Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Dissecting a Flower
Despite all of their galavanting far from home last week, the boys still spent some time around the house. The boys didn't need spring break but *I* sure did. I was really hoping that we would just relax, play, and spend time outdoors. I really really wanted to take some time off from homeschooling for just one week. But then there is that cheerful, chirpy voice that is Kal-El:
"Mom! What can we learn today!"
"Mom! Do some math with me!"
"Mom! I want to learn something right now!"
"Mom! Can you show me something new about nature that I haven't known before?"
"Mom! I really want to science something today!"
"Mom! If I catch a chipmunk can we dissect it?" NO!
"Mom! Why haven't we done anything in the school room this week?"
"Mom! Why aren't there any new things in my Asia box?"
"Mom! I'm really sad we haven't done any school this week."
At one point I was sitting on the couch with my husband and Kal-El was peeking his head through the patio doors from outside every few minutes asking me if I was ready to come out and teach him something new yet. I sighed and turned to my husband and said, "I am really not in the mood to come up with some supermom nature project right this minute." But, I'm such a sucker. A few minutes later I popped over to the computer and printed out a couple of botany pages from the Keys of the Universe biology album (thank you for coming to my rescue Jessica!).
I think I'm starting to better understand the purpose of the Montessori culture albums. When you look at them all at once it is super overwhelming and you sometimes wonder "how am I supposed to know what to do when?" I think the answer might be that "you don't." You just have to be very familiar what is in them and be prepared to spring! In this case it was Kal-El's urge to dissect something combined with his interest in what is happening in our yard now that it is spring that led me to the perfect lesson for him.
I told him the "story of the flower" and we dissected a few flowers from our garden. They learned about the purpose and parts of a flower. Now their interest is piqued and they are chomping at the bit to learn more botany. I will be pulling together elements from both my elementary and primary albums in order to meet the needs of both boys together.
If you look closely at that picture, you will see that Kal-El has a "pet" roly-poly on his hand (the one resting on the table). Check out that daffodil! Last fall I planted about 100 bulbs. I am really excited about these "double" daffodils. They look more like peonies to me that daffodils. Me Too dissected a tulip. It worked out well that Kal-El did the double-daffodil because with ten times the petals it slowed him down enough that both boys finished removing the corolla of the flower at about the same time.
Me Too's tulip provided really nice, distinct examples for the parts of the pistil and stamen. They both got pollen all over their hands and gleefully ran around the yard "pollinating" other plants like the insects in the story. They thought it was interesting that the daffodil had yellow pollen and tulip had black pollen. They asked for the microscope and it was really interesting to look at the stamen as well as cross-sections of the stem.
Kal-El immediately wanted to go get another daffodil and dissect that one too. However, I appealed to reason explaining that we want SOME flowers left to enjoy in the garden!
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