Friday, May 13, 2011

Term Final-FUN

We had our final Cottage meeting for this term. This past term, our focus has been on O Be Careful Little Eyes for bible song, farm animals for nature study, self-control for habit, Aaron Copland for composer study, This Land is Your Land for folk song, and Grandma Moses for picture study. And we have a time of poetry recitation or reading.

This time the focus was on chickens. We met at one of our families homes. Thank you Lacey! :) They have had chickens for about 3 years. Right now, they have three. They have a chicken tractor that they move around their yard. I has the area below for the chickens to roam and the coop on top. There were three nests with doors that we could peak in and a roost for them to sleep. The kids to observe the chickens in their pen and a couple of them sat to lay eggs while we were there. The chickens are familiar enough to their family and one allowed 6 year old Naomi to pick it up for the kids to touch and really get a good look at. We learned that they are omnivores. They will eat just about anything they are given access too. They also are quite picky about their food and will eat their own eggs if they do not feel their diet is up to par. :) We saw this first hand. They lay about every 27 hours. We got a good look at their feet and learned that they scratch for their food. The Grims use a nipple system to water their chickens so we got a look at that. We also learned that there were recently a couple more chickens in this group but they believe 2 were eaten by raccoons and 1 was back up with 6 eggs inside and had to be put down. The other common predator of chickens is snakes. The chickens had golf balls in their nest to trick any predators that might come looking for eggs. We also learned about pecking order among chickens. When a new chicken is introduced they peck at it until peck order is established. We also looked at some of the differents eggs comparing color and size. Then we broke open an egg and took a look at the parts. Of course, we gave the kids a chance to sit and draw in their nature journals. Olivia was not sure about touching the chicken at first but then did well. Gabe spent a lot of time watching them. Of course the kids got up every 15 minutes or so to check to see if an egg had been laid.

some fun I made for the little ones. they are little chicks. these turned out to be a hit for all.

For This Land is Your Land, we talked about the NY Islands. We looked at some pictures, discussed a big city versus the relatively quiet backyard that we were in, and looked at the geography on the map. We talked about Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We learned that it operated from Jan 1, 1892 to 1954, processing 12 million immigrant steamship passengers. According to the statistics on the Ellis Island website, 40% of Americans can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island.

Playing "habit" games, requiring selfcontrol.

We looked at Grandma Moses painting, 4th of July. It seemed very appropriate as we approached summer. I have been really amazed as the kids observation and memory skills have really improved over the term. When we do picture study, we have the kids look close at the picture until they feel like they can see it with their mind's eye. Then they turn over the picture. Then we go around the circle and ask each of the kids to tell us what they remembered. Even some of our 2-3 year olds like to join in.

This time around, Olivia read a poem that she chose. We did not put the time into working on memorizing it to recite ahead of time. That was my fault. I just plain forgot. But we worked on her reading aloud skills and having her enuciate clearly. According to CM methods, this is the foundation for public speaking among other things. Gabe was off in his own world at this point. He stuck around for most of the schedule but the beautiful outdoors of Lacey's backyard had called his attention away. I let him roam and do his thing. He wasn't interrupting and much of the time he does sit well for us. At home we have been reciting together nursery rhyms and he enjoys them a lot. :)

The families in this group have been a great support. I am grateful to God for the community. I am continuing to learn so much from them all. The learning is planned and intentional but is natural and flexible all at the same time. I am blessed by all the friends and families that God has caused me to cross paths with, especially in this parenting and homeschool journey. I can see his hand at work and know that he has used each and every one of them.

1 comment:

Lacey said...

oh no! what is that last picture?! but, agreed; so thankful for the fellowship of like-minded homeschoolers--a true true blessing.