“The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.”
For the past week or so the kids and I have been easing back into our home school routine. I always find the first week to be the most challenging after we’ve had a short break so I knew that I wanted to make our lessons easy but still engaging. Over the spring we hatched butterflies so I thought it would be a nice, easy transition to continue our life cycle study and talk a little bit more in depth about plant life, specifically flowers. It gave us a chance to still soak up these warm summer days but also fall back into a rhythm that works well for us during the school seasons. I love the freedom of Summer but structure is something I crave so much more now that I have three little ones.
There is a sweet little lavender farm, Long Row Lavender not far from where we live so I thought that would be such a fun place to start our week of wild blooms.We went early in the day and walked up and down the rows of lavender, watching the bees buzz from flower to flower. Luna loved running up and down the rows of purple, most of the day I couldn’t keep up with her! At the farm the kids and I snacked on lavender infused baked goods, enjoyed a rest on the cutest porch swing, and we even took home a few little goodies. It was the perfect little adventure to get us into the groove.
“As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unself- consciously to the soughing of the trees.”
-Valerie Andrews, A Passion for this Earth
Over the course of the week we stopped by a few of our local state parks and studied wildflowers more closely. We discussed pollination, foraging for edibles, and the importance of preserving our wildlife. We went on several walks through preservation areas filled with flowers of all types and enjoyed the sights and sounds of everything around us.
I strongly feel that we do our best learning through experiencing, through walking in nature, through looking up close with our own eyes, through touching with our own hands. It keeps us connected, it keeps us curious. I love throwing our Nature Journals into a back pack and heading out for an adventure at one of our state parks. There is so much to observe and record, we usually have a hard time pulling ourselves away.
When we weren’t out adventuring we were reading a few flower themed books and doing a lot of hands on projects.We had so much fun pressing a few blooms, making sun prints, painting our own wildflower fields, and we even whipped up our own geranium and lavender scented play dough.
Here’s a short list of some of the books and activities we used:
“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others are plain, honest and upright, like the broad faced sunflower and the hollyhock.”
-Henry Ward Beecher We ended the week by visiting a sunflower field not far from us, if you’re local I definitely suggest a visit to Columbia Bottom Conservation Area during the summer months when the field is in bloom. It was quite an experience seeing so many happy yellow flowers in one field, and we weren’t even there during peak bloom time. We are going to be planning a trip next summer so we can really see it in all of it’s glory.
So that was our first week back to school! I cannot wait to dive into our next unit, I feel so much more energized and ready for our lessons now that we’ve ripped the band aid off and jumped in! I’m already busy making lists of activities and topics I want to touch on for the rest of the year.
Are you back to school yet? I’d love to hear what you and your little ones are working on!