Fun at the state park

The cool thing about homeschooling in NY is that once you have completed what you said you would complete, there is such a feeling of freedom! We finished our science curriculum for the year about a month ago. If I were in Alabama, I would move on to the next level. Not because I had to — just because that’s what I did. I finished one thing and moved on to the next. But I wasn’t in the mood to do the next thing. I wanted to take the extra time to just have fun! So we’ve been dabbling in a little nature study. 🙂 (and yes to my fellow Charlotte Mason homeschool moms, I should have been doing that all along — especially in Alabama!)

Last week we took a nature class at a local state park. The teacher was terrific. She did what I have ALWAYS wanted to be able to do. She just walked around the park with the kids for an hour and a half and talked about things she saw that were interesting and things they saw that were interesting. And because she’s a park ranger she knew what everything was! I don’t know about the kids (especially the tween and the teen who were a wee bit bored) but I thought it was great. We’re going to go to everything we can like that for the rest of the school year — because we can!!

Here are a few highlights:

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Sophia shaking a cat tail.

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The “why do we have to be here, I’d rather be playing video games” twins. 🙂 They may not admit it but they had fun, too — especially at the end.

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The park ranger pointing out to the kids the little bits of green beginning to pop through the ground. That’s Novella in the pink and John Elijah in the green.

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Some evergreen we crushed in our fingers (I forgot what it was; I’ll have to take notes next time!) smelled like lemon!

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I think Novella had the best time. She loved that the park ranger was more than happy to answer any question she came up with.

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Look! Spring is coming!

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It’s always fun to play with a big stick. 😉

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It’s also fun to find a bigger stick.

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And haul it out of the woods all by yourself.

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The park ranger told us at the beginning to look for anything green as it was 2 days before St. Patrick’s Day plus near the first day of Spring. Sophia said, “Look Mommy. I found green on my hand.” I think maybe that is marker. 🙂

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Animal tracks by the tree nursery. We can all totally recognize deer tracks now. We should have learned that from Aunt Duanie years ago!

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Lichen on a tree.

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I believe these were the pussy willows. So cool. I’ve heard of them all my life but never knew exactly what they were.

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The kids’ favorite part — playing on the huge piles of dirt next to the golf course.

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All in all, it was a great day. We can’t wait to do it again!

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