Thursday, October 10, 2013

October Day 4 - Planting Seeds

This was such a fun day.  For us, this day fell on a Monday.  On Monday's this fall, I have the day "off".  I just have my two boys.  So it was just the three of us working through most of Day 4s activities. 

We started our day by planting seeds.  Mother Goose Time provided us with a little cup, some pink paper, pink pipe cleaner and a little pink circle sticker.  When we put it all together we made a pig cup to plant our seeds in.  Mother Goose Time also provided us with Rye Grass seeds.  Apparently Rye Grass can be an allergen.  I was so impressed at how well they had today's day bag marked.  The cover sheet that shows a picture of what we are learning about had a big pink circle saying Allergy Alert!  Also, in the package of seeds themselves there was another warning.  I had no idea this could be an allergen but it was nice to have the warning just in case my boys reacted strangely for some reason.

I filled our pig cups with potting soil and the boys planted the seeds.  Then we added water.  Now, we wait and see if they grow.

Next, I set Lachlan up with the Pattern Guide and cards.  It comes in a big 11x14 card-stock sheet that you cut apart.  In the end you have a strip with the beginning of a pattern and then open squares and cards to continue the pattern on your own.  We have been watching a lot of Team Umezumi so I asked Lachlan if he could use his Pattern Powers?  He was hooked and sat right down.  Got it figured out perfectly, with out hesitation.  I love seeing things, that were once a bit of a challenge for him, just suddenly become a cinch. 
Makes me realize how important it is not to push, one day it will be tough and the next day easy.  They just have to grow into it.  Not that things shouldn't be introduced, but I for one, really don't need to stress.  I think just having these things around allows them to pick up on it in their own time.  When Lachlan figures out something new, he is very proud, as he should be.  That's when I need to use the opportunity to practice that skill with him. 

I was thinking about yesterdays day and how it seemed like Peter did a lot of the school lessons and Lachlan didn't.  On this day, I realize, as I am writing, that Lachlan did most of the lessons while Peter played with other things.  I don't really like to force either boy into something they don't want to do.  I don't want them to grow to hate these lessons and activities.  However, I am pretty good at convincing them that what we are doing is the coolest thing in the world and they really don't want to miss out.  I also try take advantage of any moments that arise.  Some people would worry and say, that's the problem with homeschooling!  They don't learn to sit and have designated "school time".  To which I say "just to remind you, I have 2 BOYS, one is 2.5 and one is 4.5.  I don't think they were designed for that. Not yet."  And my boys aren't even that rowdy.  Besides, my goal would be to establish an early love of learning not an early hate of school

I do apologize about that tangent.  Moving on . . . one of my favorite lessons from this day was called Weathered Crops.  There were two questions, How can too much sun hurt seeds? and  How can too much water hurt seeds?  Lachlan was pretty confident too much sun would make the plants dry out.  He was a little stumped on how too much water could harm a plant.  But we talked through it.  Next I told him he was going to pretend to be a corn stalk.  "What's a corn stalk Mom?"  I told him about the yummy yellow corn we eat and how it grows on this really really tall plant, called a corn stalk.  (I can't wait to point them out when we go to a pumpkin patch this year.)  Next I got out our weather sticks we use to track the weather each day.  I got out, rain, snow, wind and sun.  I told him to act like a corn stalk would act depending on the weather.  First I held up the sun.  He curled up in a ball low to the ground and then slowly grew tall, all the way up to his tippy toes.  Next I held up the wind.  He was a unsure what to do so I pretended it was windy and kept on getting blown over.  He loved that and did the same.  Next snow, he knew just what to do and shriveled down low to the ground again.  Then the rain came and he grew big and tall.  We worked through this several times.  Peter finally saw what we were doing and wanted to try.  He joined in for one round. 

The last thing from this Day of lessons that we accomplished in this calendar day was the reading of the new book that came in the box this month.  It's called There's a Cow in my House.  It's so cute.  Not only is it a book, but it's also a song which is on the monthly CD Down on the Farm.  It's so simple and the illustrations are great.  It has become a new favorite for both of the boys.
Lachlan has never been much of a reader, but he grabbed this book, hopped up on Daddy's ugly man chair and got to reading.  I can't tell you how much this moment means to me.  Another Goose Moment (that's my coined term for things that happen in my boys life that I don't think would have happened with out the help of Mother Goose Time.  Things we have done that I most likely wouldn't have thought about doing on my own.  Or in this situation an awesome book I wouldn't have gotten with out MGT.)
Peter loves this book as well, and ever since it's introduction at least one time a day has requested to read it.  We sit down and start with this book and then read 5 or more after.  It has lent to a good 30+ minutes or more of reading time, all together, which is a new thing in this house.  The most I have been able to manage in the past is maybe one book here and there.  So exciting!  I hope I can maintain this love that Peter has discovered for reading.

The last lesson on Day 4 we did the next day.  I did it with Peter and Grant.  Again Lachlan was not interested, but I still really want to go back to this lesson with him when the moment arises.  We spent some time in our My Little Journal.  First we talked about what we could do to help people by planting seeds.  I started at the planting seeds part.  I had Grant there after all, whose Mom and Dad own and operate a farm or two.  What happens when we plant a seed?  "It grows!" Grant exclaims happily.  What grows?  "A plant."  But what kind? Wheat I suggest.  Do you know you can make bread from wheat?  Grants Mom was still here when we got started and asked him what was in his field?  Of course he has his own field, right?  He couldn't quite come up with the answer so his Mom told him it was Oats.  Oats, you can make oatmeal out of oats.  So when you grow plants, you can grow food!  I kept piecing it all together by explaining that we could help people by giving them the food that we grow. 

So they drew 2 people on the #12 page.  We got out two colors of paint and they gave 6 of one color food to one person and 6 of the other color food to the other.  They used their finger tip in the paint to dab on the paper making the 12 total pieces of food.  I didn't get my camera out until we were done.  There was left over paint so I let them both play a bit longer with the paint and gave them a big piece of paper to finger paint on. 

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