Wednesday 9 May 2018

April Nature Studies

If you have read about our homeschool curriculum or follow my instagram account, you will know we are following a nature curriculum this year called 'Exploring Nature With Children'. It is a wonderful curriculum that covers different topics each week of the year. For each week, there are activities to do, recommended reading, poetry and a piece of art to study. The curriculum incorporates science, English, art and nature studies so it is really varied. You can check out the curriculum here.

This month has been wonderful. The weather has been great meaning we have spent a lot of time outdoors. Also, I set up a nature study group so we can follow this curriculum with other homeschooled children too which has been so much fun!

Here is what we got up to this month.

Week 1 - Tree Study

The first week was tree study week. We started off by doing some bark and leaf rubbings. It was interesting to see the different patterns the different barks and leaves made on the paper. 

I found the Guided Nature Journal to be really useful this week. The children chose a tree in the garden to study and filled in some of the worksheets from the guided journal.

Finally, D painted a picture of her favourite tree in the garden - an apple tree.

Week 2 - Plant Life Cycle

We learnt about plant life cycles this week. We started off by learning about how plants grow. 

We learnt about photosynthesis using some worksheets from . 

Next, we planted some seeds to see if we could study the plant life cycle in action. The seeds have been growing in our greenhouse and are getting quite big now! We also tried growing bean seeds in ziploc bags. We placed three bean seeds in three different bags and stuck them to different windows throughout the house. One is growing quite well, but slowly, and the other two have not grown at all! They were obviously not placed in favourable locations.

Finally, I set up a seed sorting activity for my preschooler. I got four mini flower pots and four different types of bean and pea seeds. Then he sorted the seeds into different pots. We talked about the different sizes, colours and shapes and I showed him pictures of the different plants they would grow into. I love to involve my preschooler with our nature studies and he loves to feel included.

Week 3 - Wild Flowers

Wild flower week was enjoyable for everyone. We went to our nature spot and had a look for all the different types of wild flowers that were growing there.

Here is a list of all the ones we found!

The children then had a go at painting their favourite wild flowers. We also made some seed bombs! To do this we mixed five parts clay and one part soil. Then we added some wild flower seeds and rolled the mixture into little marble sized balls. The children had a lot of fun doing this but it was very messy! We have sprinkled them in the flower beds so we will see if anything grows.

Finally, we took a look at the wild flowers growing in our own garden by doing a colour hunt using the worksheet from the Guided Nature Journal. This was a fun activity for all ages. We managed to find flowers of each colour except orange.

This card game which teaches children about the different types of wild flowers and their families was a really fun and educational game to play this week.

Week 4 - Grasses

The final week of April was grass week. I purchased the above field guide of grasses, sedges and ferns and I really had no idea there were so many different types! We explored our nature spot to see how many different types we could find there. The children has sheets of card with a strip of doubles sided tape on. They went round and collected different grasses and sedges and stuck them onto the card. 

It was pouring with rain when we were at our nature spot and the card was getting very wet so we decided to head inside to take a closer look at what we had found. The children sketched their findings and we tried to identify the specimens using the field guide. D did a great job of drawing this one!

We have had a lot of fun with nature studies this month and have enjoyed spending more time outdoors. I am really looking forward to the topics we will be covering in May. To take a look at the curriculum you can use the links below.

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