Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cheers to the start of a new SCHOOL season!

(Gabe, Quinn, and Tennyson at a park in the town of Westport
ready for their scavenger hunts!  Oct 2011)

A New School Year has begun here at our house!

We started school a bit early this year, in mid-August, hoping that it will give us more flexibility around the holidays.  I always like to be just a little bit ahead, in case things know....AMAZING OCTOBER WEATHER hit!!  I have a homeschool friend who takes "nice days" instead of "snow days" in her homeschool.  When the snowstorms hit, she is hunkered down with her kids doing school while public and private institutions have the day off...but when the weather turns beautiful and their family is itching for some outdoor time--they have the freedom to ditch school lessons for the day and enjoy the sunshine!  I love this philosophy.  I also love to take school outside with us, enjoying God's creation while we learn about life.  That's what we did a few days this week...

The typical October chilly air was nowhere to be found!  Instead, we had a week of temperatures no lower than the mid 70's.  We took advantage of this, fitting in a field trip to the Madison Henry Vilas Zoo, and getting to a local park.  We got to enjoy the Sandhill Cranes who were also visiting the park.  Seems that every fall we see cranes at the park, just in time to wave goodbye to them as they venture to their winter destinations.

sandhill cranes at the park

At the park on this particular day we did a scavenger hunt.  We learned about tallies, and how useful they are for counting quickly by 5's.  I thnk the point really hit home for Gabe, who is very competitive, having an entire sheet full of little hash marks for the number of cars he counted while at the park.  He thought for sure he saw "the most" cars of anyone.  The face he gave me when I announced that we were going to COUNT up those random hash marks was PRICELESS!  He was thinking, "oh man--we have to COUNT these?!?  I thought I was just the winner!!"  I think his total of hash marks for cars ranged above 200!  I helped him circle little groups of took us quite awhile...and then I explained the system of tallies and how much easier it is to count up large quantities if we are organizing them into tallies as we go, counting by 5's and 10's. 

gabe finds an acorn

As I write this, the boys are at a birthday party...a pirate party!  I took their picture as they were ready to leave...and now I am off to pick them up!  Quiet time for momma is over. 

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