1/4/09

Our Nature and Science Table


This last week, we took a break from most of our regular homeschooling schedule but we still managed to find time for some fun learning. I decided to try out a couple creative ideas which I had read about and the kids loved both ideas. The first idea is the nature table which I turned into a nature and science table. As you can see from the picture, I spread out our shell collection on a small table with a lamp on it. I placed a magnifying glass and a shell identification book beside the shells. The kids were really interested in the shells for 2-3 days and spent a number of hours interacting with them. Rosa spent a lot of time looking at the shells and other objects around the room with the magnifying glass. She also spent some time looking at the shell book.

Jacob was inspired to create his own shell book. I made a simple blank book for him out of a few sheets of paper stapled together and he sketched out eight different varieties of shells and labeled them. He made a cover for the book out of an old scrap of wallpaper. Next Jacob sorted the shells by size and then by the type of shell. None of these ideas were suggested by me so I was extra happy to get to record in our homeschooling planner that Jacob had covered science, writing, art, and a bit of math all during vacation.

Some other ideas for a nature/science table are rocks, leaves, and other natural items found outside such as moss, lichen, acorns, and pine cones. Don't forget the magnifying glass and an identification book if you have one. You could borrow one from your library if you don't. We are going to do a magnets table in the future. I might also use this idea to get my kids interested in my collection of coins from other countries and my old stamp collection. There are lots of possibilities. I found that putting a collection of items out in an attractive way generated a surprising amount of interest in my children.

5 comments:

CeAnne said...

I LOVE LOVE that idea! I have a sort of counter with items for the boys to play with. Games, puzzles, crayons, books ect. That is a great idea though. And is that an Usborne ID book?! :)

Amy said...

The book is actually a Golden Guide book about Seashores. It was published in 1955 and was my parents book. Older guide books can work just as well as newer ones and they are easy to find cheap at used book sales.

Cfuller said...

Unrelated comment! Thought you might be interested in this sale :)

Scholastic teaching supplies dollar days- I got over $200 worth for $20!

http://shop.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SearchEndecaCmd?Featured%20Shops=Dollar+Days&APP_ID=TS&Ne=764&homeURL=custom&viewParam=CategoryDisplay&N=4294963474&goToView=CategoryDisplayView&CurrFilter=Featured+Shops&catalogId=10002&storeId=10001&langId=-1&Ntk=Product_Shop_Rank&Ntt=50657&esp=tshome/0109/espot1/Ddays

Kris said...

I love the idea...and the spontaneous learning! I can't wait to include this post in the upcoming carnival edition. Thanks for submitting it.

gina said...

This is the kind of learning I value. Deschooling is a tough process (I'm learning) but so worth it when you get moments like this!!