Learning in the Moment..Continued

The summer of rain continued this week. We are going a little stir crazy. In fact, I was trying to figure out something fun to do on Friday when I got a call from our favorite nature center – Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. If you keep up with the blog then you will remember about 8 weeks ago, Parks found sick turtle by the ornamental pond in the back of the nature center. If you do not keep up with the blog, then you can find the information here. Well, the manager of the nature center called to inform us that the turtle was back at the nature center and ready to return to her natural habitat. Amazing-I can not say enough about the staff at this nature preserve. The manager called to ask if Parks wanted to release the turtle with the staff.

So we awoke this morning and headed out to Latta for a short hike. They decided to let her go by a creek on the Hill trail (one of the kids’ favorite spots also). Parks and Sims took turns carrying her down the trail. Parks found a “perfect” spot to release her back into the nature preserve. We watched as she slowly came out of her shell and observed her new environment. It took her quite a while to decide if this was a good spot. When she made her decision that the area was ok, she made her way to nice protected spot under some roots.

Meanwhile, we had a long discussion on why we could not keep the turtle. Parks thought that we could giver her a good home at our house or that the nature center would make a good home for her also. We took a moment to get quiet, observe and listen to the forest. We heard the bubbling of the creek, the buzzing of the insects and the cawing/tweeting of birds. Then we compared the peaceful environment that the turtle was accustomed to living in to the loud, busy and crazy environment of our house. We discussed how the turtle was “old” and used to the slow, peaceful pace of the woods. The house would be too noisy and stressful for her. Thus, the decision was made and we walked away from the turtle.

(Of course, Parks was trying very hard to convince the staff member who went with us to release the turtle to place a gps tracking device on the turtle and turn the turtle into a geocache for the park.)

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” Dr. Seuss

I feel like I say this a lot-and I will state it once again.  This was a crazy week.  We started the week off at Linville Falls where Dad gave the kids several lessons on erosion.  Of course, this was not officially part of school-but we are nerdy that way.  The kids looked for signs of erosion in the dirt, on the paths, on the handrails, and in the falls.

Checking out the root structure and comparing it to the tree we found last week Erosion Checking out more erosion Learning about water pressure Exploring in the creeks An awesome fairy house Linville Falls

I knew this week was going to be crazy so we just planned on having a project week.  Sims and Sawyer take part in a homeschool book club once a month.  In November, the book club decided to read Pippi Longstockings as the group book.  In addition to Pippi, the kids each picked a book of their choice to read and present to the group.

Sawyer is my mystery reader.  She loves Boxcar Children Books, A to Z Mysteries, and anything with an animal and mystery to solve.  She read constantly.  Her biggest obstacle to this project is to narrow down which book to write about as she has read probably 15 books since the last book club meeting in November.  She finally decided upon a Boxcar Children Book.  She wrote a report and is now making a diorama of the setting.

This is how we find Sawyer most days

Sims, as you know from my previous posts, is not my most ambitious reader typically.  However, this project got him very excited.  He wanted to read a book about Mount Everest (ever since we finished Three Cups of Tea, he has been interested in climbing).  He chose the book Peak.  Peak is a teen fiction book.  He had to get it from the Young Adult section which immediately made me nervous.  Thanks to Learning Ally, he was able to read the whole book.  He was hooked from the time he started it.  Not only did he read it but he also comprehended the whole book.  He wrote a terrific report and is now working on his project.  For those of you with kids with dyslexia, you know the excitement I feel.  After finishing this book, he immediately went to the library to pick out another book on Everest.  Peak

Parks,inspired by his older brother and sister, decided to read his first chapter book.  He decided upon Mercy Watson Goes for a Drive.  He is still reading so he has not decided upon his project but he is ready to start!

Mercy Watson

A cabin for the forest Everest coming to life. The beginning of Everest The lake in the forest They did some dissecting this week too. Examining Class at Latta