Thursday, March 13, 2008

Green Hour Challenge Assignment #4

We were supposed to meet with our dear friends on Monday, but we pushed it off to Tuesday due to me being sick. That day didn’t work either. We will just meet next Monday for Green Hour Challenge #5. My kids were bummed, but I assured them we would still do some sort of walk outside this week, even though I am a bit under the weather.

I have to admit, this Challenge #4 left me feeling like I didn’t quite know what to do. I like guidance. Tell me what to do and I will do it. But give me a “Focus Area” assignment, and I am unsure of what to do next. I talked about this with the kids, giving examples of what a “Focus Area” might include. We decided on birds this time around since that is what we are learning about in Zoology 1.

But then as Monday evening drew near, I had another idea. I asked the kids, “What to you think if our “Focus Area” is our backyard? We could go around looking for things in our own yard we would like to learn more about. Turn over some rocks, look up what type of plants we have, etc.” They all liked that idea, though Holly didn’t want to see what creatures live under the rocks. LOL My little girly girl.

So how am I going to accomplish this challenge, when I feel the way I do. Here is what I decided to do:

Monday: We did our Cattails notebooking page. Here is Jessica’s page:

In the morning, we watched a squirrel jump on one of the bird feeders the kids made and down went the feeder and the gray squirrel. Poor little guy ran up the tree so fast. Here is a picture of the gray squirrel resting at the top of the dead tree that is next to the tree the feeder was hanging from:

We also discovered that the Western Gray Squirrel was put on the threatened species list in 1993 here in Washington State. We have so many of them around us, I never knew this bit of information before. The kids were amazed as well. We will be journaling about this furry friend in a few days.

Jessica spotted a bird at our feeder and she quickly grabbed the bird chart and figured out it was a Mountain Chickadee based on the types of field marking it had.

Later in the evening Timmy and Jessica said they both would like to spend some time outside just drawing in their nature journals, trying to figure out what type of birds we have in our area. I told them that sounded good to me, as long as it isn’t raining. Sketch books and rain don’t mix. They laughed and said, “Yes, mom.”

Wednesday: I sent the kids (we had a couple extra friends join in the fun) outside on a nature scavenger hunt. After an allotted amount of time, they brought their treasures back on the deck and we talked about what each team found. We used a really neat poem I found online and then created a notebooking page with it.

And there you have it. Short and simple… I think I am really going to like this “Focus Area” assignment after all.

(NOTE: Head on over to The Heart Of Harmony's Green Hour Challenges to see other wonderful posts and/or to join in the fun!)


LisaWA said...

Great job Tina... even for feeling so yucky all week! I look forward to next week and what you all find and share...


mamasmurf said...

Isn't it great that when you're homeschooling you can just work around whatever else crops up? You all did a great job on your Backyard journaling.
I was surprised to read that the Grey Squirrel was on the endangered list - they were brought over to England to keep our native Red Squirrel under control - now our Red one is the one that is endangered, the Grey has taken over!!
Very interesting post, thanks for sharing and i hope you feel better soon!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Hi Tina,

You are not the only one that had that "sinking" feeling when they read last week's assignment. I think I should have noted that we are going to work through baby steps within the focus area for the next challenges.

I encourage you to narrow your focus to one area, making sure to remember that it doesn't mean that you can only work on the focus area. If you are working on birds and the squirrel comes around, you could easily learn about the squirrel but still be on the alert to a new bird. Does that make sense? For challenge 5 it will be easier if you figure a focus from the book so you can work on the baby steps with us.

Trust me....I've done pretty good so far haven't I???

I love the scavenger hunt notebooking page! Great job making this happen even when you are under the weather.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Melissal89 said...

So sorry you've been feeling bad; I hope you are feeling better very soon. Great job though on still having the kids do some wonderful stuff! And I think using your backyard as a focus area is great. I'm going to check out your cattails journal form; we jsut found some at a park we were at earlier today. Thanks.

Blessings, Melissa

judahmo said...

I love the backyard focus area! It looks like you have a great yard. I'm sure there will be lots to discover.


Kristiana said...

I hope you get feeling better! It still looks like you had a good time with nature study. I wish I had your backyard to discover! A scavenger hunt sounds like fun. I'll have to remember to do that sometime.

Brittney said...

I LOVE your focus area idea! You are so creative! The kids are going to look at their yard in a whole new light. Standing applause to you!
I am looking forward to reading more about it!
Brittney :o)

Makita said...

I'm sorry that you are feeling under the weather. Hopefully you'll get some pep again soon.

I love your focus area - opens up so many avenues.

We enjoy bringing other kids along on our nature walks as well. :)

tressays said...

What a great study! You are doing such a fabulous job. I am inspired by you. We have been doing a little bit, but not like you. I did have my little guy journal some birds that he saw. That is something, right?

I am sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling well. I hope that you are feeling better soon!

Sea Star said...

What a fun backyard. It looks like the kids had a great time.

keri said...

A scavenger!

Kysha said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing.

School for Us said...

Looks like a great WEEK of nature "days!"

Proverbs 31 wanna-be said...

I love this post, it had a Pocketful of Pinecones feel to it. Have you read that book by Karen Andreola? What a great job you've done of bringing nature into your day-to-day life without forcing it. Very encouraging.