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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The outdoor classroom-Taking advantage of a good thing!

Today is such a beautiful fall day, the leaves are falling, changing colors, there is a breeze in the air that with one breath brings a flood of memories of this time of year, I get the sudden urge to create some new ones. We have missed a few of these beautiful days recently due to my being under the weather, so we are taking advantage of this beautiful day, and I am so thankful that we homeschool and have the freedom to do that.
So how do you get out and enjoy the day, but not skip school. I could just say it’s a field trip day, observe nature day or something, but really we need to do some critical work today so its not an option. So I had Joshua practice his writing, (he is an advanced reader and writer) I had him write a story, and we are all going to act out his story in the woods. That’s fun, will work their imaginations, and he gets practice with his printing, spelling and punctuation.
We will also be practicing his math facts…He is very bright, he memorizes all his math facts in seconds, and even figures out the ones I hadn’t even taught him yet. We are up to the 8’s addition family and he taught himself the 7’s and 8’s all by himself!
This is great! Though I’ve said it before,in my M+M=MM MM Good Math time Learning post, that when it comes to math, kids need to learn word problems, so they learn the math concepts, not just straight memorization. It is critical to understanding math concepts they will learn in the later years. So I am going to have him create word problems and equations using items from the environment (ie: 5 red leaves, + 2 yellow leaves = 7 leaves, or the tree had 5 yellow leaves and 2 red leaves for a total of 7 leaves) who knows what we will come up with, the possibilities are endless.

We are also going to make more of our pinecone bird feeders, and hang them in the trees in the woods for the birds, and the squirrels.

We will finish with our PE lesson and a snack, which goes with today’s lesson, and then head home for naps. These are some awesome ways to utilize the outdoor classroom.Later I will have Joshua work on some workbook work, as "homework". Getting out of the house is not only ONE half of the battle, but its the second half of the battle too, two halfs equals a whole and that makes it 100% of the battle, so I better get moving! (Had to sneak in a little math time fun:))

I would love it if you would share with me how you utilize the outdoors for learning. Send your info and pictures if you have them, to teachableme@gmail.com.

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