Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Nature Study Week 8: Field Trip (Camping at Daisy State Park)

One of my goals for 2017 was to be more intentional about Nature Study for the four youngest children (5,7,9, and 11).  I want to do Nature Study once a week around a specific theme.  I remembered a friend mentioning a resource she bought at the beginning of the school year and after taking a look at it decided this might be what I needed to help make sure I actually get it done.  I bought Exploring Nature With Children , an ebook with 48 nature study ideas, a poem to go along with your theme, the name of a piece of art work to look up, books, and extension activities.  She also lists coordinating pages from Handbook of Nature Study if you have that book and are interested in looking up more information.

Our week 1 study was on the winter sky.

Week 2 was on the moon.

Week 3 was on trees.

Week 4 was a pond study.

Week 5 was on Candlemas and looking for signs of new life.

Week 6 was earthworms.

Week 7 was on evergreen trees.

The week 8 nature study theme was to take a field trip and go to a place you have never been before or a place that you rarely visit.  We were planning a camping trip to Daisy State Park.  We were trying to go last week-end but couldn't (and I was glad because it got cold!), so we put it off until this week-end. I thought we were going to end up postponing again when two children were running fever the day before we were supposed to leave but their fevers broke and they were feeling better (still coughing and sneezing but better.)  Anyway we had some very interesting nature study experiences on our camping trip. 

They had a 3/4 mile nature walk that we walked twice.  We saw some birds on our walk, some crawdad mud huts (I'm sure that's not the proper name for those), leaves, butterflies, and feathers.  We walked this trail twice.

State Parks offer free educational programs (and actually started charging for some of their programs but that's a different story.)  We went to a program called critter crunch where we got to watch them feed their box turtles, Johnny and June, and their speckled king snake Ella.  Snakes and mice are probably my two least favorite things in the world, but I did watch them feed the snake.  They fed her frozen mice from Petco.  I don't think I could've watched them feed live mice.

They had a really interesting evening program.  We went to a campfire that hot chocolate and smores were provided and afterwards was a star gazing program.  I thought we were just going to look at the stars in the sky (it was a really clear night), but they had a brand new star lab.  It was an inflatable round room.  Once we got inside, she told some Native American stories about the stars and the stars were all around us.  She pointed out the stars and constellations we were talking about and then once we got back outside we could find them in the night sky.  It was pretty interesting.

We  went geocaching for the first time.  That was fun!  All of the state parks around here have geocaches but we have never tried it before.  We found one, and looked for another but did not find it. The children can't wait to do that again!

We also did some fishing of course!

And Lily found lots of freshwater clam shells.

Happy Homeschooling!

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