Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Happy Not Back To School Day!
Today was the day. The more official feeling start to our homeschooling/unschooling days. We have been on this path a long time, but today was the first day of school for kids in the area, and this year is A's Kindergarten year! We considered both planning something special and not making a big deal of it - after all, we are doing what we have always been doing. I needn't have wondered what to do. This morning, G gave A a hug and said Congratulations! You are a home kindergartener. They did a little la-la-la-la song, hugged and danced around - and promptly asked what we were doing today.
A has been digging through a Home Science Tools catalog for things he wants to do. He loves "projects". He bought a venus flytrap over the weekend and is charting it this week. Each morning he counts how many are open and how many are closed, so he can track that insects are being eaten, and how long that may take to digest. We also caught a small fly on the deck and plopped it into an open 'flower' and the super rapid closure of the plant to gobble that little fly up actually startled the boys - A jumped and looked at me wide-eyed. This is going to be fun!
He has also been interested in worms and soil. So, today we started by digging in the yard and moving pots looking for worms. After finding several, we came inside and read a few books we have from the library, and then returned to the yard for a second look. The boys identified parts of the worms, touched them, saw their burrows under our pots, and shrieked as the super fast aggressive worms practically sprinted across the lawn (so what if a shoe is in the way? just go over it!) to find a pile of leaves or loose earth to crawl back into when we let them go. We have a LOT of worms in our healthy chemical-free lawn. Very exciting. We then put our hands into some worm castings - as I had bought a bag just yesterday for fall plantings. Oooh.
The boys then went to dig and rake the soil to see if worms were in our vegetables too. We dug and broke up soil, made rows, planted more spinach, radishes, and some greens, covered them and watered the soil. Under the tree they dug some holes and filled them with water to see how fast the water drained. Digging and making a LOT of mud on a hot day is fun and a good excuse to wave the hose around a bit more liberally. The boys decided we have some clay in our soil as it is dark, heavy and clumps - so earthworms are especially important!
We did a lot of other fun things today - by noon A was saying, wow mom, we have done so MUCH already this is great (kind of like every other day!)! The next few days we will continue to get dirty, look at worms and soil...and tomorrow, we build our own wormery!
A few good books:
Wiggling worms at work
by Wendy Pfeffer
Garden wigglers : earthworms in your backyard
by Nancy Loewen
Handful of Dirt
by Raymond Bial
Posted by denise at 9:55 PM
Labels: nature, projects, science, unschooling
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How great is that?! So much better than separation anxiety, tears, and learning to sit obediently at your assigned desk. Even at 12 Zoe is still in love with playing with worms. You're going to be amazed how long this stays with them.
Sounds like a fun beginning to the new season! Um. My girls would NEVER do any of that :)
Congrats! What a milestone. I can't wait to see what you do this year and will anxiously await your blog posts that document it.
Congrats to A.! What a great post. I love the photos of the worm and the fly trap. I am going to look for the books at the library this morning. Thanks. Blessings.
Congrats to A! Good luck with the wormery, it sounds so interesting and fun!
That looks like fun! Yesterday was a strange day for us, too, as the other kids all went back to school. My DD9 was feeling a bit left out, I think, and so we did a little "school-y" stuff and she felt better. But I'm hoping I don't have to do so much of that every day! I guess I'm the real unschooler now...
Yay Not Back to School Day! We went to a little not-back-to-school gathering, but I think it was more for the parents than the kids, we get excited about it, they just go on with their lives. :p
I like what you said about letting your boys go through the science catalog and choose what they wanted to do. I don't know why I never thought to do that before! You are a seriously cool teacher/mom. ;)
Yeah for you!
It's odd to be going out and about and there being NO kids around...but we do appreciate the museums and parks being a whole lot less crowded!! :) I think your day sounded lovely and so natural (in more ways than one).
Happy first day of unschool!
What fun things to do...we always happily save any earthworms caught on the road after rainstorms. Those worms are our friends :)
such a milestone, from my point of view anyway. ive toyed with the idea of unschooling but it seems so scary sometimes. i know we do it now and will do it as she grows but comitting to that first day of 'required' school will be a huge leap. i love this post. so encouraging.
That sounds like SO MUCH FUN! My daughters both went through a phase of loving worms, though they would coo and croon over them like babies.
Do your boys ever sense that others around them are going to school and then ask to go to? My oldest daughter is only 4, but she's already wondering where all of her friends disappear to during the day since she doesn't go to preschool. We've also taken her to a few public preschool functions, like when her cousin was in an end of the year play, and she looked seriously upset that she didn't get to do things like that. So we enrolled her in a very minimal preschool program for this year (three days, four hours each day) just to give her a taste. We'll see how it goes. Your family sounds like so much fun!
Have you considered a worm composting bin? We've got one - great hands-on fun with worms and a great make-your-own-castings composter. Especially handy in the winter when dumping scraps on the frigid compost pile is daunting. You could check out the book "Worms Eat my Garbage" by Mary Appelhof (sp?)or her website for great info. Or I'd be happy to fill in more blanks too!
Looks like fun - another book we (my daughter and I) like is Diary of a Worm - can't remember who it's written by and it's kinda silly - but still a good read.
Happy Not Back to School Day!!!
Great post! We have a little wormery that my son built earlier this summer and happy to report it is still going strong! Keep wanting to big a larger one but haven't gotten around it yet. Look forward to seeing how yours turns out. Aren't worms interesting little creatures? We read some of the same books...I had no idea worms reproduced in such an interesting way. Here's a link to about our wormery
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