Friday, 29 November 2013

About snow

In my last post, I mentioned that I decided to hastily put together a unit study on snow to carry us through the two or three weeks until we decide to pack homeschooling for 2013 away for the year.  This unit is mainly for Jaelyn, as Nicholas is happily writing about birds and is diligently watching his bird feeders for Project FeederWatch.

Jaelyn's reading has simply exploded over the last month or so.  While she's typically done a good job of reading the words in her readers, I was never quite sure if she was reading the library books she cozied up with on the couch or if she was looking at the pictures.  Now I know that she's reading them word for word and understanding them.  She reads to me or to Astrin, and is proud to tell me how many pages she's devoured during her day.

Since this little one loves to read, we started off our unit on snow with the tale of The Snow Queen.  We spent a little bit of time each day for a week doing some sort of activity related to this story...reading it, drawing a picture about something from the story, narrating a summary of the story, writing a poem. 

We're using blank sketch books to compile all of our work.  It's my attempt at a main lesson book used in the Waldorf philosophy.  While I have no idea whether I'm doing it "right" and fully intend to do more research at some point, it serves its purpose for now and Jaelyn is enjoying what she's drawing and writing in her "green" book, as we refer to it here.

I'm looking forward to getting into some learning about snow crystals themselves and how they are formed next week.  We will be reading Snowflake Bentley (a perennial winter favorite here) and looking at some of the pictures he published in Snow Crystals.  We'll be catching our own snowflakes (we're in for a big dump of snow early next week), photographing them and making sketches, making snowflake cutouts to decorate our windows, and creating our own snow crystals inside.  There are also a couple of books kicking around here on snow storms and blizzards that could be an interesting treat.  And of course there are all sorts of chances for building snow forts and snowmen in the fluffy white stuff.  But more on that later - stay tuned!

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