Monday, September 14, 2009

School is in Session!!

Hello, my friends. Summer break is officially over and school has begun here at Rivertree Academy. We completed our first week of school last week and it was blissful. I decided to go with Winter Promise Adventures of the Sea & Sky for the two older boys. It is a themed learning program with a Charlotte Mason approach. They are excited that their history is based on sailing, flight and space travel; and their science focuses on oceans, weather and outer space. For me it it nice to have them show some enthusiasm for learning.

I have been reading a lot about Charlotte Mason's teaching philosophy and am intrigued with the gentle art of learning. One idea I really liked was nature study. I was hoping I could incorporate it into our schooling. Nature cooperated the first day of school. Duchess rescued a cicada from a death grip of a cat out in our yard. She brought the injured creature into the house and we were all able to take a closer look.

We did some research about cicadas and the most interesting fact we found was that they live for 13-17 years. Isn't that amazing? I gave each of the children a clipboard with a piece of drawing paper attached and asked them to draw the bug. We then glued the drawings into their Nature Notebooks ($0.50 composition books from Target).

I asked the girls what they learned about cicadas (implemented narration--another Charlotte Mason approach) and I wrote what they said into their Nature Notebooks:

Maiden's is on the left. She said, "Cicadas lay eggs and sings not that good. They make a hole in a stick and lay eggs in it."

Duchess' is on the right and she had a little more to say, "A cicada sings if it's a male. A female doesn't sing. The mama makes holes in a branch to lay eggs to make babies. It doesn't fly but turns into a flying one after it molts. It lives underground before it can fly."

It was a fun day for us. I am thrilled to be giving our children a Charlotte Mason-style education. I'm sure I'll be telling you more about it in upcoming posts.

I am delighted to be back in the blogosphere. I have missed my blog friends and can't wait to see what's been happening in your lives.



  1. Finally....I have been waiting for you to come back to us!!!!

    The lesson sounds intersting. I am much more of a hands on learner so this would have been a good lesson for me. The space lesson would be harder for me unless you could find me a trip into outer space!

  2. I ordered S&S back in May. I did get everything, but it did take awhile. I ended up getting shipments direct from Amazon and from Christian Book Distributers.

    My advice with WP is to order early in the year. Since the programs involve so many books, there are often back orders.

  3. Well the nature stuff and the general science stuff is right up my alley. You should have a blast with their nature notebooks!! Glad to see you back blogging..I know you are so busy:)

  4. Glad you're back!

    The cicadas are crazy in Kansas. Have your kids listen to the video on this blog-post:

  5. We're doing a Nature study club this year with some other families. We are meeting at the Arboretum once a month to sketch, etc. We are also keeping a nature journal. I think it is so much fun. I am reading the book "A pocket full of Pinecones", have you read it??? I think you would really like it.

  6. I don't think I've ever seen a real cicada before, just their shed skin. Very interesting photo!


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