Green Hour Challenge #11: 4 Season Tree Study

We picked……….no let me rephrase that my oldest picked the tree for our tree study. It is the tree the boys are always trying to climb when we go down to our little lake. We picked it this morning and while I took lots of pictures the boys would come and go. They spent their time playing with our neighbors dog through the fence and trying to climb our tree. We have actually “observed” this tree for the past couple of years but not formally studied it. So I am really looking forward to observing it in such a way that I will really learn and be able to introduce in more detail this wonderful part of God’s Creation to our boys. Well, after we picked our tree and took photo’s we had to go run some errands and visit some family. It was late in the afternoon when we went back down there to look again. At this time I was still trying to identify the tree. I felt confident that I had identified it correctly but to make sure I called my neighbor who planted it about 18yrs ago and she did confirm that I had come to the right conclusion. Our tree IS a RED MAPLE. A little later the boys did a leaf rubbing and traced a leaf and I talked a little of what I read about Maple Trees in the HNS. One of the things they thought was just great is how people would get the sap from the tree to make maple Syrup. They wanted to go back down to the tree right then and poke a hole in it and get some “syrup” out and have some pancakes. After that little conversation we studied the leaves just a little bit and I ask them a few questions while they finished their tree leaf art =o) My plan is to go back to our tree tomorrow or the next day and complete the Tree Study print out out that Barb from Heart of Harmony provides (she is the one that creates these Green Hour Challenges). So I will update you as we continue to study our tree! I am very excited about this nature study, thanks again Barb!! God Bless YOU ALL on your own Nature Adventures!!
Here is an awesome link on Red Maples:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Maple
Here is the link to the Heart of Harmony site where you will find a list of these challenges: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/HarmonyArtMom/520635/

Here are a couple of quotes from CM Vol 1 that I wanted to share. I just happen to have read them recently and they really inspired me and that might be why I was even more excited about this Green Hour Challenge.

Nature Knowledge the most important for Young Children.––It would be
well if we all persons in authority, parents and all who act for parents, could
make up our minds that there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early
years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world
they live in. Let them once get touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which
will be a source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists,
each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the

marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.

Mothers and Teachers should know about Nature.––The mother
cannot devote herself too much to this kind of reading, not only that she may
read tit-bits to her children about matters they have come across, but that she
may be able to answer their queries and direct their observations. And not
only the mother, but any woman, who is likely ever (vol 1 pg 65) to spend an
hour or two in the society of children, should make herself mistress of this
sort of information; the children will adore her for knowing what they want to
know, and who knows but she may give its bent for life to some young mind
designed to do great things for the world.


Update: Today 5-2-08 we went out for another Nature outing. This time I headed out without my camera. It was hard but I did it =o) Taking our time we discussed and answered just about all the questions on the Seasonal Tree Study print out that Barb @ Heart of Harmony provides. I didn’t take a measuring tape =o( so I made my oldest wrap his arms around the tree as far as they would reach and I made my youngest fill in the rest of the space. The boys thought this was great =o) I forgot to try to figure out what the measurement would be when we came back in so I will have to do that tomorrow. When we closed our eyes and listened my oldest said he heard the wind and then I heard him say “um feels great”. My youngest said “I hear the leavesis”. We observed out tree from a couple of steps back and then up close but during that time we didn’t see anything “alive” but during the whole time we were out there we saw a small grandaddy long leg, a beetle, an ant, my oldest saw a bird’s nest up high in the tree, a Blue bird fly right beside the tree and two cow birds eating under the tree when we had moved a little bit away. When we “touched” the tree bark these words were used to describe what it felt like: hard, smooth, rough, bumpy and hairy. When we “smelled” the tree my oldest said he couldn’t smell anything. My youngest was busy playing with our neighbors dog and I didn’t smell anything distinctive about a big green leaf, the small red leaf had a little bit of a sweet smell to it and the bark (or tree trunk) just reminded me of being out in the woods. It was nice to take the time to ask these questions and to investigate and find the answer. After all that my oldest sketched the tree to put on our Tree Study worksheet. While the boys went off again to play I got started on a sketch of the tree. What I was reminded of during this Nature study was that my sons are two years apart, my youngest isn’t nearly as interested (should I say for long periods of time) as my oldest, that they like “nature” stuff but not as much as I do and not to hold so tight to your “planned ” study that you miss out on a wonderful opportunity that presents itself that seems to hold your children’s interest just a little more. I will end with saying that this was another successful Green Hour
Challenge!! Thanks again Barb!!
P.S. I’ll share something funny that happened during our Tree Study. We had a pretty good breeze going and one of their papers got loose and the wind picked it up and they had a great time chasing it. So of course this looked like so much fun my other son had to let one of his papers go and chase it. When they caught them they had fun letting the wind push it up against their chest or face. So besides the tree study we had a mini study on wind =o) It’s never a dull moment with our two boys!!
**For a further update see my new post at this link: http://aahnature.blogspot.com/2008/05/one-year-red-maple-tree-study.html **







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