2 part ? about Fridays & Nature Study

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  • Misty

    Fridays: Up to this year we’ve always had Fridays off for grocery shopping, odds and ends and going to the library.  This year I didn’t do that and scheduled some of our work on Fridays and it really didn’t work.  Next year I’d like to go back to my Fridays off and schedule there work M-Th.  Which everyone agrees was a better deal for us.  Do you have any thoughts to this with the older children 6th & 7th graders?  Will this not be good for them in the long run?

    Nature Study: It is really hard to do Nature Study in the winter.  1: no one is really interested, 2: hard to do with all the snow and cold, & 3: it seems to never get done?Embarassed  So we love to be outside in the summer, spring & fall do you thing it would be so bad to just not really do a “study” during the winter and just focus on it during the other 3 seasons?  What are your thoughts?  Or maybe I am just trying to hard to do it?  How much time do you spend? 

    Thanks everyone Misty



    Thanks for the thought provoking questions…I have read this and pondered it ever since I first read it.  We shop on Fridays too and try to keep a lighter schedule that day.

    First of all, I do not think that a 4 day week is going to “hurt” anyone, as long as you are getting through the material with understanding and comprehension on everyone’s part.  Lots of places, including PS districts, are going to the 4 day weeks.

    For nature study:  I sooo get the whole winter thing.  Here are some thoughts that I have had since reading your post:

    1.  During the summer collect things like rocks, feathers, empty nests, cicada skins, shells, bones, etc that you can put it a Nature Study box and draw and label them on cold nasty Fridays when you don’t want to be outside.

    2.  Take digital pictures of insects, spiders, animals, birds, clouds, sunsets, fresh garden produce still “on the vine”, etc. and during the winter put it on the computer for nature study drawing.  Sonya says this allows for greater detail in some things.  Then look them up, label and add interesting details about it.

    3.  My kids love to take pictures of the animals at the zoo.   Let them use those to draw, label, etc.

    4.  Contact your Conservation Dept.  Our state conservation dept has created so much educational stuff about the states natural habitats, creatures, etc that they make available free to the homeschooling communities it is amazing.  We are very blessed here – they have tub kits about different subjects, videos, books, posters, flashcards, etc. that are free to anyone.  Something that I was totally impressed by was a K-2 science curriculum for homeschoolers that is basically a nature study through the seasons.  It has suggested activities for art, math, et… very cool.  See if you could do something different along those lines during the winter.

    5.  This year I am starting module 1 for history.  What if we watched a video of African habitats and allowed my kids to pick an animal to draw and write about what they learned of that animal?  I have done this with some of my nature videos and it is neat to see what they pick up.  In order to keep attention focused, they had to have 1 fact for each “grade” they are in – so my 11 year old would have to remember 5 details of the animal she chose to focus on.  They chose their subjects within the video paramaters.  I could, in a fun way, reinforce my lessons in geogprahy, zoology, etc.

    6.  Sonya said something in her seminar the other day that was liberating.  She chooses one Shakespeare play per her schedule.  They read the children’s story about it, they read from the play (not always the whole play) and then watch the well-done movie version of the play.  She only takes a month every two years to “do” Shakespeare.  Why not schedule Shakespeare in that time no one wants to be outside and has no interest?

    I hope this doesn’t sound preachy, I was just thinking about these things this morning when I woke up and thought that they might help.





    Thanks Sheila….I didn’t ask the question(s), but I totally needed the ideas.  I am the type that needs specifics and you gave great specifics!

    Blessings to you.


    I am printing this.  What great idea’s.  Yes Shakespear is a great one month idea!  And collecting for winter, LOVE IT!  Thanks Misty

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