Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Botanical Garden and Little Keepers

Our Little Keepers group has been working on earning five pins for the year.  Among them is a Wildflowers pin, which they began in February.  We've had our monthly meetings and worked on some of the following. They created some flashcards (picture of flower on one side/name on the other) and then at our next meeting they quizzed each other for recognition.  I also read a chapter from Shanleya's Quest: Botany Adventure for Kids to study our Mustard flower a bit more.  I gave the girls a diagram as well.  I'll take a moment to say that the green book was a must buy since my nature girl wanted to learn more about Wildflowers than just what we covered in our monthly meetings.  She has really enjoyed How To Know the Wild Flowers and pulls it out after every hike we take.

On a different meeting the girls brought in some samples of wildflowers and then made a great effort to watercolor dry brush their flowers (I should also mention that they were encouraged to bring some poetry about wildflowers to share at every meeting):

And now we come to our last meeting of the year, in which, we decided to head to our local Botanical Garden and take a nature walk.  The girls enjoyed this!  They took a stroll through the garden; they were able to pick out some wildflowers we'd talked about, looked up a few unknown in my field guide and enjoyed other wonderful living things on the trail : D


Before meeting the rest of the moms and siblings for cookies and juice (and lots of playing time)  the girls gathered in a circle.  One of our youngest member recited part of a poem the girls memorized for recitation at the beginning of our school year.  It sums up our group and another wonderful year together:

by Charles D. Meigs
Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way,
That even when I kneel to pray,
My prayer shall be for others.
Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be:
Help me to live for others,
That I live like Thee.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Blueberry and Strawberry Picking Weekend

This weekend the kids wanted to go blueberry picking and as a bonus our favorite spot had a strawberry patch this year!  We invited my sisters and nieces to join us.  I remember the first time I ever picked strawberries from a local farm.  I was in college!  The strawberries were so sweet and juicy; the experience was wonderful.

Even before Charlotte Mason was present in our home the idea of going outdoors and visiting the farm has always been, well, a tradition.  To pick our own, take it home, enjoy it and, yes, even make some connections to some very well loved stories and concepts; there's no better way to present it to my kids.  As busy as we've been this year, I need to remember this and get back to the little things that are much bigger than what we might perceive.

Don't get me wrong our nature walks/hikes are a weekly routine and habit around here.  However, there are few other things that I must get back into "living our education"  ; )