Friday, August 17, 2012

Outdoor Exploration Fridays

Our science curriculum this year is mostly geared around outdoor exploration, with a few science experiments thrown in when I remember to do them.  In other words, we plan on observing, recording, touching, exploring, and getting dirty. 

Fridays for us are now our un-school days (using that term in probably not it's fullest sense), which includes errands if we have them, Blue Knights twice a month, and outdoor exploration.  However, August in Arizona is not a nice time to be outside.  Not.  At.  All. So last week, when the temperatures climbed to around 117, we ended up at the children's museum.  We got lucky today.  A cold front came in last night (cold meaning less than 105 degrees) bringing with it blessed rain.  And this morning we saw a low of 80 degrees!  As fast as I could, I packed the children in the van, and all but raced to the Riparian Preserve.

We went on a field trip here last year, but I realized this time that we had not come close to exploring it.  This place is huge!  Lakes, streams, marshes, bugs, birds, butterflies...  Everything our little suburban hearts longed for.

Science is so much fun Mom!

Lesson here: Mesquite tree seed pods float, and make great little boats.

A deep scary swamp forest in the desert?  How can that be?

 At our designated snack spot, we did a little recording.  Fritter drew pictures of the dragonflies and butterflies and bees he saw, and then narrated our trip, while I wrote it in his science notebook.  I also printed a basic plant parts sheet from Enchanted Learning, which they colored and Fritter labeled.

Drawing in his Science notebook.

The bulk of our education today was spent enjoying God's creation.  There was also a small lesson in tree climbing.  If  you fall out of the tree, you must climb back up it.

When we left it was lunch time, and we were all hot and tired.  Now that's what I call a great day!

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