Science Friday was a great big adventure! We hiked up to the watering hole, and found that many things had changed since we last were there. Black eyed susans had sprung up, the horsetail was shooting up new tendrils down the edge of the water, and some baby dill plants began pushing their heads up, thinking it was spring.
We brought mason jars up to the watering hole, and layered them with rocks, then soil, then moss. Maisie found dock seeds dried to the end of a long stock. We picked some off and gently put them into our jars, and tapped soil over them. We sealed them up to wait for magic to happen.
After making our jar habitats, we put on our Owl Eyes, and Deer Ears and hiked up to the pond. We were looking for signs of fall. Jack, our cartographer, ran up ahead. He yelled out, "signs of fall", as he kicked through layers of oak leaves. The littles came running up to join in the fun of kicking the leaves. Willa, called out "more signs of fall!" as she grabbed, plucking off the pink, red, and yellow round redbud leaves. "Let's sail boats", Grace said, and the children ran to the pond edge to glide their boats onto the water's surface.
On the bank of the pond, Scout noticed the wild grasses had seeds on their tips, and began sliding her fingers across the stem and flinging the grass seed into the breeze, watching them flutter across the pond. "The air is spreading the seeds for the grass, the water will carrying the seed to another part of the pond, to root and grow. What other ways can seeds spread?" I said.
Jack, quickly called out, by animals, on their fur, Maisie chimed in, by humans on their shoes, and Willa said, in bird poop! Giggles rose up from the group. Yes! you are all correct.
Children in nature, attuned to the beauty that surrounds them, no better learning environment.
On Friday, October 13th the Manton Education Council started the Manton Valley Homeschool Co-Op Science Fridays! Our classes will take place on Meyerhof Farm and our focus is on preschool, Kindergarten & 1st grade science curriculum, however, we have older homeschoolers joining us as well.
Our first day was filled with excitement!
Class started at 9AM, where we hiked up the path to Buddha's Watering hole.
On the farm, we have created a wetlands for animals to get drinks and bathe. Turns out it's a great learning space for children to observe habitat in action. We have many visitors, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, finches, jays, deer, butterflies, dragonflies, and much more. We will be coming to our sit spot weekly to draw and talk about the changes in nature.
This week we talked about using our Owl Eyes, and Deer Ears (Coyote's Guide to connecting with Nature) to observe what is happening all around us. When we closed our eyes to listen with our large deer ears, we heard hummingbirds working the giant eucalyptus tree, and a scrub jay flutter by. The children were so excited! We talked about things that make up a good home for the birds. All the things that make up a habitat.
Our personal homeschool vision on the farm is that learning can be exciting and fun at any age. We believe in multigenerational learning and we welcome to our group, Grace, an 8th grader, she acts as class aide and blogger. Maddy a 6th grader, will also be a class aide, and a 4th grader, Jack. Jack will be the class cartographer, charting all we experience on our adventures & microbiology teacher. Jack will be learning microbiology as a part of his homeschool curriculum and will share what he learns with our group.
We closed our science friday with a reading from Sybil Von Olfers' book, "The Story of the Root Children". Next week, we are gearing up to make shoebox habitats!
--Blog update by Marlo