This weeks homeschool nature study is all about wildflowers and weeds. We use Homeschool Nature Study and the Outdoor Hour Challenge to guide our learning.
I love the Grid study! I usually keep it for one of those inevitable weeks that things just seem to run riot and there does not seem to be much time to find to linger in our nature studies.
This week is just such a week in our home as we strive to get our school work done, washing up to date, and some meal planning – along with a thousand other things that go with preparing to go away on holiday.
Tuesday afternoon cleared up and warmed up beautifully. I had noticed that my apple trees were suffering from white mildew and was spraying them – happily noticing lots of little apples forming while busy with my task.
I turned around and noticed the girls sitting on the lawn stringing little white daisies together. ‘Perfect!’ I thought and dashed inside to grab my newsletter with the grid study.
We sat on the lawn together and to look at the grid and decide what was first. Pulling weeds was the chosen activity. This took some time as we realised one of the reasons wildflowers or weeds if they are in your garden, are so successful is that a lot of them have long strong root systems, making it difficult to pull them up.
We moved through the other activities fairly quickly, but the task caused one of my girls to pull out her flower press and begin pressing some of the season’s flowers found in our garden. Of course, this is another day’s study altogether, but I didn’t let on – why spoil the surprise?
It occurred to me that this study had us looking a little closer at what grows in our garden quite by its own merit – nothing to do with my gardener’s fingers at all. In looking for a prickly or thorny stem, we found quite a few Blackberry Brambles in our hedge, behind our shed, and a few other places in our garden. We noticed that there are little flower buds beginning to form and spoke of our hopes for a good blackberry harvest later on. Yum!
I am struck by how such a simple activity and with a fairly short time spent on ‘nature study’, how much we have come away with. Once again I am encouraged to just get out and do our OHC. Often I think, ‘now where are we going to find xyz? I haven’t seen any of that around.’
And then I am proved wonderfully wrong! The ‘Find 3 weed seeds’ on the grid was just such a thing. Well, we didn’t have to look too hard to find our 3 seeds. A lone dandelion held up its fuzzy clock head, some grasses were heavy with seed, and one of the girls found an unidentified weed growing nearby – it’s head bent over with seeds.
After our study I put together a little collage of our grid study, printed it out and stuck it onto our June Nature Board.
Have I told you about our Nature Board? This is a new little addition to our schoolroom. I have taped together 9 pieces of paper in a 3X3 format, created a heading and a little info box of the month seasonal events. Then the OHC Grid and the months focus areas.
As we complete our OHC, I print out pictures to remind us of our time spent outside and past them onto our nature board. Any other natural things that come up get printed out and pasted under the ‘Nature Notes’ heading.
This month we rescued a little bird, his picture is displayed for us to remember the event. As the month progresses, so the board begins to fill up. It creates a wonderful visual collage of our monthly nature finds and studies.
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