Saturday, September 24, 2011

Busy Time

These next few weeks are shaping up to be totally crazy! The main source of extra stress is that it is my turn to teach for 2 weeks at our elementary co-op, so I'm busy preparing for that on top of my physical science and Latin classes (and of course all the regular homeschooling teaching and grading for 5 people, LOL). And next Saturday is a consignment sale, and the following weekend I have a ladies retreat with my church Friday and Saturday, and then we head up to PA to celebrate Bob's mom's 85th birthday Sunday and Monday! And of course football takes up every evening, plus 2 games on the weekends. I figure if I can just make it through Oct. 11--then things will settle down a little bit.

So I'm teaching 2 lessons on trees for the elementary co-op. I really like trees, and I taught a chapter on them last year in life science, so I already had some ideas. Unfortunately I did not use my summer time wisely and plan everything out then, however, so I've been busy the past week. Tuesday we're going to touch briefly on the different parts of trees, and I'll bring in my tree cross-section slice that Ed L. graciously cut for me last summer. I've gotten quite a bit of use out of that thing! Then we're going to talk about the basics of tree identification using leaves--simple, compound, opposite, alternate, pinnate, palmate, serrated margin, complete margin, lobed, --those sorts of term. I drew 14 leaves (that is what took so much time, LOL) that illustrate those terms, got them copied on to green cardstock, and now I am cutting them all out (for 26 students!) so they can glue them in the appropriate places next to descriptions on white pieces of cardstock, so they have a little tree guide for themselves.

Then, Lord willing, we will take a little field trip the next Tuesday to a local park, where we can hike around and see those 14 leaves on actual trees. Well, only 13--I used the buckeye to illustrate palmately compound leaves, and I haven't seen a buckeye anywhere around here yet! Oh well. This is actually a big prayre request because we have been having quite a bit of rain, especially on Tuesdays of late! The boys and I were laughing ont he way to Rivendell last Tuesday (in the rain). Last year we primarily had nice, sunny days on Tuesdays. The only thing that has changed is that the C family moved to Hawaii, so clearly they took the sun with them. Come back!! LOL!

Back before the co-ops started up, the kids and I went on a hike at this park so I could find a good trail and make sure I knew what trees were on it. It was hot, the girls were whiny, as were some of the boys, and somehow I lost my notes once we got home. Story of my summer! So I knew I needed to go back to make sure of my plan!

This time I was smart, and just Luke and I went on Wednesday! We had a really nice time, and it was great to spend some time with just him. He didn't whine or complain once! We headed up the trail we went on last time, and as we got to the highest point of it, right in the middle of a nice oak/hickory forest, there were several wasps flying around the trail. After evaluating the situation, we decided to turn around and go on a different trail, LOL. No need to be a hero! Luke was understandably skittish because as it turns out, when he was at WSS this summer, as he and the rest of the campers were coming back from rapelling, he stepped onto a yellow jackets' nest, and he got stung several times. The poor kid behind him got stung even more times though. So yeah . . . no need to repeat any stinging opportunities!

We identified all the trees we needed to, but the real stars were the amazing fungi fruiting bodies that had popped up all over the forest with all the rain we've had lately! So big! So many colors! So cool! Here are a couple of examples, but I'm not going to identify them because, well . . . I'm just not that into fungi. And I don't have time to look them up, LOL.

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