Mar 7, 2013

Trees and Learning


I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree. 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain. 

Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree. 
  We have been discovering....discovering Asia, discovering Italy, and discovering trees. There has been some reading and a little math basics....but basically we are just enjoying learning.
  We took our little "school" out into the sun yesterday to collect bits of "trees." We compared green wood to dry wood, we felt bark and looked at it's deep crevices and ridges under a magnify glass....we walked barefoot in the still partly frozen ground all for the sake of feeling the sun warm our toes.
  Bug came along too....he didn't collect much in terms of "nature's evidence" but we decided that since he is living "evidence" that he could come along. We enjoyed his toothy smile.
  Then our studies led us indoors and we created a forest out of modeling clay. We used are handy dandy ipod touch to look up facts about forest and why we need them. Isn't Brady's fox awesome? I made the little blue bird...and Trin added the apple tree. Garden of Eden perhaps? Brady was in the middle of quietly squishing the clay and he looked up and said "this is just so much fun mom. I just love being here." My heart soared.
  And once again, Finn got to squish a few pieces of clay himself but mostly he was just there to gift us his toothy smile. Tristan tried to make a caterpillar.
  And then we watched a show on you tube (we are after all in the "age of research) all about why it is that we need trees - to cool the earth, to filter the provide oxygen for our lungs and homes for the the kids watched they painted glittery trees on paper. And then after a story...we were done.
  Ready to sweep the floors and wash the dishes and make a nice meal for the man of the house....quinoa with peas and salmon patties and sweet potatoes.
  And you ask how in the world I concentrate on "learning" while there are the two little monkeys running around and jumping off of high places and getting into general mischief? Well...sometimes it's pretty darn hard to be honest. And when it is....when I start tensing up and learning is no longer fun...I say "we'll take a break now" and then I utilize the littlest little's nap times to do one on one with Brady or Trin. This has worked pretty well this week. Other times I give Tristan a piece of paper and some finger paint and a paint brush and watch him mix colors and "paint" while I have Brady doing a math page and Finn dribbling a soccer ball and Trinity practicing her letters.
  Sometimes I fill a big bucket of warm bubbly water with toys and let the little boys have water play - they enjoy being half naked and splashing and I enjoy the 15 minutes of quiet.
 And then at the end of the day...I reward them heavily. Yesterday their was homemade "Hot Chocolate Pudding Cake"...tonight there will be warm bubble baths and popcorn during video time or maybe we will watch Wheel of Fortune on the couch together. Either goal is to make learning fun and not "mandatory." I have some curriculum to make sure that they are capable of doing what kids in school are doing....but I hope to try my best to not be competitive with the school system as far as academics go. Winning their hearts? Yes...I would like to win that one. Giving them a love for learning? I definitely hope I can help that. But for now...we will just learn about trees (we are also learning all about the different continents because Brayden is obsessed with maps.)
 ....Brady says next week can we PLEASE learn all about rocks?
And if you're curious as to why Brady is home and not at school....there are a lot of reasons. But to put it simply...for his happiness and mine. :)


MOM said...

Well, that answers my question -. Is Brady being homeschooled? You mentioned him asking to be. It looks like he is enjoying learning with is siblings.

nicole spring said...

Love everything about this post! Little L has been my biggest challenge with homeschooling C. Phew!!!!

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