Fall Nature Explorations

Have you ever spent so much time planning that you forget to do? It happens to me all the time. I research, study, schedule, and all together plan out every aspect of how I want to do stuff and then reality sinks in and I get upset when it doesn’t go as planned.

It happens often enough that I’ve written before about needing to let go. Needing to embrace the imperfections. I need to live out life and teach on the cuff because that’s how they learn!

Once a week we spend a whole morning at a local park with a small man made lake. I have been trying to do nature studies with the kids and some days they worked but most days I spent all of my time trying to wrangle my children back to focus on this small insect or that flower.

Today I followed my instincts, brought a few empty baby food jars as specimen containers, a few journals, some colored pencils, a ziplock bag for collections, a ruler and a magnifying glass. No printouts, no lesson plans and no preconceptions!

We used our morning to do science (fall, migration, butterfly life cycles, frog life cycles and insect pollination), math ( measuring a small caterpillar, discussing fractions and making patterns with leaves), art (nature journal drawings and photography), and music (singing to the animals and trying to copy bird calls).

It’s been an amazing morning and absolutely no whining! After fully exercising they are calmer and more attentive. The actually want to sit and read. They have pulled out tanegrams and blocks and have not yet fought more than 10 minutes later!

We gathered some lake water with the intention of using a microscope to get a closer look. The children also collected a good amount of leaves to use in a collage and an acorn to dissect. It maybe too much for us to explore today but it will make for some great projects tomorrow!

The more I let go, the more learning takes place. These kids are amazing on their own, they don’t need a dictator telling them what to learn. They need a tour guide that introduces new possibilities while answering questions.
This is definitely a journey. It’s an adventure and I’m learning as I go!


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