The Nature Box

One of the core components of our curriculum for this next school year is a Charlotte Mason style nature study using The Outdoor Secrets and The Outdoor Secrets Companion.

You can read more about Charlotte Mason style homeschooling and find many great resources for creating a CM based curriclum at Simply Charlotte Mason.

We are really, really excited about it because while we have been doing nature study on our own for a while now, I wanted something to give us a bit of guidance as we look more closely at the world around us.  I grew up in big cities, and we live in a suburban neighborhood so sadly I can’t say I have ever given much thought to nature until a very curious child began asking a WHOLE LOT of questions.

I just finished making a nature box where Alex can store some of the treasures he finds while on his nature walks and he has already found a few leaves, flowers, and even a snake skin to put in the box.  Here’s a little peek at my handy work. (The stone-texture paint was AWESOME!)

Stuart Little Lapbook

I finally got over feeling intimidated by the idea of a lapbook and decided to just take the chance it wouldn’t work out and at least be able to cross it off my list of “homeschooling things to try”.  I happened across this blog called Confessions of a Homeschooler and the more I looked through her site, the more I liked what I saw.  She makes lapbooks look easy-peasy.  I actually took the time to prepare ahead (I’m more of the procrastinator-sort) and what a breeze it turned out to be.  It was the highlight of Alex’s day and now he’s ready to buy all of the rest of them.  Goodness.  I’ve created a lapbooking monster.
Here’s a peek at Alex’ very first lapbook and book report (written by me, dictated by Alex).  Thanks to Erica, I think there will be a few more lapbooks in our future!

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Alex (also known as The Crocodile Hunter Jr. or as he keeps insisting, “Steve” Johnson) took a drive through the safari today, Texas style.  Take a look.
And we did.  As long as hanging out the window to take pictures counts as being in the vehicle.

They are not shy…

But they are seriously cute.

Goats.  A whole entire petting zoo of goats.  Need I say more?

They are adorable.
And they will SO eat your clothes.  And lick you.  
And poop on you if you don’t watch out.  Go ahead.  Ask me how I know this.


That face (above) is for these fish (below)
This one is my favorite of all.  I tried to bring him home with us, but he didn’t fit in the car (though he gave it a honest try).

Zilker Botanical Gardens, Austin

We spent the afternoon walking through the Botanical Gardens in Zilker Park. Alex was hoping to see a lot of “nature” while we were there.  The little snake made the whole visit worth it, but he also saw quite a few different birds, a few squirrels, some baby turtles, several different kinds of butterflies, and of course fish. He’s already planning his next visit.
(see the snake in the middle?)