Sunday, November 14, 2010

Field Trips are Fun!

With winter in upstate NY making itself ready I have been scrambling for field trips knowing that our travel will be somewhat limited very soon. The great thing about homeschooling has been the freedom for us all to explore local resources and always having a tangible example for our lesson. We have learned in the first couple of months that the outside world is our classroom. Sophia has been able to draw circular conclusions and has knowledge about interconnectedness beyond her years.

During the last week of October we explored the orgins of Halloween and found that it originated with the Celts. I felt that this was the perfect opportunity to speak about our ancestors from these isles and we found an awesome craft called a Parshall which has roots in Pagan Christianity in Ireland. We took a field trip to a local pioneer cemetery with graves dating from as far back as 1812. We did some gravestone rubbings of the Willows and Urns and further discussed our ancestors. This lead to questions about were our ancestors were buried thus furthering this exploration. This whole lesson naturally lead into Dia de los Muertos! We went to the Library and found books on the subject and made and decorated skulls out of FEMO and baked them. We then made a little fall alter with our collected leaves, squash, parshalls and skulls for our ancestors.

The next week we discussed farms and tied in our previous lessons with discussing the professions of her ancestors. We then began to talk about the different types of local farms and and tied this in with our nutrition unit. We then visited a local dairy farm on Friday and had a great time! Last week we had so much fun with family who flew in from Denver and went on another field trip to Albany to the New York Museum. This enabled a lesson about New York State and tied in prior agriculture and Iroquois lessons. We even counted farms on our way down I88!

Next week we will begin our Thanksgiving unit and I have found through Scholastic a really great interactive unit about Plymouth and the Wampanoag tribe. Discussing life and even a live podcast on the 16th. Should be interesting! I'll keep you all posted!!