We are really wrapping our school year.  I am so thankful I started so early in the summer last year!  We wound up so far ahead that we have really been able to take a relaxed pace this last month as we wrap things up.  I have learned that spring cabin fever, which I get a severe case of every year, has only made it more difficult to focus on teaching school.  And considering how often JR asks to go outside to play, I dare say he is experiencing the same inability to focus!  Thus, the relaxed school day has served us well lately! 

We have, however, been enjoying some different hands-on activities to supplement our school-day.  After a severe windstorm recently, JR discovered a small bird’s nest had fallen from a tree.  It had contained 3 little blue eggs, 2 of which had broken in the fall, but 1 was still in tact.  He was very concerned about the baby bird inside, so he placed the egg gently back into the next, then placed the nest in the highest bush he could reach.  Bless his heart.  It had been so long, there was no chance of momma bird returning, but he watched out for that egg for about 24 hours.  We finally convinced him she wouldn’t return.  So he went out and got the nest and egg, and began studying them both, asking questions as he did.  I saw a prime science lesson in the making, so we began discussing nest-building at length. 

While fiddling with the egg, he accidentally broke it, which allowed him to turn his focus to the nest.  After he asked what nests were made of, I gave the assignment to carefully tear the nest apart, layer by layer, and see for himself. 

As he did so, I pointed out (and made him feel) how soft the inside layer was to help protect and warm the egg.  We carefully removed that layer, and discussed the next, slightly coarser layer. 

Layer by layer, we disected the nest exploring its contents.  I have to admit, I have never actually done this before, so it was pretty fascinating observing the intricacies with which these little creatures can build these natural homes for their babes!

When we finally finished, we had several neat piles from the layers, consisting of things like down feathers, hair, string, leaves, straw, dried grasses, twigs, and so on.  A very interesting experiment that he hope he will remember for a long time.

M is eager to start school at this point.  She will just turn 4 this summer, so I am still trying to decide what I want to do with her, and how involved I want her to schooling to be.  In an effort to give her and A something new to be doing though, I bought a Montessori bead activity to reinforce their learning of patterns, colors, shapes, and fine motor skill development.  This particular one is from Melissa and Doug, and they enjoy it immensely!  Even A, who never sits still will play with this for 1/2 hour at least.

Oh, my love of and passion for homeschooling just increases as time goes on!  I love being able to share these moments with my children.  I look forward to many years of it!