Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Charlotte Mason Co-op

We had a fun time at The Cottage last week. I have really come to enjoy this group. It has worked so well to incorporate Olivia and Gabe into the learning. Our nature study topic was sheep dogs. We talked about those that guard sheep and those that herd sheep. We learned about strong eyed dogs, who use their stare alone to control the sheep. The other type of herd dog is the loose eyed dog that uses more of his body to move the sheep. Some dogs crouch down and some dogs stay standing to work. There are headers (they keep the herd in a group) and heelers (move the herd forward). The kids practiced the different roles with one another. I immediately had the thought that a sheep dog could be a good addition to our family to help me with the kids. ;)

When we read Mountain Born, there was a sheep dog in the story named Rollo. Through that reading we got to learn a lot about the behavior of a sheep dog. This is just another way that I feel like God has really integrated our curriculum in an amazing way.

Right across the street from our home is the a rec center. The local AKC meets there each week. I went and spoke with a women named Holly who owns Border Collies. She agreed to come early one week with a dog of her and talk with the kids and allow them to pet the dog. We then went in and watched the behavior of the other dogs as they practiced for their conformation training. We had a great time. The main idea is to let the kids learn primarily by observing and possibly interacting with the dogs. Gabe was a huge fan of a bulldog. :)

Here are a few other highlights from co-op: Gabe stood up in front of the group along with Olivia and said most of Hickory Dickory Dock. This was his first time to get up in front of the group. It was a good beginning. At home, he loves nursery rhymes and getting involved but tends to be shy in our group meetings. As we sang our Folk Song, "This Land is Your Land", we learned about the Gulf Stream waters. The kids played a game where some of them lined up by twos as the currents and a couple of kids got to be the boat and go both with and against the current. We have added pictures of the Redwood forests and now the arrow showing the path of the Gulf Stream Current to our US map. It is a great reminder to the things we learn as we sing our songs.

Below is a bucket of things I put together to help entertain the "littler" ones:

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