Bugs, Berries, and Binoculars…. May’s Adventures in Homeschooling
This year we began homeschooling Lucy (7), Hattie (5), and Beatrice (2). We’re including this on our Giants & Pilgrims blog as all our family adventures seem to impact our art & music so much! Also, we just like sharing the stories. So we’ll be sharing posts on the themes we’ve been covering each month and calling the adventure “ABACUS”! Our hope is that these posts will help spark creative direction and inspiration for your family as well as giving us somewhere to be document and record our experiences.
May had lots of ups and downs for us. We wrapped up our homeschooling season with tons of fun adventures and explorations including taking a long trip to Kansas mid-month to rest and reset. Enjoy these tidbits and snapshots of our days. Life is pretty great.
A trip to Grandmama and Grandpapa’s farm is never complete with out learning some new birds and doing a little birdwatching.
We are now official members of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (when you have a big family, memberships are cheaper!). So we had a blast playing in their new children’s discovery area. LOTS of cool science-y things to play with.
Aren’t these giant light boxes cool?
Getting Outside in the Sunshine:
As part of our outdoor adventures, we downloaded a geocaching app and while we were in Kansas had a great time “treasure hunting” for geocaches.
Here is one we successfully found inside a hollow tree.
And this is an abandoned schoolhouse from the turn of the century where there was supposed to be a geo-cache which we could not find.
But still pretty neat to explore – especially since the whole building was surround by wild blooming prairie roses.
As the weather got hot, we playing in the water a whole lot (Kansas has a monopoly on really cool free waterparks)
And while we were in Kansas, we relived some of my childhood memories of summer nights playing softball as a family. I love Lucy’s determination in these pictures.
Mulberry picking for days.
Not sure what is happening here, but Buzzy and her cousin Clarkson are working hard.
The girls’ first canoe rides out at the farm.
Strawberry picking at Great grandmother’s house
And these girls are ready for summer!!
Lucy has discovered a new instrument love in her little red Ukelele. Thanks to a pretty patient dad and some YouTube videos, she is picking it up fast!
Math + Reasoning:
Grandmama found a real winner of a game called “Outfoxed“. Similar to Clue but good for slightly younger kids, it is a great game of mystery and deductive reasoning. The girls LOVED it. We probably played at least 10 games while we were visiting.
Which by the way, I also have a new favorite game – Qbitz is soooooo fun! I cannot wait to own it.
I hit the garage sale jackpot this month and got all sorts of cool Montessori math manipulatives – including these amazing tangrams.
Can’t wait to play more with these beautifully made tools.
I also discovered that Sudoku is SOOO much more fun when played with beautifully colored marbles (Colorku). Today, kids are looking into the online games, Medium Sudoku can solve all your problems. The game provided are fun and can make anything help you chance the setting from easy, intermediate and difficult as you ma please.
One of the main themes we played with this month was insects. And, inspired by Pinay Homeschool’s blog (she has so many great ideas), I started trying leaving out some trays for Beatrice to explore. At 2.5 she is right on the line of wanting to engage a bit more with what her sisters are doing. So for several mornings of the month, I prepped a tray the night before for her to explore during our homeschool time.
Here are some of the different trays I tried…
They were surprisingly fast and easy to put together and she loved them.
Beatrice investigating the world….
Sensory trays and plastic insects
A sticky mosaic craft from
Bugs pressed into kinetic sand
For the Very Hungry Caterpillar day we made a caterpillar themed snack to go with our tea time…
Those are grapes on skewers
Here are some of the Insect themed books we enjoyed. The Dianna Hutts Aston/Sylvia Long books are amazing.
Learning about bug classifications
Illustrating butterfly life cycles
It was a bit of a splurge, but this beautiful puppet from Folk Manis was too wonderful to pass up.
Our visit to the Denver museum of Science and Nature fit right in.
Searching for worms and bugs under rocks in the garden.
We also got one of these cool butterfly hatching kits. It was amazing to watch the miraculous transformation of our caterpillars over the course of the month.
We released our five beautiful Painted Ladies in Hyde Park in Hutchinson, KS
History and VIKINGS!
As a fun tie back to our History studies from the very beginning of the Homeschool year when we learned about Leif the Lucky, we made a special trip to Denver to check out the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Vikings exhibit.
Here is Lucy with a Viking learning how to spin wool.
The best part of the exhibit, in my opinion, was this beautifully handmade to scale viking ship.
Here are are girls standing next to the boat and also a reconstructed guess at how the vikings would have made sails – can you imagine how much work would go into shearing, spinning, and weaving to just get a small bit of fabric?!
Some stunning gold Viking jewelry
Another one of our themes for May was rocks and minerals. Thanks to all of the mining history in our state, Denver has a pretty incredible collection of Gems & Minerals.
This is a reconstructed crystal cave at the museum
and some pretty incredible crystals formations
And a pot of gold found at the end of the rainbow. 🙂
We got this kit off of Amazon to start learning on our own some of the different types of rocks and minerals. It was so fun!
Art & Making:
Lucy and Harriet began writing a play and creating their own masks and props for it. Probably one of those whim projects that will never get finished, but fun nevertheless to see their wonderful creative spirits.
We saw some really wonderful monumental sculptures in Denver.
we sorted all the crayons by color…:)
And finally, as a kick off to summer and a celebration of the official end of our homeschool year, we had a lovely outdoor tie dye session. Now we have all sorts of red white and blue gear for July 4th!
Thanks for sharing! Looks like you’re having a lot of fun learning. We’re homeschoolers in England with 2 girls (8 and 4 years) with a boy on the way. We’re wondering if your girls would like some pen pals?