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15 August 2009

How We Do It

Question from Trish:

Question for you. On the Nature Hour blog on her sidebar where it has all the lessons or challenges. Do you print these out each time you use them or do you just follow what she says on her blog? Basically, I'm asking exactly how are you doing it? And to what degree?


Most of the Outdoor Hour challenges are geared for older kids than my Monkey, so we end up modifying them quite a bit, and many of them we're waiting to do until he's ready for more formalized "school" activities. I've done some of them myself, and Monkey and I have done some of them together.

The first several challenges are easy to adapt for the young participant. We did the "Using Your Words" challenge over the period of several trips outside. This mostly consisted of me being aware of what Monkey was interested in and feeding him words to describe what he was playing with or looking at. We did this in the Spring of 2008, and it's developed since then into an awareness of things outside. My desire to be able to tell him about things outside has lead me to work on my own knowledge so that I have the ability to tell him about what we're seeing.

Looking through her list, I think there are some more that we could try, now that Monkey is a little bigger: the Magnifying Lens, and the Picnic, both of which could be done over a period of time, rather than just once.

Looking at all those beautiful notebook pages I wanted to do something similar, but Monkey's too little to do that kind of thing yet. So we got him a photo album - just one of the ones with pockets that you slip the pictures into. And when we're out if we notice something I will often be taking pictures anyway, so I'll say, do you want to put this into your nature book? And he's starting to ask me to take pictures of things, rocks mostly, that he wants in his book, so I'm feeling like it's working. The other cool thing is that he's starting to point out clouds and flowers and bugs and feathers and things that catch his eye. His powers of observation are really quite good! I often feel like I have to work hard to keep up with him sometimes.

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