Sunflower Study

“Why did Blake say
‘Sunflower weary of time’?
Every time I see them
they seem to say
Now! with a crash
of cymbals!
Very pleased
and positive
and absolutely delighting
in their own round brightness…”

excerpt from Elizabeth Smart’s Blake’s Sunflower

We decided to study Sunflowers ! It’s July now and hot and muggy and perfect for exploring this bright, tall flower! The girls got to each paint them after I read them a story about Van Gogh’s sunflowers. We talked about the colors we saw and the differences in the different varieties I had for them. We opened them up and explored the anatomy of the flowers as well. And then the girls proceeded to play in the flower garden nearby, finding caterpillars and using the sunflower petals as something special for their play. My home school club kids also surprised me with some belated birthday gifts (aren’t those water bottles the coolest?!) and we had sunflower cupcakes!

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Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring!

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Last week marked the end of our home school “winter session”. California is just too green right now to not move into the more “spring related” projects. We decided to head up to the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens and spend some time looking for the things we had studied this winter like mushrooms, evergreens, worms, moss and lichens. I had created a little card to remind them of everything and I also created a paper with a special winter nature hunt : Something they saw, something they heard, something they smelt, something they touched. We also did a little “winter pond” nature study. I made them a little labeled guide, but there wasn’t much to look at this time. We will revisit the pond each season. We had a wonderful time exploring the gardens and then had a fun winter time snowman snack. The girls also got their badges from this winter too. We’re excited to begin the spring session!

Moss Study

These past two weeks have been devoted to all the green that’s been popping up with all this rain California is getting – Moss.  Home school Club has been very busy learning about mosses and lichens. The first week we were home bound because it was a little too wet and rainy. I set up a display of craft mosses and mosses and lichen I had collected. We talked about the different types of moss and how moss grows etc. and then did some sketching and made our own little moss terrariums.
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The following week was much more “in the field”. We spent the morning at one of our favorite parks and went searching for moss and lichen specimens. We read the book Mossy (one of my favorites) and sketched what we found in our Moss sketchbooks. We also made little moss peg doll fairies to bring home with us too with the craft moss I had left over from last week. It was a really nice lesson and I think the kids really enjoyed exploring and learning about mosses and lichens.

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52 Project

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Eloise: We visited my parents house this week and for the first time since I can remember, the “creek” near the house I grew up in was filled with water. As a child, I played in this “creek”, catching tadpoles, finding moss and bugs and just being a kid out in nature. We took Ellie down the rocks and into the creek bed. She explored for quite awhile and it made my heart sing to see her playing in a space that I had once played as a kid.

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Eloise: Every week we have a little nature school with your closest friends. I lead the group. Last week we learned about moss and lichen. We went to one of our favorite parks for exploring and found all sorts of neat specimens. I love watching you learn and explore nature. My budding naturalist!

“The 52 project, a photo once a week, every week in 2017”