Our No School Adventure

Homeschooling our children in Ontario

What is Nature?

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Today was our first full day of no school. And by full day I mean we actually did something school related in both the morning AND the afternoon. I’m not expecting it to be like this every day….after all we are unschooling and she is only in kindergarten.

This morning we went on a nature walk and brought our nature journal. I told Tessa that we were going to find all kinds of nature and that we were going to draw some pictures of what we see. I had to explain what nature was to her so I explained that Nature is everything that is living. So ofcourse she said “Like you and me mommy!?” Ok so that didn’t come out right.  So I explained that nature is everything that is living outside. The plants, the trees, the animals and the bugs.

She got a little side tracked after this because we could hear the bells on the lights down the street for the train that was coming. I wish we had been closer so she could get a better look at the train. Quinn started screaming “Train, Train, Train!” Once I told Tessa what the noise was. She asked me to take a picture of the train, so here it is….

Not the best shot but it serves the purpose.

So after the train was gone we continued our walk and came to the planter box outside our complex driveway. Someone has been taking good care of the plants and flowers. They are beautiful. Tessa decided she wanted to draw one of the yellow flowers and she insisted that I draw with her. Normally I wouldn’t out do her pictures, but she said she wanted me to draw the flower just like it looks in the box. I picked these really pretty orange-pink flowers (I have no idea what kind they are, maybe we will try to look up some names of flowers tomorrow if she is still interested) and there was also this leafy plant. I liked it because the underside of the leaves were purple. Once she drew her yellow flower she decided to draw some grass, the sun, and a lady bug. She asked me after drawing them if they were all nature. I said yes. Next she said she was going to draw the sidewalk because it is nature. Clearly she doesn’t quite understand yet. I tell her that the sidewalk is made out of cement and that cement is not alive. Cement is made by men and Nature is made by God. I told her that nature is all living things that breathe and grow. If it needs Water, Food, Sunlight and Air to live then its nature.

And here are our pictures. I decided not to colour mine after finding out the purple had gone dry. That will learn me to pick up some markers at the dollar store. I will stick with Crayola from now on and I must remember that we need a new pack for our backpack….and a new pack for in the house because Quinn apparently likes to bite the tips off the markers.

We continued our walk but did not draw anymore pictures. I did get a bunch with my camera thou….did I mention I go a little snap happy with my camera? I think I wrote that somewhere on the blog. Anyways if you didn’t read that yet this is your only warning! THERE WILL BE LOTS OF PICTURES!!!!!! LOL

Down the street we seen some dark pink and light pink roses. A grassy  looking plant that was yellow and green. Lots of trees. And then…..Tessa sees these two large bushes at the side of a drive way and they have these white areas on them. She moves closer to inspect them. “i think they are spider webs mom” She says. I agree with her and she backs up about 4 steps and asks if there is a spider. I take a closer look and see the spider. Tessa doesn’t really like bugs much so I was quite surprised that she came a little bit closer. Once the spider left she felt like she could come closer again. Here is the picture of the bushes.

I asked Tessa how many spider webs she could see so she went around and counted them and told me 2 on the front bush and 3 on the back bush. Then she held up 2 fingers on one hand and 3 fingers on the other hand and counted them all. “5 spider webs. So 2 plus 3 is 5!” she says. Then I asked her if she knew why the spider webs were so white. She got closer again then asked me to lift her up so she could see better. “There is water on the webs from the rain yesterday” I was planning on explaining about the Dew on the plants and the grass but Quinn was not happy in the stroller unless it was moving and I had left him sitting while we looked and I took some pictures. So I just left it alone.

After lunch Quinn went for a nap and Tessa asked if she could do some “Homework”. This summer we took a class together called “Bond to Literacy” it was offered for free from our Ontario Early Years Center. We went to class once a week every other week to pick up our packages and discuss/show the work we had done on the books from the previous 2 weeks. We had “Homework” everynight during the week. It wouldnt take long to complete and Tessa loved it! So now any time she wants to sit at the table and do some book work she says its her Homework.

So I pulled out the 3 workbooks we have been working on since summer. I have the books listed in the “Text/Workbook List” tab at the top of the blog if you want to see what we are working on when I say we are doing homework or using our workbooks. Tessa picks out which book she wants to work from and we search for the first unfinished page and away we go. Today she wasn’t really feeling like writing out letters so after the first page she wanted to quit. I let he walk away from the table but she came right back and wanted to do more. After each page we would “high five” but after the second page that didn’t seem to be enough encouragement for her. I also was thinking that I needed a way to remember how many pages she does in a day so we can tell David when he gets home from work. Sure we could pull out the books and search for all the pages she did and show him but when he comes home its just about dinner time and that would be quite the lenghthy process. I decided that we would keep track with stickers in a book. For each page she finished she could put 1 sticker on the page.

HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!! Did that ever encourage her to finish some pages. She chose to work out of all 3 of her workbooks today and she finished a whopping (I cant spell so I appologize now! But if a word is missing the letter L that might not be a typo…the letter doens’t always work on my laptop)…..where was I?….Oh yes. She finished a whole 19 pages today!!!!!! We worked on writing some alphabet letters, writing some numbers, counting and circling the correcrt number, counting and writing the correct number, figuring out which group had more, and she amazed me by completing 2 mazes without turning the wrong way even once!!!!!

Needless to say we had a busy but fun day and we actually accomplished ALOT!

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