Friday, February 22, 2008

Green Hour Challenge - Week One - Ice!

*****We are participating the the Green Hour Challenges being posted by Harmony Art Mom here. These can be for homeschoolers or just folks who want to instill a love and knowledge of nature in their children. I encourage you to participate as well.*****

We ventured out into the snow on Wednesday this week for our Green Hour Challenge. I am not known around this house as being the adventurous snow-mom, so I was quite proud of myself, truth be told. Now, when it's fall, spring, or summer, I would rather be outside, but in the winter I tend to hibernate. But, snow it did and remembering Barb's words, "even if it is really cold and yucky", we put on our boots, buttoned up our coats, and headed out!

The children enjoyed walking in the snow and really noticed the ice and icicles that were covering things as we walked. My middle daughter in particular was enamored by the diamond-like qualities of the ice. Since I just have one officially school-aged person, we mostly spent time observing and chatting, and watching our breath vaporize. ;) I will note that the Water Forms chapter of the Handbook of Nature Study has a small bit about ice and a very simple experiment about placing a jar of water outside in the cold to observe what happens. Maybe we'll try this next week.

Here are some of the quotes that struck me (for future encouragement) in reading the Handbook of Nature Study for this week's assignment:

"Nature study gives the child practical and helpful knowledge."

"Nature study cultivates the child's imagination...cultivat(ing) in him a perception and regard for what is true and the power to express it."

"But more than all, nature study gives the child a sense of companionship with life out-of-doors and an abiding love of nature."

"Out in this, God's beautiful world, there is everything waiting to heal lacerated nerves, to strengthen tired muscles, to please and content the soul that is torn to shreds with duty and care."

"In nature study, any teacher can with honor say, "I do not know"; for perhaps the question is as yet unanswered by the great scientists. But she should not let the lack of knowledge be a wet blanket thrown over her pupils' interest. She should say frankly, "I do not know; let us see if we cannot together find out this mysterious thing."

"But they (the students) never lost confidence in me or in my knowledge; they simply gained respect for the vastness of the unknown."
"If nature study is made a drill, its pedagogic value is lost. When it is properly taught, the child is unconscious of the mental effort or that he is suffering the act of teaching. As soon as nature study becomes a task, it should be dropped. But how could it ever be a task to see that the sky is blue or the dandelion golden or to listen to the oriole in the elm!"

Thanks, Barb for the challenge. We're looking forward to Challenge #2!


beth said...

Oh, I am so excited about this. Thanks for posting. It is one of my goals to do more with nature and this looks like something I can do. My only problem now is that I can't figure out how to subscribe to Barb's blog via Bloglines. Am I missing something? Thanks for sharing!

The 5 Adventurers said...

Good for you Joni! We had a great time sledding the other day on the "hill" by church. But now it's so icy in our yard (front and back) it's treacherous. I love snow, but spring is definitely calling.

Tina said...

Way to go on heading out despite the weather. :o)

BTW, we had some of the thoughts on quotes.

I am really enjoying this.


Ann Kroeker said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post and also pointed me to the carnival host. I was just researching this very topic for a chapter in my new book, so it's very fun to see people using the Green Hour and No Child Left Behind concepts in everyday life. I love the fact that she's using technology (one of the things keeping us inside) to motivate people to get outside and then write about it.

Great stuff.

Today, my daughter took photos of ice clinging to the limbs. They commented on the crunching of the ice under their feet as they crossed the yard. One daughter came in with a green leaf--an oversized ivy that had been protected somewhat in a shade corner of the house. She thought it was a sign of spring.

You've inspired me. I think I'll write about this at my blog.

It's great to see you and read your thoughts on Q.T.'s. Thanks for your comment today.