Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Land Preservation Project

I've been a bit backed up on documenting our projects as we go. I "mean to" get around to it but don't. Its not crucial I suppose, but I'm really trying to accurately depict our homeschooling journey and how things are going. Its really me writing as I go for my own personal voyage into what I hope one day will seem like the obvious peaceful journey that has produced happy, well adjusted children. Because frankly every day still seems like a shot in the dark. 

There's really no hiding the fact that I am a bit of a tree-hugger, so a lot of our science currently is "natural science". It seems to be age appropriate and it goes across the lines for all first grade curriculum. One thing I've found difficult about homescholing from a secular perspective is the science. Specifically speaking, I don't like modified science curriculum, and I also don't subject to the idea that children only need to learn natural sciences. It's strictly a personal opinion (Of course everything about homeschooling is personal opinion/preference.) I feel that schooling should be supplemented with religion, not altered by it. Morals, values and maybe even religion are something our children should be learning every moment of every day. Developing a child's character content is the single most important lesson he or she will ever learn. I do want my kids to learn about a variety of things that are age appropriate and finding lessons is a pain. I'm really just making stuff up as I go.

My family has a love for nature and over the years we've discussed many things relating to "Neo-Homesteading". We talk about why its healthier to live more sustainably, how its better for our bodies and how its lower impact for the environment to try to live locally. We frequent pick your own farms and preserve and store our own produce/meat as much as possible. The relation of earth to table I feel is a CRUCIAL lesson, now days especially. In the age of processed, chemically altered, hormonally engineered sterilized food products, the idea of real food seems to be entirely foreign. Although this is a controversial opinion I do feel that theres a fine line between eco-friendly and eco-nazi. "Green" is the new key phrase for a modern day cult following. The PETA generation is pretty much an overwhelming force that I feel thrives on trying to guilt people into being liberal zombies.

Teaching Riley about "environmentalists" has become something thats handled gently per say. For this project I wanted needed to introduce the importance of our impact on our surroundings. It was a lesson on cause and effect. Although Riley specifically has been well educated on chemicals and engineered-preservative packed food, I really don't want him beaten into submission. I don't want to be "that mommy." I don't want to be the nut bag that explains with vigor why my kid thinks toilet paper is evil. I struggle some days more than others but I don't want these lessons to be scare-tactics. I want him to naturally think about his cause and its effect on others and/or his surroundings. I'm a firm believer that I am a free-thinking individual and my children deserve the right to form thoughts and opinions of their own. I do find it to be a beautiful thing when my son says "that has germs" or "this taste better without chemicals" but I'm willing to accept that its normal for kids to like nuclear orange boxed macaroni. Its not a mark upon my success as a mother.

Reading books, looking at pictures and remembering the parks we've visited, and the foods we've eaten is really a great experience to share with the family. It may seem silly but describe an apple tree as a natural resource that may no longer exist if not respected and a kid will relate it to, Wait no more apple juice? That would suck. If a child shakes hands with the farmer that allowed us to pick his fruit it becomes real to them that food does not just magically appear somewhere and that we should not take anything for granted.
Land Preservation Project- 
Reading, we borrowed multiple books from the library. Land preservation, trees and our environment were the general topics of discussion. I was able to find a few worksheets around the net. Some from and some other sources I cant quite remember. Our reading list is constantly growing I keep meaning to update it in my Curriculum tab. (and I will soon) 

Vocabulary words-
Preserve: To protect or keep something in its natural state
environmentalist: A person who believes that land and resources should be preserved.
Pollution: contamination (to make dirty) of water, soil or air by harmful chemicals. Pollution is caused by factories, cars and other sources. 
Atmosphere: chemical gases that surround a planet
Recycling: processing used things into new products to reduce the use of fresh material 
Natural Resources: land or raw materials provided by nature
National Parks: A reserve of protected natural, or semi-natural land owned by the government set aside for animal protection or human recreation.

Tree Facts-
Tree's help make rain
Trees provide oxygen for us to breathe
Tree's can provide food
Trees can be used to make various materials from paper, houses or even medicine. 
Trees provide shelter for animals. 
Tree's provide shade and reduce energy use. 


  1. One of the biggest reason we pulled our daughter from the public school system is because I want her to know who SHE is, not what is popular, or mainstream, or in vogue. She should know what drives her, what is her passionate interests. They may be similar to mine and they may be totally different, but I want her to understand God blessed her with a brain and I want her to know how to use it. I want to raise a leader, not a follower! It sounds like you are the same!

  2. I'm still so amazed at how different public schools are even from when I was a kid. We pay such high taxes for our kids to be shoved off somewhere and told they may not speak or be different.

    I've heard so many stories where kids pee their pants because they're afraid to ask to go to the bathroom (or are told no) and I've heard story after story where the school addresses a parent about insanely trivial things such as "your daughter can not run very well." What do you mean she cant run very well? "she runs kind of funny"... SO WHAT, SHE'S ON THE HONOR ROLL!!!!?

    They are so invasive. And values and policy is a huge PC mess. You cant celebrate Halloween at all but you can force a kid to praise liberal views. I don't have to agree or disagree with them, however they have no right to tell my kid what he SHOULD feel. When I was a kid they embraced the choice of it all. There was no reward for feeling one way or another. We sure didn't learn about Bush or Clinton to the extent the kids are learning about Obama.

  3. Yes, it's sad and scary and I pray that if God decides to bless my daughter with children, He will also show her the way to stay home with them and homeschool because I cannot imagine what it will be like 15 years from now.............