What's so great about a vernal pool? A lot, it turns out. For us, it all started with a picture book. A beautifully illustrated picture book by Kimberly Ridley called The Secret Pool. It's a book that is absolutely packed with information about vernal pools, seasonal ponds that provide a habitat for a variety of … Continue reading Homeschool Nature Study: What’s so Great about a Vernal Pool?
"Mom, look!" She stoops beside a rotting log, her voice loud with excitement. "Look at the way this fungus is growing — it's shaped just like a rose!" We stop in our tracks, all four of us. Even the littlest one bends low to look close. I've been asked before just how it is … Continue reading Charlotte Mason and Richard Louv: Nature Study and the “Powers of Observation” (Thoughts on “Home Education”)
Our feet are noiseless on a trail of packed dust that winds along a tree-covered ridge. We are in Niagara wine country, and the chatter of our three little girls is punctuated by the sounds of bird bangers in the valley below—propane-fired cannons used to ward off hungry avians. Overhead, the constant whirr of sight-seeing … Continue reading This Week in the Woods: Late Summer Wanderings and Back-to-School Ponderings
The forest is bursting with colour and life. My mother has taken the children for the afternoon and I have several, glorious hours to roam the woods, iced coffee in hand and camera dangling from a strap around my neck. I don't always realise when I'm peopled out, but as I meander down the empty … Continue reading This Week in the Woods: The Importance of Alone Time
"Mom, look what I found!" My daughter holds up a roundish, light-coloured nut. "What is it?" "Hmmm." I take the nut from her and peer closely at it. It's smoothness feels cool against the palm of my hand. "It looks like a hickory nut. We'll look it up when we get home, just to be … Continue reading Cultivating Curiosity: How to Encourage Delight-Directed Learning
(A Friday feature that chronicles our nature study adventures.) We kicked off this week by heading over to one of our favourite trails, one that winds through the wetlands. It was late afternoon and the marsh quivered with life. The sun was bright and the air was warm. A tall, white egret fished in the … Continue reading This Week in the Woods (and why I’m sort of quitting science class)
A Friday feature that chronicles our nature study adventures. The setting sun filters through tall trees. Only patches of its light reach the forest floor. My friend and I are softly walking through the forest, scanning the canopy, searching but seeing nothing. A great horned owl lives here. I saw it last week. But this … Continue reading This Week in the Woods: The Search for the Great Horned Owl