Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Visit from my Sister

Presents from Grandparents.

My sister visited and brought her dog. He's the same age as Runa. The puppies had lots of fun together.

We went to Cherokee National Forest. This is Bald River Falls.

Cheese tasting in the woods. Couldn't get enough of the Irish cheddar.

The gatherings from a scavenger hunt. "Go find something red." "Go find a seedless vascular plant."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An Amalgamation of Affairs

Yesterday, some dear friends invited Miah and me to a horse farm. Her friend was having a lesson, so Miah helped brush the horse, watched how to put on the saddle and bridle, and watched her friend ride a bit. Then she ran off with all the other kids who were not having lessons to play with the ponies. She had such a good time. I loved how kid-friendly the place was.

Today, we dissected owl pellets with friends. First, the kids watched some YouTube clips to help them understand what the pellet was all about.
Owl Catching Lemming
Feeding Babies
Producing a Pellet
Barred Owl Hooting
Head Tilt (The kids got a kick out of this one.)
Various Owl Calls
Then we turned them loose with the pellets.

Bone Chart

Crows Mobbing an Owl video clip
Owl and Crow outdoor game (Scroll down.)

The sun was too lovely to not be outside. Larkin has a sudden interest in rocks, so we went to hunt Douglas Diamonds. . .

. . . and play in the mud.

This morning when I went out to check the chickens, I found Sonna completely tailless. (Incidentally, Sonna was named by Zahana after herself. That's how she pronounced her name six months ago.) This evening, I was taking out the compost and heard a rustle behind the wood pile. The Tail-Snatcher!

As is the case with the The Owl and The Lemming, "the penalty for rustling is death!"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flowers and Pollination

Investigating pollen.

Preserving a flower in borax. (Cover a fresh flower with borax, wait two weeks, then see what happened.)

Looking at some free Montessori materials. (Link below.)

Playdough flower models.

Another trip to UT Gardens to examine bee landing pads, flower colors, patterns, and shapes.

We saw lots of insects out pollinating.

We tried to guess which insects would prefer which plants. Sometimes we were right.

Sometimes we thought maybe the insects hadn't been reading our books!

There were even some insects we hadn't talked about as pollinators.

Being autumn, it was easy for our discussion to merge into the product of pollinated flowers and methods of seed distribution. (Is there a more beautiful bean on the planet?!)

Book List
Chapters 3 and 4 of Apologia Botany
What is a Flower?
The Reason for a Flower (By the way, I love Ruth Heller's books. We're using her World of Language series for a casual introduction to English grammar.)
The Story Book of Science - chapters 57-62 (This links to a free online version. And just as a warning: in chapter 57, a boy dies from eating poisonous berries. I didn't read it before I read it to the kids, and I might have skipped this chapter had I known. They did get a good lesson though.)
I have heard that the Shanleya's Quest card game is a great resource for learning about the different types of flowers but that the book is full of evolution and spiritism. I ended up getting the Wild and Free card game instead just because it's cheaper.
Online plant games
Montessori plant printables
Printable plant games - both links on this page