Tuesday, August 21, 2012

first day of school

The plan was to learn about the moon.  But we got more excited about our fall garden!  I love teaching on the fly! It's really one of my favorites because we are all caught up in the moment, excited about what we are doing.

Here Moonpie is making our seed tray with toilet paper tubes.  We cut the base in fours and folded it in, then placed it in an egg crate to help hold it all together.  This is an upgrade over my usual egg carton seedling plan.  The thought is that I can plant these tubes straight in the ground without disturbing the seedling's delicate root system.  I'm not sure that it matters, but these tubes came from 7th Generation toilet paper.  Their tubes are not as thick as standard tp tubes are.  But again, I don't think it really matters.  They will all eventually break down.

We dug some soil up out of the newly turned garden plot.  Buddy filled up our tubes.  This is before we decided that a spoon would do a better job!

Buddy and I planted seeds while Gingersnap helped by bumping our arms with his head continually and scattering seeds all over the deck.

Moonpie worked on labels.

And kitty duty.

After all of the seeds were tucked in, we went inside to start a garden journal.  I quickly made sheets on the computer with lines and space to draw.  While we were journaling the discussion came up about cilantro seeds being coriander.  I pulled out the mortar and pestle so we could make our own coriander. We then compared our dried cilantro and ground coriander from the pantry.

Here is a peek at Moonpie's journaling page.  I have to say that I am super impressed by her writing!  When I asked her how she knew how to use a colon and commas when listing (a skill that we haven't covered yet) she said "I read a LOT mom!".  What a good reminder!  I used to tell my students the more you read, the better you'll write.  Learning is all so holistic!  She pointed this out so clearly to me.

This morning we are going to go out and plant some zinnia seeds in the new garden.  We will journal about it when we get back in.  I keep a garden journal to help me remember what I planted when, how it did, what kind of care I gave it, etc.  Allowing the children to have their very own gardening journals allows them to practice their writing skills in a very real world situation.  It is a twaddle free (to quote Charlotte Mason) approach to writing that they find fulfilling and exciting.


Rosie_Kate said...

I'm super impressed at your journal-teaching (something I'm trying to get into this year) and your ability to make life into school! It's what I aspire to, but I'm so fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants that I can't seem to focus well enough... But I love making life into school as long as I remember to teach while I do!

Rosie_Kate said...

Oh, and I know i've said it before, but I just can't imagine planting a garden right now! My harvest is just finally getting into full swing. I'm waiting for the tomatoes to ripen (our nights have suddenly gotten very cool) and I have beans coming out my ears. Yesterday, I dug carrots, and we ate splitting cabbage for supper. So different!