We went peach picking early last Friday morning. I wanted to beat the heat. We went to Buttermilk Farms in Alamance County (same place we picked blackberries). We got up early, had breakfast in the car and were picking just after 7:30am. It was on JR's way to work so he was able to join us.
These are red peaches. Olivia took the time to draw a peach tree and then do a leaf rubbing in her nature journal before we started picking.
Here is our meeting at The Cottage co-op. We had this meeting a few days before our peach picking trip. The kids got to smell, feel, cut open and taste peaches. We learned that the peach tree came from China. They are stone fruits, and they can be either clingstones or freestones, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the stone. We learned that it is a deciduous tree and that it blooms these beautiful pink flowers early in spring before the leaves come out on the tree. Olivia drew the flowers and a cross section of peach in her nature journal that day.
Our Cottage meetings this summer have been similar and just as much fun as the Winter/Spring meetings. Our nature study focus this time has been on trees. We started with the Oak Tree. We looked at some saplings, leaves, acorns, and then identified several varieties in our area. Next we talked about the Dogwood, our state flower. The most interesting thing we learned was about is about the bloom. The white petal-like things we think of as the flower are actually bracts and they surround many small heads of inconspicuous flowers. We talked about God creating the trees. This time since our focus was on a fruit tree, we talked about bearing good or bad fruit (Matthew 7:18) and then we talked about the fruits of the Spirit.
We are learning How Great Thou Art, words and sign language. It has been something the kids are really enjoying. We are also learning the folk song Skip to My Lou which is a lot of fun for the kids. Our habit this time is Attentiveness. We have explained what it is to the kids. Our bible verse this time is Deuteronomy 12:28 (Amplified Bible) Be watchful and obey all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God. Our games have been ones that require them to pay close attention with eyes and ears. We have played Follow the Leader, a clapping patterns game, and Charades. It has been lots of fun. Our artist this time is Mary Cassatt. She lived during the time of the Western Expansion, around the same time that Skip to My Lou and How Great Thou Art were written. So far we have looked at 3 of her works that each show a mother and child in a very intimate, loving manner. The kids have really enjoyed her work. Of course, the kids do their poetry recitation each week and it is such a wonderful thing to hear. Gabe has volunteered to get up 2 of the 3 meets this summer to share a Nursery Rhyme. Olivia has been responsible for memorizing her selections without much help from me and she is doing well.