Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Beginning of One Small Square

I read on another homeschool blog today about a series of books called One Small Square. I ordered One Small Square: Woods today, so I'm not certain about the exact details. But the gist of the series is that you do a nature study taking "one small square" of land (looks to be about 5ft x 5ft maybe?) and observe every little detail within your square. The ground, plants, animals, bugs, the dirt...everything. Children bring a Nature Journal with them to visit the square & note whatever observations they wish.

The books come in all environments: woods, coral reef, backyard, pond, etc.

I ordered the Woods book today for a future CoOp lesson. Apparently the books are very detailed and you don't have to actually make your own "small square" to benefit from the great information in the books. But the idea I got from the other homeschool family was to actually make our own Small Square in the Woods. We'll be visiting our Small Square for our first CoOp that we host in the Fall, and then we'll return to that exact same square (marked with stakes & a bright string) in the Winter, Spring, & Summer to note the changes in our Nature Journals.

We're lucky....there's a little "woods" behind out house that we never put grass in. Reese and I headed back there today to clear out the thorny vines so our friends don't get poked during our Small Square adventures. Tomorrow, Daddy is going back into the woods to clear it out a little more so nobody gets poked.

Here's Reese's picture of Mommy at the entrance of "the woods"....ready to clear out the thorns!

While Mommy hacked away at the horrible vines that went up all the trees, Reese was in his own world. It was so beautiful watching him. He spent half an hour peeling bark of a stick that became an airplane. The rest of the time, he had a story going about a bug, and he had fun hitting trees with other branches. He kept wanting to go farther and farther back into the woods, but I worry about fire ants & snakes, so I asked him to stay nearby where it was somewhat clear ground. He got far enough so he was happy that I couldn't hear him (or at least I faked it), but it wasn't so deep & brushy that I worried about hiding critters!

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