We love Explore Day! Some of our good homeschool friends joined us for a fun day out at Champoeg State Park. We were studying trees and rivers this week. So, it was a great spot to go and utilize all our senses in learning about God's Creation!
Teacher mommy reading a classic book, "A Tree is Nice":
My favorite part of the day: We went on a nature walk along the river. The children sat on this quiet bench & belted out a few hymns we learned in school (This is My Father's World, for the Beauty of the Earth, How Great is Thou Art). It was so fun to take our 'classroom' outside, not to mention what a blessing it was to be able to sing about our God in the midst of our learning!
Photos taken by Suzanne, mother of our 3 little friends.
MFW has great lists (all books read & approved by Christian curriculum writers of MFW) of suggested books to read along with each unit. It has been very convenient to check out these books from our local libraries, which we visit weekly. Here are the science units we have studied so far.
Bible: 39 Old Testament + 27 New Testament = 66 Books!!
We stacked skinny books to count how many books are in each testaments, and added them together to show how many books are in the entire Bible. "Wow! That's a lot of books!" Ezra loves hands on learning!
Math: Sorting & Classification. Thank you grandma for letting us use your buttons!
After. Well, almost the end.
(It took Ezra over an hour to finish, but he did it!)
Math: Number of the Day. We use Erzsebet's 100 piece puzzle (each piece numbered 1~100 on the back) to tape up the number of the day, one per day. She loves putting her princess puzzle together while reviewing her numbers!
Math: Alphabet Cuisenaire Rods.
Art: First Smiley Face. :) - by our little 23 month old old Ezekiel. (It made me giggle, so I just had to put this up.)
I must say that Bible is my favorite part about our curriculum. I love that we don't just read a verse & discuss it only, but that we get to enjoy so many hands-on activities that help us to gain deeper understanding of His Word!
During the first 2 weeks, we learned about the scroll. We learned many facts- studied what it looked like during the Bible times, how it was made, how it was used, who used it, how it was stored, etc.. We also made our own! Another thing I love about My Father's World is that Bible is integrated in every subject. During writing & reading (phonics) in our 1st weeks, Ezra was to create a scroll using the alphabet sheets connected as one long sheet. It was really fun to create such a realistic & pretty scroll of our own.
We then had him create pottery jars (small versions)- which people used to store scrolls during Bible times. Using the given recipe, we created blue jars- for Ezra, and pink ones- for Erzsebet. I love the symbolism behind the scroll & pottery jars. This project created a perfect opportunity to talk about the jar of clay being us, created by God Himself. The children understood in such a beautiful way how & where we're to store God's Words (scroll)- in our hearts!
We went one step further than what the book instructed... Since we each had made 5+ pottery jars, I had inscribed a scroll fact on each of the mini-scrolls that you see in the photo below. Ezra loved being able to unroll the tiny pieces of paper to read each of the facts, while memorizing them in a fun hands-on way.
We use this book for teaching 1st Grade Art, and it's excellent! We love it. We have been learning about identifying the 5 basic elements of shape. Although it's entitled, "Drawing with Children", it's great for grown ups too. It suggests that the teacher does each drawing activity right along with the child/ren. :) Because my education has always taken the music route, I've never been able to take art classes, which I would have loved..... so, I'm feeling quite excited to learn while teaching!
This book starts with finding out what the student's level is by having him/ her complete these pages:
I love that our curriculum calls for one day a week dedicated to exploring outdoors! I believe this hands-on approach is the best & most fun way of learning about God's nature. For each science unit, we are given several different experiement ideas to complete on our "Explore Day".
Our first unit was entitled "Close to the Ground". We studied worms, slugs & snails, mushroom, moles, and ants. Our first experiment involved going on a nature walk & finding an ant hill, to observe ants' activities & learn about their colony. We also built an earthworm home to bring inside, to observe closely & learn about their behavior, while feeding & taking care of them. Thankfully, our resident science guy (daddy) was availalbe to take over the 'digging for worms' part. We also grew mycelium, a fancy word for mold. Yes, we grew mold on purpose this time. :) We did a few more other experiements, but here are ones that I captured with photos.