Week 5 in Review

We had a good week over all. I’m a bit short on time today so I’ll just make some observations about the week and end with some photos of our two homeschool field trips.

Here we are in week five and I’m still adding in subjects for EJ, working up to our full plan. We’ve been doing math, spelling, printing, science, and of course lots of reading. This week EJ added ancient history back into the mix and I quickly realized that I had made a bad decision in scheduling history and science on the same day. So some tweaking of our schedule is in order. I also decided that with all of the changes I keep making to the master schedule it’s just not worth keeping so I’m going back to my “wing and a prayer” method of having a general outline but no specific plan for each day. Okay, so that sounds like I’m making it up as I go along, I’m really not because most of our lessons are open and go (meaning little prep work) so it’s just a matter of getting them done and keeping track of what we did.

JD is doing fabulous and learning so much. He loves to show off his new-found knowledge at odd times throughout the day. This week in math he learned about evens and odds and routinely points out patterns of even and odd numbers as he comes across them. I love how he applies what he learns to his world.

Our BFSU science lesson this week was about maps. Learning what information is included in maps, how to read a map, and how to draw maps of our own. We had a chance to use our map reading skills during our field trip to Mt. Tom reservation.

We ended the week with two field trips with our local homeschool group. The first was a visit to a local fruit orchard that installs a self-guided sculpture trail each Autumn. The second was a trip led by an educator with the Massachusetts DCR at Mt. Tom state reservation. The focus was on finding and observing life on land (and follows up our previous field trip; life in the water, from last month).

Art in the Orchard

This was a lot of fun and we discovered a new place to get organic apples, blueberries, raspberries, and pears, practically around the corner from us! I really enjoyed taking pics of all the sculptures and reading about the local artists that created them. I have pictures of most of them on my Flickr page if you want to see more. The kids had a great time following the trail of sculptures. While I don’t think they learned much about art, they did get some good exposure. Afterwards they enjoyed ‘playing’ with the free range chickens. They even named several of them – my favorite was Hen-ry. Get it?

Portal

Portal to another Dimension

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The chickens were a highlight

Zap!

Zap! My favorite sculpture

Mt. Tom:  Finding Nature on Land

This group of kids are so enthusiastic! Usually they run through the trails trying to see what’s around the next corner. This time they were forced to slow down and explore a couple of small areas to see what they could find. They fully explored decomposing logs and found some unidentified buggies, several hiding salamanders, and a colony of ants with a rather large queen. We’ve had so much wet weather it was easy to spot quite a variety of mushrooms and fungi. We even looked in trees for folded leaves that were surely the work of one bug or another.

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Mt. Tom

This photo was actually taken at the orchard the day before, but you can see Mt. Tom off in the distance.

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Checking to see what is under a log

Gelly Shroom

I call this a Gelly Shroom because it felt like the gel inserts for your shoes.

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Gathered around chewing on Black Birch branches.

Unknown fungi

Orange Fungi of some sort

As always, thanks for reading.

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