Unschool was the way human children, like their mammal cousins, learned for millenia. It was not called "unschooling" because the institution of forced education had never been forced upon children until very recently in human history. What is now seen as a new philosophy is not new at all; it is a deliberate attempt to return to nature;s intent, to return children to their natural, organic state of innate passion. ~Laurie A. Couture

Monday, August 6, 2012

first day of kindergarten 8/6/12

With today being the first day of school for public schools, we decided to start today to.  We spent the morning at Shelby Farms Park. First, we stopped by the lake and fed the ducks
We took the opportunity to hang out in the shade and ask the kids a few questions and laugh at the ducks and geese who realized they were missing out on a yummy treat. We were quite sad though that we didn't see any turtles this time but also thankful we didn't see any snakes either.  There is a beautiful lily pond on the other side of the road that we hope to visit when it gets a bit cooler. the kids are hoping to find frogs there.

Topics covered:
  • habitats - water habitats & what animals live there
  • anatomy of a duck - why do ducks have webbed feet? What purposes do their feathers serve?
  • food chain - what ducks eat & who eats the ducks

Then we moved on to the playground where Mara took to the slides and had a snack. Mance took Cory over to the swings where they had talks of pulleys, levers and gravity. After that they headed over to the rope course where I'm told Cory climbed the whole entire course!  Lessons learned there were in agility, gravity, balance and hand/foot-eye coordination. I wish I would have been there to take pics. Oh well, there will be a next time!

As it crept closer to 11am, it got really hot, so we left to go to lunch. On the way out we spotted these guys, which prompted another good discussion.
Topics covered included:
  • habitats - American plains
  • endangered species - American Bison
  • food chain/prey and predators - what bison eat and what eats bison
  • weather - why bison have fur, temps ranges for our climate zone (zone 7)
  • measurements (feet and inches) - how bison and dogs compare in size

On the way to the restaurant we also passed a solar farm. next time we will have to slow down so I can take pics. Here's a recent article about it.  This also prompted great discussion.
  • How the sun makes energy
  • energy conservation - if we conserve energy, we have more $ for other things
  • costs or electricity - the more we use, the more $ it costs. 
Also covered: parts of speech, handwriting

Definitions of the Day:
  1. The natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism.
  2. A particular type of environment regarded as a home for organisms.
Endangered Species:  a species whose numbers are so small that the species is at risk of extinction.
  1. The state or process of a species, family, or larger group being or becoming extinct.
  2. The state or process of ceasing or causing something to cease to exist.
  1. The action of conserving something, in particular.
  2. Preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife.
  1. Of, relating to, or determined by the sun: "solar radiation".
  2. Relating to or denoting energy derived from the sun's rays: "solar heating".
Agility:  the gracefulness of a person or animal that is quick and nimble.
  1. The force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass. For most purposes Newton's...
  2. The degree of intensity of this, measured by acceleration.

All in all it was a great morning, too hot to be at the park, but we all had a great time.  Now they are down for rest time. Maybe we can get some more handwriting done this afternoon; Cory has decided he wants to be penpals with a friend that lives in Nashville.  :)

First Day of School Pics:

Cory, K, 5.5yo

Mara, K4, 3.5yo

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