February 07, 2008

The Pond... errr.... Drainage Ditch?


Nature walks are not as easy to come by for city folk, but there is fun to be had outdoors no matter where you live. A tiny blade of grass growing up out of the sidewalk could be a reason to stop and wonder - God provides endless opportunities to be amazed, even in bustling cities. Yesterday we found one such place in our neighborhood - a water drainage ditch! We spent our first purposeful "Green Hour" CM Nature Walk at the 'pond' (as the children so affectionately call it). We took our camera and our nature journals and had quite a bit of fun.

The children identified many different mammal tracks: cats (or skunk?), dogs (or coyotes?), deer, and raccoon. We saw sandpipers and what looked like a hawk. We saw water bugs, bees, and fairy flies. Kaden found what he thought might be an egg sack of some sort of amphibious creature with a hole in its side (looked like clear jelly) in the water. We got to dig in the mud with sticks and watch frogs and tadpoles. It was amazing that there were that many wonderful creatures practically in our back yard. The little wooden buds on the trees made for interesting discussion, too... Morgan checked the limb to see if it was "wick" (a term she got from reading The Secret Garden, no doubt!). I have heard people say that there is not much outdoors to discover and enjoy in the winter... but I certainly don't agree. Even in a concrete jungle there is always something awaiting discovery outside for the one who is willing to GO... no matter what season it is!

We decided that we are going to try and keep Green Hour. I think the vote was unanimous. I have been leaning towards the Charlotte Mason teaching method for a long time now (implementing some of it without really labeling it as CM for years). We are planning to continue the trend while adding more whole books and adding more narration and nature study to our school 'diet'. Of course we aren't giving up KONOS - that is what makes me 'eclectic'! Plans for a nature blog are in the works... the kids want to share our nature shots and keep a digital "scrapbook" online. I enjoy taking nature photos quite a bit and this will be an excellent way to get them in to photography as well. They have already started to show interest in learning how to take pictures better. What a blessing Green Hour is turning out to be!

I encourage you to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Life is too short to stay cooped up all day long.

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Stacy said...

Great post! You are right...there is always something to discover if you are willing to GO.

I'm really enjoying your blog :)

Sprittibee said...

Thanks Stacy. ;) We were reading about Marsupials today. So cute!

Anonymous said...

I've been a 'Charlotte Mason Konos' homeschooling Mom for 16+ years. With a 5 year old, I've still got a few years to go. I can't imagine schooling any other way! I so enjoy reading your blog. It is always a trip down memory lane and inspiration for the future all rolled into one.
Blessings to you and your family.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I am so glad to hear your words about being outdoors even in winter. I feel the same way. If you try really hard, you will find something to see and something to think about.

Even just the air in winter can be uplifting. My children need that breath of air every day, even in the bitter cold. They really don't seem to feel the cold like I do anyway.

I grew up playing in the gutter water in the city.....we would have leaf races and dam up the water and then release it. So much to do....

We have a storm drain at the end of our street. When the boys were very little, they loved to walk down there in the rain and listen to the sound of the water falling down the concrete drain....it did sound like a waterfall of sorts. They would take the time to clean the leaves and sticks out of the grate and then we would walk back up the road again.

Thanks for your comment today on my nature blog.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Sprittibee said...

anonymous - :) GLAD TO MEET ANOTHER CM KONOSER! ;) Welcome here. Hope you'll stop back by!

Barb - Thanks for the comment! I really have been enjoying your nature blog! I get it in my email box. We are also cat lovers. The cat in the bird feeder was so funny. If we had a nice yard, I might consider letting my kitty cats out. I would be soooo glad to have some relief in the cat potty room. MAN! Going to 2 cats was a huge affront to our olfactory senses.

Amen to all you said about winter city nature walks. ;) You have to bloom where you are planted. ;)

And my son wanted to tell everyone this:

"If at first you don't succeed - skydiving is not for you."

Ha! He's a nut!



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