Friday, June 8, 2012

Cottage Co-op, Birds and Monet

Our Cottage Co-op just finished out another term. Our topics this time: Nature Study-Birds, Artist-Claude Monet, Habit-Initiative, Hymn-My Father's World, Folk Song-America the Beautiful. As usual, we had our time each meeting for poetry recitation. These were great choices for our group of kids. They really enjoyed themselves and have remembered the bits of information we have given them.

Here is Olivia with her nature journal. We take them out and draw at co-op as a part of the nature study but she will often come home and finish her drawings or write some about what she learned.

This was the bird she picked as her favorite.
The squirrels had broken our bird feeder a few months back so we took this opportunity to finally get a replacement. It has been nice to have the birds back close to the window so we can observe them. I am amazed how quickly the kids have been able to identify the birds by look and sounds. We have also kept our eyes open for the various nests we see around our yard.

Below are a male and female cardinal having an interaction of some kind. It was funny to watch and went on for several minutes. The female kept ruffing her feathers and chattering away. The male kept getting food from the feeder and feeding her. He even flew away at one point and then came right back to do it again. Mating ritual of some kind?

woodpecker and ?a sparrow or type of finch (we can't find one just like it in our books)
Mourning Doves above and a Robin hidden on the ground below (nice demonstration and lead for discussion of the bird using camouflage)

This is an old nest from a bush in our yard. It has not been used in a few seasons. When we took it apart and looked it up in our books, we determined that it was likely a Robin's nest. It was made of stick and leaves with a mud cup inside. The picture below is of a nest that was built this year. We have a good view of it from our "school room" window and Olivia got to see some of the process. The birds built it early before all the leaves came in on the tree so it was easy to watch.

At home, I am reading aloud Birds At My Window (published by Rod and Staff) to all the kiddos. I have also been using my Handbook of Nature Study and we have been spending lots of time watching for birds. It is an easy subject as they are numerous right out our windows. We keep some field and bird guides on the table just about all the time for easy reference.

In the middle of our term, Olivia got to go to an art class on Monet. Nana took her and she had a wonderful time. It was at Anja's Art Playhouse. This event came at such a great time to correspond with our studies.

Olivia's Impression: Sunrise
Olivia's Japanese Bridge
Olivia's waterlilies
There are many kid books on Monet out there. Linnea in Monet's Garden (and the movie based on this book) and Claude Monet: Sunshine and Waterlilies were two that I got from the library and pulled most of my information for sharing with the kids from.

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