Outdoor Hour Challenge #1

As we have recently begun following the Charlotte Mason model of nature study, I am using the great Outdoor Hour Challenges here, to guide us.

This week’s challenge was to read p.1-8 in the Handbook of Nature Study. I found this site where I could read online. I think I’d like to invest in a hard copy, though, so I can mark it up.

I read the pages, not really out loud to the kids. I kind of summed up for them the purpose of nature study, which we’ve been talking about because we started doing nature walks and using a sketch book several weeks ago.

Then we were to spend 10-15 minutes outside, no matter the weather. Thankfully, the sun came out Tuesday, and the children were able to go out for much longer. I went out for a bit after lunch too to take in the sunshine. We were to talk about what we observed and choose one or two things to explore further.

We discussed the usual fall things, leaves (we’ve got lots of them falling), acorns, lots of mud puddles from the recent rain. But, what we explored further, we actually found inside this week.

You see, Jason carved our pumpkin last week and wanted to roast the seeds. I rinsed them off and put them in a bowl. I thought he would roast them the next day, but two days later they were in the bowl, and they sprouted! We left them to see what would happen, and this week, we have little mini pumpkin plants in a bowl! So, we talked about the seed case and how being in the warm, moist bowl all together had made the little cases split and the plant start to sprout. We’re going to leave them in a the bowl and watch them for a while and then plant them out near the edge of our woods. I’m not sure if it is to cold to have them grow successfully. Perhaps we’ll have to research that next week.

I enjoyed our first challenge, and I think the kids did too. I look forward to completing Challenge #2 next week.

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