Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

We're still here! May 25, 2011

We haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, despite my lack of posting. 🙂  The weather is finally getting nicer here, so we’ve been out of the school room and spending our days outside gardening and enjoying nature.  I’ve also been spending this time getting prepared to start homeschooling Jedi in June.  We got our homeschooling approval letter from our county, and Jedi’s officially excused from school after the end of this school year.

So, while I get prepared for that, Monkey and Bug have been spending less time in the school room.  That’s ok though–like I said, it’s been gorgeous out and that’s what they need to be concentrating on right now. 🙂  That, and the school room is under construction again (about a month and a half ago, we had a flood in our house that destroyed part of our first floor and finished basement, and so the insurance company and contractors have it torn apart so it can be fixed again. 🙂 )  So, my regular montessori and homeschooling posts will be back mid June. 🙂

In the meantime…here are some pictures of our outdoor learning…

A gorgeous post-thunderstorm sunset.

We have a guest living in our garden beds! I went out to pick salad greens, and found this killdeer egg.

Day 2...a 2nd egg showed up!

And here's mama bird! She lets me go over to the garden, but if the kids come over, she does some cool theatrics. Killdeer pretend to have a broken wing if something comes too close to the nest. They hope that the predator will follow the easy prey (hurt bird) and leave the nest alone, but then when you come close to the bird, it up and flies away. The broken wing 'dance' is amazing!

More of the wing dance...

More of the wing dance...

More of the wing dance...

Mama bird watching me harvest.

Day 3! A third egg!

Turkey vulture really close to the house.

Frogs in our little pond

Bigger frog in the pond

The garden beds--where the killdeer nest is has the herbs, next to it has the salad greens, spinach, broccoli, and oregano. There is also red potatoes, cilantro, onions, green onions, cantelope, bush beans, and cucumbers.

The first box is strawberries, the second box has green peppers, banana peppers, hot peppers, and lemon basil. The far box has tomatoes and basil.

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Montessori Monday March 14, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 1 month old

The past week was much slower than the weeks before, in part because things were so busy with the family as a whole.  But, Monkey was able to do some work…especially the nature based work (mostly because I teach nature studies for preschoolers at Monkey’s homeschool co-op).

We did a in-depth unit on frogs & toads this past week. Here is one of our favorite books (Uncover Frog), and our guidebook of Ohio amphibians.

Our "life cycle of a frog" display--frogs/tadpoles/eggs in acrylic

Parts of a frog puzzle

Life cycle of a frog craft

Life cycle and frog figurines (I have no idea where the tadpole went...the kids had it when they were working with it, but when I went to take the pictures, it was gone)

Number rods & sandpaper numbers

Color box 3

 

Outdoor Hour Challenge–Ducks vs Geese September 30, 2010

Filed under: Exploring Nature — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:00 am
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This week’s study was on ducks vs geese.  We’ve seen both of these all summer long, so we thought this one would be an easy one to get pictures for…boy were we wrong!  Central Ohio’s having a bit of a drought and an odd weather pattern, so the geese that have been hanging around since the first signs of spring, were nowhere to be found in the past couple weeks!  We heard them overhead a few times, but we didn’t see them on the ground anywhere!  So, we had to pull in a lot of what we’ve observed over the past several months, as well as using some pictures I had taken earlier in the year to make our comparisons. 

Some ducks at the ice cream factory we visited a couple weeks ago.

Canadian Geese at the arboretum earlier this summer

Here are some of the things we discussed about the ducks and geese:

Similarities:

-Both are found near water

-Both are birds, with feathers, bills, and webbed feet

-They can exist in the same small piece of land without being aggressive

Differences:

Sound: Geese honk loudly with a higher pitched sound, ducks quack more softly and in a lower tone.  Geese tend to honk while they are flying and are pretty quiet on land, and ducks tend to quack while walking around on the land.

Appearance: Geese are black and white, while some ducks are white, some are green and grey, and some are greyish brown

Size: Geese are much larger, with longer necks and legs.  Ducks are much smaller, have a short neck compared to their body, and have short legs.

Gait: Geese do not waddle when they walk as much as ducks do

Feeding: Geese don’t stick their faces in the water much when they eat.  They walk around on the land around the water, eating out of the grass.  Ducks feed mostly in the water.

How they fly: Geese fly in a V formation higher in the sky, while ducks seem to fly quite a bit lower and not always in a formation.

Size of flock: Every time we saw the geese, they were in larger flocks, whereas we did observe ducks in pairs instead of large flocks at times

And here are a few pictures I took while we were on our nature walk trying to find more geese to watch:

Here is the retention pond the geese liked to hang out at all spring and summer. There are none to be found there in the past few weeks.

Beautiful Autumn sky

The frogs are back in our little backyard pond!

Closeup of the little guy

The smaller frog swimming around

It's hard to believe this cornfield next door to us was just bright green a couple weeks ago!

Even the corn is dried up