Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nature study: mammals

I originally wrote this in September of 2010! And apparently it just sat there as a draft until now. I went looking for it when I wrote yesterday, and decided to publish it now. Better late than never.

With Ambleside Online's schedule, we're focusing on mammals in nature study right now. Our "study" is really mostly just spending lots of time outside and enjoying it. Although, we are stopping to observe and record every week now. So far, here's what we've done:

Week 1: Still getting used to school schedule and had a few days of sickness. No formal nature study.

Week 2: We had one evening just talking about what mammals are, and then painting our favorites (and sticking stickers of them, since Great-Grandma sent such wonderful ones!).

Our favorite mammals
Standing up on the right-hand side: Asya's work; also standing: Jaan's whale; lying down below Asya's: my kitty; next to it: Raia's pretty frame for cat stickers. (Oh, Jaan would want you to know that favorites are not whales. He just thought that he couldn't draw a cat, and he was fascinated by the whale in the book we were flipping through. So, he painted a whale and stuck cats on over it, too.)

Artist at work
This just makes me laugh. Long after the rest of us were done, Raia was still dashing off paintings, and then throwing them over her shoulder as she finished.

That was our first mammal lesson. Next I started thinking about what other mammals we have around here. I thought it would be nice to be able to observe a hedgehog. (Sadly, ours didn't make it through last winter's hibernation. )

Week 3: Well, we went out to our dacha, and the first night I almost stumbled over a hedgehog on my way to the outhouse. Will and I locked it up in the empty chicken coop for the rest of the night. Next day....

Foot prints

Moving the hedgehog on to the paper

The meeting of the mammals

Note the stain on the table

Asya inspects the hedgehog

Dressed for hedgehog study

Week 4: We didn't do much, except enjoy being outside. One evening I did give Jaan and Raia assignments. Jaan was to record "The Things Which My Pet Cat Does" (from The Handbook of Nature Study) and I want to transcribe what he came up with. Raia's job was to design a cover page for the mammal section in our notebook, but she got distracted with just drawing. I'll sure we'll come back around to that again.

Week 5: Rainy, grey weather outside made for a great opportunity to "travel" and learn about an exotic mammal. We watched a great documentary about whales.

make mammal cover page for nature notebook
read beaver book
watch skunk documentary again?
muskrat (talk about it, find old photos, draw, or even go back to Zaporozhye and look for them again)


Mom said...

What a delight! The prolific artist photograph brings a smile; the hedgehog study uniform makes me laugh aloud. Thank you for posting this--it also causes me to be aware how much they have grown. Our love to all....

Laurke Denise said...

LOL! Makes me wonder if the little one wears more clothes now, 3 years later, hehehe.