The month of July is here and I am just sitting in amazement at how quickly this year is flying by! Eric is on break from summer school this week so we have just been enjoying having him home and being together. There are days when I wish he was on a normal, gone 9-5, schedule each weekday because the erratic school hours and work hours he is keeping right now make it difficult for me to stick to any sort of a routine and has really just thrown me out of whack. However, I know that this is just a season in our lives and before I know it he WILL be in that regular job and gone most of the day and I will miss him. So I'm trying to just enjoy it for the most part, but of course I still get annoyed sometimes :)
Having said that, I am trying to get back into a routine and the month of July was when I had planned to get started with school for the children. So that is what I am doing. I coordinated with a dear friend of mine, who also homeschools her kids, to put together a sort of informal science camp for the kids during the month of July. Every Tuesday this month we will be getting together for a specific theme with a loose science curriculum based upon that week's theme. We are not trying to do anything extravagant, just simple lessons that are not too structured so that the kids can do what interests them and we don't have to stress out if they aren't interested in a certain activity, they can just play or whatever.
So this week the theme was nature and we headed out to a local park that has some nature trails for some exploration. I put together a few games and activities for the kids and we had a good time with it. It was a fairly warm day but there was a nice breeze and some of the kids didn't want to do all of the things I had planned, but that was okay. I think for the most part we all had a good time and hopefully I introduced some activities that they might one day decide to try out on their own time and maybe they learned a little about how they can explore the world around them. Maybe they didn't... :P I'm okay with that, too.
I have to admit that I was a bit out of my comfort zone, nature not really being my thing, but I think I did a pretty decent job of not letting that show. I do plan to expand on our nature unit at home and that's the main idea here; introduce the unit and then expand upon the ideas throughout the week.
information kiosk at the park
The kids used a binder ring full of paint chip cards to do a nature color match (idea from Frugal Family Fun blog)
The kids split into teams to play Bug Bingo. The girls won the game but the boys found the most bugs.
The river has been higher than usual which made this area especially pretty (and also quite smelly).
We kept seeing these Barn Swallows swooping through the picnic shelter and one of the kids looked up and saw this nest! We could even see the baby birds peeking their heads out and the mama kept coming over to bring them food. It was pretty cool!
Next week's theme is SPACE. Come back and see what we do :)