Sunday, June 21, 2009

Homeschooling in the Wilds

Occasionally the younger kids and I decide to pack up the school books and a picnic lunch and spend the day homeschooling out in the woods, on the property where we are building our new house and other buildings. Friday was one of these days.

We've had cool, rainy days where we sat most of the day doing school in the back of the Land Cruiser, only spending a bit of time out of doors (although we did build a fire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows that time), and we've had days which were too hot, and we kept having to move to stay in the shade. On those too-hot days, we're kind of glad to get back home again!

Friday was just about perfect, however. It was mostly cloudy, and not too hot or cool. We took along one of our tents (an easy-to-set-up tent, since my work crew consisted of only Boo and David), and we were glad to have it, as the gnats were bad, and we were able to find some relief from them in the tent.

We wanted to set up the tent in a large level clearing where we will be doing our vegetable gardening in the future - only we couldn't find the clearing! Our property is very large and rough - it's easy to get lost in the woods. Eventually we gave up, and just found a small open spot in the forest. The tent was 8' x 10', and the clearing was just about the same size. Here is the view we enjoyed, as we sat and did schoolwork in the tent:

Here are the hard working students:

After getting through our reading, math, and history, we enjoyed some nature studies:

The goal was collecting and comparing leaf structures, and the pattern of leaves as they grow on the plants. A happy and unexpected event was the inclusion of several bugs on the leaves that were brought into the tent:

Other interesting finds of the day:

Large unknown plant - we had Russell pose with it for scale.

Old twig nest

These bushes with berries are everywhere - but we don't know what they are.

Is this a wild orchid?

Have I mentioned lately that we can't wait to get to live up there?


Jennifer said...

Wild orchids! You know you live in an exotic locale when there are orchids dripping off your trees. The property is lovely; I can see why you are anxious to move out there.

Live Simply Love Strongly said...

Looks like an amazing place to live! I know how you are feeling, we are anxious to move into our new house that we are currently remodeling. We hope to be living there in a month. What about you guys? Any idea when you might be over there?

robin said...

I love nature studies...but our is no where nears as interesting and exciting as your day :)

Leslie said...

How cool, Trish! I love homeschool outside days!

ProntoLessons said...

What a great way to spend a homeschooling lesson!

Pam L. in Md. said...

ORCHIDS!!! I WANT them!!! Can you get a better picture sometime? Maybe I can help you identify it.

My orchids on the window ledge have been blooming almost continuously since -- I don't know -- maybe November??? I cannot believe how long I've had flowers there! Unreal.....

Beth said...

Don't you just love homeschooling?! We used to go hiking or to the museum every chance we got. Sometimes I would feel guilty because we didn't do much "book work" on those days but now looking back I know those were the real learning experiences!
It is a beautiful place God has prepared for you and your sweet family! Love you much!

Theresa in WV said...

That school day will surely be a favorite of your kids!