Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Father's World--The Letter R (Rocks)

R was a fun week!  One of the biggest reasons it was so fun is that it was one of the few weeks we've had this entire year where none of the kids were sick! 
We learned about rocks and our key words were:
I listen and obey.  I build my life on the Rock.
We sang the songs: 
 "The Wise Man Built his House Upon the Rock"
and "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand"
We watched some science videos online about the various kinds of rocks and how rock is formed.
We consulted our rock and mineral books and talked about which rocks we liked best and why.
Sadly, even though we live in a town where there are tons of rock-climbers and lots of areas to hike, we did not go climbing or hiking!  It just didn't fit in the schedule.  But it's something I hope to incorporate into "R week" next year!

The kids loved every second of finding rocks and sorting them into piles.

Back in September I came across a yard sale where I was able to pick up some neat rocks/petrified shells for mere pocket change because the people who had the yard sale used to have a rock shop that went out of business.  The rocks were labeled, and many are from different countries, and were only 10 cents a piece!  I snatched up a set of them for our 2nd cousins in MN who are also doing MFW and mailed them to them.  A great find!

 My mom's dad, my Grandpa C, was an avid rock hunter.  He passed on his love for rocks to my mom.
So, one afternoon after school, she came and got the kids and took them to her house to look over her rock collection and talk about rocks.

She has petrified fish fossils and petrified wood and shells...

...chunks of fool's gold she found as a child...

....interesting looking rocks (like this finger-shaped one)...

....Wyoming jade.....

....hardened lava from volcanoes...

....tiger's eye rock (made into a heart by my grandpa)....

....and much, much more!  She had TONS of rocks to look over and touch.

I tried to find a local place to buy some polished rocks for the kids, but the few stores I tried didn't carry any.  However, the elderly couple I clean for heard me talking about rocks and gave me a bunch of neat, polished ones for the kids.  Turns out they were avid rock collectors too at one point in their lives!

We traced their favorite rocks on their binder pages and did some worksheets on the letter R. 
Our homeschool table and my dryer collected lots of rocks during rock week!  Jeremiah is just LOVING every minute of this curriculum!  It is definitely the perfect fit for him and I know he will still be enthralled with it even when we go through it again a 2nd time when he is an "official" kindergartner this fall.  He's all about nature and science.  One surprising thing that happened during R week was that Jeremiah started reading!!! 
I hadn't expected to teach him until next year but he started putting sounds together and showing an interest in reading words.  Jer hasn't been very interested in academics and has been a couple of years behind where Ali was at this age regarding the coloring/writing/reading stuff so it took me by surprise!  But I'm finding out that Jeremiah is a very bright little boy, he just learns differently and at his own pace!
He enjoys practicing writing his name, sounding out simple words, and cutting and pasting with simple phonics worksheets.  Someone gave us a Nature Book that contains all kinds of plants, flowers, bugs, critters, etc. on a kids' level and I just knew he would love that book because he loves to look through our animal encyclopedia book that Grammy got us for Christmas.  I hadn't showed it to him yet, but he happened to see it in a pile of books on our homeschool table and his eyes lit up like it was Christmas!  He begged to look at it and carried it off and spent hours browsing through it over the next week!  We'll have to take it on our next hike to the canyon near our town. 
I love my little nature-lovin' guy!

One thing I would like to do in the near future (which corresponds to both our W (water) and R (rocks) lessons) is to take the kids to Yellowstone National Park.  It's not too far away and we haven't been there since Ali was a baby.  There is a free-entrance week coming up later this month so that will be one field trip I hope we get to take!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great week of exploration! We too just finished our MFW's week on Rocks. We didn't have access to all of the fascinating rocks I see pictured in your post but we did end up collecting basketfuls of the odd shaped, gray kind :-). You can see some of the things that we did on my post. http://stayathomeadventures.wordpress.com/
Hope the kids stay healthy for your next week of school.
*Kind of funny, I also have an Ali and a Jeremiah (Rhys Jeremiah)

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