EarthSchooling Wrap 2016 (part 2 of 2)

The first part of our EarthSchooling (read part 1 here) mostly involved the youngest littles; but after Big Boy was out of school he joined in the activities. Unfortunately, MM was either away on the days we played or he was on vacation so it was just the littles for a while. 
I must add that having an older friend in our group was a different experience. The children became quite bold and daring. They used bigger words and definitely had more conversations among themselves. But the biggest thing was how their problem-solving skills were magnified in a period of weeks. The benefits of mixed age groups have no limits.

painting from our own homemade watercolor paints

Our Edible Garden
We planted and tended to our garden all summer.  In the picture you will see tomatoes/ kale/ rosemary/ chamomile / beets / zucchini / snap peas / cilantro / strawberries. We used some of our crop for soups, smoothies, and as an addition to our snacks.
The squirrels and other critters had a feast in our backyard. On occasion, I believe the children and I hosted weekly buffets, as we couldn't get our friends NOT to eat our harvest. I think our garden was small enough in size and quantity that we missed anything that was taken. I cannot say how many times the children and I were greeted by half-eaten berries and veggies.  I don't know which animal did that.
...they are at the market
homemade biscuits using herbs from our garden
I like to get sneaky with the children when it comes to  adding veggies in their meals- specifically their smoothies. I wanted to wait to add this recipe as a part of our ES, instead of sharing it in the new foods you child has eaten series.  Have you ever added beets in your smoothies? You must try it! 

Beet-Berry Smoothie
summer tuna bean salad (zucchini & tomatoes) from our garden
Projects & Discussions
We first started talking about our 5 senses and we use them in each season when we read Carl R Sam's book Stranger in the Woods. In fact, it was our first ever book of the month. At that time, there wasn't much discussion as the children were younger. Well, that has all changed.  Look at the children's answers from a discussion about how we use our senses in the summer.
We also learned about living things, like bees, butterflies, how strawberries grow, different types of fungi,  and the importance of watering our plants (among other things).
We loved gardening this year. We planted and brought home (from our nature walks) certain plants to invite bees and butterflies into our garden. See our post about bees here.
We learned about butterflies here.
our nature journals

We picked these flowers on a nature walk and added some yellow to our garden
We grew all sorts of herbs...we dried & used them for soup day & in other meals
Toadstool Hunt

I thought we'd have to wait until autumn to see various types of toadstools, but we were lucky to find some on our walks. 
The most important thing that the children learned was that some toadstools can be eaten, but others that look (almost) the same could make them ill.

We learned the golden rule of nature: Do not pick/touch  any nut, berry, mushroom (or anything at all) unless you are with an adult, and NEVER taste them.

*summer senses activity images (sun, branch, worm) taken from Sanbox Playspace.


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“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”
~ Forest Witcraft

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