I had a cruise with class today as I only had one additional student apart from my little ones. Today we looked at the three ages with a focus on the Stone Age, starting with a reading on the topic from Usborne's Little Book of History. We looked at how people hunted and scoured for food and the different food they ate, how they were nomadic and their forms of expression.
Thereafter, the kids grouped pictures of artefacts from the different Ages to see what people made with the most used materials at the different times. I took the opportunity to introduce the Periodic Table and the kids learned the names and symbols for copper, tin and iron.
We then watched mrharrisonwldhist's Paleolithic and Neolithic Stuff on youtube. This was followed by a discussion on interesting facts like how early humans could walk from Eurasia to the Americas with the fallen sea levels and the challenges of prehistoric communal living with the threat of disease and crop failure.
After the break the children painted on clay pieces in connection with the cave drawings we saw in the book and video.
Finally, we had group reading on the Paleolithic era from tpt's The Epochs of History. We took turns reading before reading the last paragraph together. For the last activity, we gave each other words to spell from the passage with words like paleolithic, ritualistic and Cro-Magnon. The children loved it and asked for extra rounds.
We had planned to catch a fish or two to observe today and was ready with a newly bought net and container. Unfortunately, we saw all but one fish, and that got away. We wanted to see if we could heat up a leaf with a magnifying glass, somehow the clouds kept passing by.We scooped up muck from the 'stream' to look at any tiny creatures that might be hiding inside, nothing moved.
I think today we learned that nature's gems choose to reveal themselves to us when they want to and cannot be pried open by force. We learned that patience is a key character of a student of nature, and that we need to pay attention to the little things; the little wiggle, the little air bubbles, the faint sounds in the air...
We also learned to be aware of dangers in nature from the monkey who was eyeing us from the tree and being grateful for kindness of strangers who warned us about him.
Things don't always go as planned like a controlled environment in a lab. However, today God allowed us to share a moment with a toddler who passed by and wanted to join us when we were journaling, to play an unplanned game of reversed words using the coloured transparent board meant to look at the surroundings in a different way and we made leaf-man and girl. We also had a nice surprise of meeting some white-crested laughingtrush.
We lost leaf- man after his boat ride and leaf-girl soon crackled and crushed from the many pokings but we leave with more plans for the next walk and a new appreciation for what could have been and may possibly be.
Don't worry about not knowing the names and facts of the trees or animals you meet along the way. Nature studies is just that; for you to observe and absorb the nature around you and translate what has transcended into your sketches and notes and research at home.
It (hopefully)fills you with awe of how vast life is and create a feeling of wonder about other forms of life around you, that you have a thousand and one questions you want to explore and learn about.
InsyaAllah, it will also lead to a greater appreciation of Allah's creations and how small we are in the vast picture of His plan. A child who loves and lives nature will insyaAllah grow up to be one who will protect and nurture it.
While it may seem 'educational' I would stay away from being too concerned with serving a child with facts and data. It may kill his curiosity and make him feel overwhelmed. It's distracting to have to listen to someone go on and on about every bit of information that could be shared when you are trying to observe and enjoy your surroundings.
Today is the second lesson for October this year. I'm all ready for a holiday, but that will have to wait for now. Still building castles for what I plan to do next year, I should firm things up.
Today, we do Pangaea, as an extension to the Great Lessons done earlier this year and before we learn about the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. I used resources from USGS which had a teaching guide and resources you can use including a pangaea puzzle. The children were more attracted to the dinosaur era creatures and plants than the continents shifting.
The middle of the class is the hardest, so this is usually the part we do hands-on activities, ideally outdoors. Today, we learned how to tie some basic knots like the reef knot and clove hitch. Last week, on our activity on making ancient tools, I noticed the children had difficulty tying their strings on their branches, so I thought this was a nice follow-up.
I had imagined the kids would have an easier time than me, however I overlooked the fact that there is a need to align the pictures in the cards to the children's hand position and that the devil is in the details, such that if there isn't complete focus, you totally get all tied up. I also preferred to demo the knots myself to using youtube.
It was a good start anyway and this would be a good addition to our practical life shelf.
By the time we got back to my place, the children were ready for written work, with some energy released downstairs, and finished our Fundamental Needs of Humans workbook section on food quite easily. We also went through the section on Religion which was their homework from last week and learned more about Buddhism and Christianity. Hinduism was discussed last week as part of our lesson for Deepavaali tomorrow.
Before you know it, it was time for the boys to go home.