more, play and goof off more, but also they can respect my authority, as well as the other teachers they have for online classes.  
Really, this is a daily struggle to find the joy.
Please pray for us.
I want to make this work, but it's really H.A.R.D.

Update:  A couple weeks in and it's going great!  The boys are excited and engaged in their learning.
We still have some not-so-great moments, but the good far exceeds the bad.

Gosh, I just love these boys to pieces!

Little Joe working on his letters.

Sweets joining in on the learning fun!