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Archive for September 9th, 2009

My memories of growing up were full of nature and outdoors. Running around with my younger brother Kenny, all day long we explored the woods and fields on our family’s farm in Wisconsin. Even though we didn’t know the scientific names of the creatures and flora (or even the normal names most of the time), we saw such fascinating things… Our backyard was a huge alfalfa field, so flowers and insects were everywhere. We’d take a walk back in the valley and our 20 dogs and cats would follow, scattering hundreds of little yellow butterflies on the road. Plums and berries and veggies from the garden made delicious treats. Corn silk made little spaghetti “meals” for our pretend play. In the fall acorns and leaves littered the ground, we could make huge leaf piles and I can still smell the old leaves… In the winter we made the HUGEST snow forts! We sledded down big hills where my dad would lay down tracks with his tractor. I loved every minute of it.

While I don’t have any photos from that time of our huge outdoor playground, here’s a few taken last year.

The house we grew up in… Which we’ll be visiting in a few weeks to see Grandma and Grandpa!

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Satori and my dad walking in the fields… All the land you see (and much, much more) was the lands we explored as little kids…

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In this day and age most kids are plugged in to their TVs and computers. We try our best, although we’re going to try harder now to get out and appreciate the outdoors and nature! We moved to the Colorado mountains and have 6 acres of land, bordered by National Forest on one end, and a mountain stream on the other, hiking trails everyewhere… so there’s no excuse.  All spring and summer I’ve been collecting Colorado bird, tree, insect, flower, etc. identification books.

It is a bit overwhelming to want to know what every single natural item is though, so that is my goal to learn together with Satori as she grows up. These four books will assist in that and be the motivation for us to take daily nature walks!

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Handbook of Nature Study  by Anna Botsford Comstock was written way back in 1911, but is just as relevant today. You can read it free online. In fact, there is a blog dedicated to exploring Handbook of Nature Study and has opened up to Outdoor Challenges for everyone!

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I want to be a bit more prepared, so I want to read up a bit, figure out the perfect nature journal for Satori and I, and then I’ll for sure start blogging about our nature studies!

Documenting our experience with RightStart, today we did Lesson 11 which had us pulling out our Geoboard among several other things. The past week we’d been covering things such as “parallel” and “perpendicular” and now I see where that was leading. We made squares on our geoboard today.

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Big squares, little squares, diagonal squares, as long as they had 4 sides the same length.

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A review on numbers 1-10 using our hands, tally sticks and the abacus… Satori can now look at any of these numbers (chunked into 5 plus) and tell me the number without hesitation. It is indeed so much easier to think of things in terms of 5s!

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Here’s our AL Abacus Staircase, where Satori makes numbers 1-10 on the left side, making a pretty staircase design.

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Yesterday we covered writing tally marks, which we’ll need a bit more practice in and I think she’ll get it. We’ve been extending writing tally marks in our other activities.