Natural Science – Spilosoma Congrua

Yesterday daddy found something special for the girls to investigate. It was a Spilosoma Congrua, more commonly known as the Agreeable Tiger Moth. She was beautiful! Fluffy and purest white, she flitted about our dining room for a little bit, settled on a curtain for us to watch her, and then happily settled inside a mason jar so that we could get a closer look at her. I gave the girls their magnifying glasses from their science discovery kits (Thank you, Oney!) and let them take a nice close look:

Moyra looking at the Agreeable Tiger Moth

Moyra looks at The Agreeable Tiger Moth

The Agreeable Tiger Moth poses gracefully for Moyra

The Agreeable Tiger Moth poses gracefully for Moyra

Spilosoma Congrua meets Moyra

Moyra loved holding the jar by herself!

Moyra really enjoyed looking at the moth. We talked about it for quite awhile, and looked it up for identification online today. It was really nice to see that we could identify something like this ourselves. I was pleased to see that while Spilosoma Congrua does get into Colorado from time to time, its primarily found much farther East. You’ve come a long way, little beauty! Amelie isn’t a big bug fan, so she looked from a distance most of the time, and really only got close when daddy had the little tigress in his hands.  After looking at her for a good long while, and discussing the different parts of her beautiful body, Moyra and I put the jar on the porch to encourage her to fly away.

After that, well…you can’t just get out magnifying glasses to look at ONE thing, silly mommy! We need to look at lots of things! So we got out our visual science kits and examined bubble wrap, fabric, glass cabishons, woven ribbon, cotton balls, terra cotta pots and some cute little flower appliques.

Visual Science Assortment

Our Visual Science Assortment

Amelie of course, needed to examine mommy and the camera too.

Visual Science Faces

Studying mommy's face with the magnifying glass

River did some of her own sensory discovery, in her own special way!

River's Sensory Exploration

River's Sensory Exploration during our science lesson

Share

The letter A and Before Five In A Row

Our first week was so much fun. I really had fun working with the girls. They enjoyed the time we spent so much that they ask to do “learning games” and homeschool all day long. I actually feel bad when I need to pull everyone back into the living room (also our play room) so that I can nurse the baby. Most of the activities that I have for them right now need to be supervised, and I don’t have anything organized well enough to make sure that all the choking hazards are out of reach of Amelie.

Speaking of Amelie, it was really quite a surprise for me to find that she can do nearly all of the activities that Moyra can. Amelie is 2 and Moyra is 3.5. Amelie learned the letter A and what sound it makes, and she was able to do a lot of the activities that I printed from the Confessions of a Homeschool Blogger site. Her site is amazing, by the way. I paid for her A-Z curriculum download and it was well worth it. Much of the material is available for free download if you look through her alphabet posts, but having it all together and available for me to reprint any time I like is really a valuable time saver. The girls loved all of the ant activities for the letter A, and the letter B printables are just gorgeous! I can’t wait to see what we’ll be doing for C!!!

This week for before Five in a Row we read Ask Mr. Bear. I have to admit that I was a little intimidated after reading this book to the girls. Firstly, they didn’t seem much interested in this particular book. Even Moyra didn’t sit through it, which is really abnormal. After reading it for three days and struggling to get the girls to pay attention and stay with me the whole time I was really starting to think that we weren’t ready for BFIAR. I started to feel like I had damaged their attention span by letting them watch so much TV (movies – we don’t have traditional television/cable) while I was pregnant and bedridden. I tried different ways to discuss the book when we were done and the children were both pretty non-communicative about it. The only activity they really enjoyed was when I had them run, trot, gallop and skip across the living room floor over and over just like the animals did in the book.  I also printed some things from the Homeschool Share site to go along with the book, and when I got out those interactive materials and used them while reading the book, that helped to hold their attention. I wish I’d started that first thing in the week! I’m hoping that the other titles aren’t as difficult to get through for us as this one has been. I’m not giving up! I plan to go through these books again next year with Amelie, and I’m sure that by then both girls will be ready to sit through them even if they aren’t now.

This week’s Brightly Beaming theme was cows. We live in the country and have cows everywhere around us, so the girls are very familiar with them. Our vocabulary word was calf, and Moyra had no trouble at all learning the word. I really enjoyed having a vocabulary word for them to learn. I’m surprised by my daughter’s ability to pick things up so easily sometimes, and have realized that I need to give them a little more credit. Because I’ve been out of commission for so long, I think it has become easy for me to underestimate their abilities. I feel like I need to get to know them again.

I realized while writing this post that I didn’t take nearly enough pictures this week! Here are some of the things we did:

Bubbles and Sidewalk Chalk

Outdoor Play - Bubbles and Sidewalk Chalk

Homeschool Group Day in the park

Homeschool Group Day in the park

Cow Puppet Craft

Amelie's Cow Puppet Craft

Cow Puppet Craft

Moyra's Cow Puppet Craft

You can find instructions for the cow puppet craft here.

We also did a dandelion themed unit for our homeschool group, and enjoyed learning all about this very useful plant. I’m sure I’ll revisit this theme, because we didn’t have time to do all the wonderful activities that I think I would have liked to do. I crammed way too much in this first week! I’ll definitely take more pictures next week, and hope to write more frequently now that the baby is sleeping through the night!

Share

Homeschool has begun!

Or at least, it’s begun again. Now that I’m no longer pregnant (I know, it’s a miracle!) I’m working with the girls again and it feels so good. I’m hoping and praying that I never again have to be in a wheel chair.

Our little homeschool group has had a couple of meetings, and I’m so thankful to have met the other mom. “M” is a great mother, and has been a wonderful fast friend. I can’t wait for our husbands to meet, so I’ll be cleaning this place up and planning a bbq soon. If anyone is interested in reading about our group antics, the group website is here: http://homeschoolblogger.com/rootsnshoots/

Big Plans

My homeschool plans are a bit ambitious, and I’m giving myself lots of room to discard anything that I find too cumbersome, or that just doesn’t work out well for our family. However, the girls are so enamored with their time learning that they never want to stop, even to allow me to nurse the baby. I’m sure that everything I try with them they’ll just love, at least in the beginning. So for now, this is what I’m planning:

Before Five In A Row

We’re starting next week with Ask Mr. Bear. I’m adding some of the activities I’ve found on Homeschool Share, and elsewhere online. I’m looking forward to just snuggling for part of our homeschool day, reading a good book and discussing the story. I think I’ve been trying to plan all these different activities, and sometimes what we really need is a good snuggle. I know that Moyra especially will enjoy this. She loves stories and seems to have an endless attention span when you’re reading to her.

Brightly Beaming

This is the program I’m going to be using for phonics, at least to start. Mostly because it’s free and looks very easy to implement and practical. I think that it will work well for us. I’m pretty creative myself, and so far have loved putting materials together for them so I’m not at all worried about doing a little work to prepare for them. They’re overly familiar with the letter A because I seem to start homeschooling and get about a week in when I realize that I’m pregnant or have some other interference. This time though, we’ll get to B – I Promise!

Song School Latin

Haydn and I both took Latin in high school, and I’m certain that it was instrumental to my studies. I’m looking forward to teaching the girls. Bonus – “M” and her family will be learning along with us!

Montessori

I’ll be working on practical home participation, including cleaning up, hygiene, pouring and serving and basic manners and consideration. As a mommy we work on this daily without needing special tools or curriculum, but I did get a few gadgets to help me out. I purchased a child sized pitcher for pouring, child sized garden tools with a garden apron, wooden cutting board with knife and fruits/vegis. The girls also have their kitchen set and we play with that daily. I’m going to be releasing my inner paranoia and work more with the girls in the kitchen. For some reason, I’m a bit uptight and haven’t spent enough time letting them get covered in flour and cookie dough. Its time!

Spirituality

I think that one of the many common myths about homeschooling is that all families choosing this lifestyle are Christian. While most are, there are those of us in the minority that are not. Our family is a beautiful mixture of Christian (eldest daughter), Unitarian (me), Pagan (eldest son) and Agnostic (husband). My husband and I have decided to raise our daughters in the Unitarian Universalist path, so they’ll be receiving Christian, Pagan/Earth Centered and Buddhist teachings as they homeschool. There is a Unitarian church in Pueblo, and although its a long drive I’m really hoping to attend soon! As far as spiritual educational materials are concerned, we’ll be using the bible verses recommended in the FIAR curriculum, Circle Round and Celebrating The Great Mother. I’m also ordering some wonderful Buddhist children’s books from Amazon, and I’ll share those titles with you all when they arrive.

Bright blessings

Share