First Day Of School

August 1st was our official 'First Day Of School'. We hit this yearly milestone the homeschool way - by not being at home at all. We went to the local Nature Center in town. Of course, it was classified as a *field trip*, so I didn't let it slide away without trying to get some inspired learning in. 

Armed with food and a backpack full of goodies, off we went.
During lunch, we got our first zoology observations with the geese that frequently come up out of the water and walk all over the grounds. My kiddos had a blast throwing them bits of cheese and banana (turns out, these geese wanted nothing to do with bananas) and seeing them come as close as within a foot or two to eat what they just threw down. 

After that, I pulled out our printable journal pages, pre-stapled together for them, and we had a little botany-inspired art. 

Leaf Rubbing

My only mistake was to NOT get some blank paper stapled together for Buddy Boy, thinking he wouldn't be interested in sticking with this project. I am, in fact, still learning. He began to melt down when he realized he did not have any paper, or his box of crayons. 

My heart just puddled when I saw that Hoss brought him over and shared his paper so that Buddy could do his own, and I learned that I underestimate my children.  

We finished there and went inside , where I quickly saw that the 'pink tower' follows us everywhere. 

While we were there, because they have a great balcony overlook, I brought along a couple small parachutes. The kids got a great hands on lesson on the effects of gravity, air, lift, and the difference that weight makes on a parachute. Of course, it was at this point that we were pinned homeschoolers by people we don't know - because, apparently, people don't just carry parachutes with them everywhere ;) .

We were also able to observe a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake eat. Every day they feed a different animal, and on Friday they always feed the big guy. I would have taken pictures, but it was extremely crowded in the small hall where his tank is. Also - interesting facts - diamondback rattlesnakes will not eat when they are nervous. If they hear a lot of noise, they will wait to eat until nighttime. As well, if they make the kill and begin to eat, and then get scared - it can get worse. They will stop eating, and most likely cause themselves to regurgitate, which is very painful. If they do, it can cause them to not desire to eat again, because of the painful events from last time. There you have your snake education for the day :) .

Here is a link if you want to read it in more detail, and share it with your children.  I did NOT want to share pictures - they are disgusting!

We had to end our day by dipping our feet in the water. Rather - THEY dipped their feet - and ankles, and lower legs - in the water. I sat and watched and began to regret my decision for a few minutes, but it's just so hard for a child to resist getting their feet in the sand!

I am still working on making sure that my plans/preparations for this school year are ready, and that is always an ongoing mode for me. I am excited to see where this year takes us. I will be sharing our schedule for the year soon, and try to give a glimpse at our shelves - at this moment, they aren't very attractive, but that's all going to change in the next few days!

I hope you are having a great time preparing/starting your school year!


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