Before I let you know what we have been doing in the nature curriculum this week, there is some very big news….it has snowed properly. Big fat fluffy snow that drifts down thickly from heavy grey clouds 🙂 The children raced outside at 0830 straight after breakfast. The twins stayed out there for 2 hours, and the little lady for nearly four hours….only it being lunchtime brought her inside. They are back out there now for a quick hour again before supper time, and to show for it all, I do have an army of 7 snowmen. It’s a good job we have a large garden as I’m sure we’ll acquire more before the winter is out, and I have also gone through a week’s supply of carrots in one day as noses!!!
So this week we are looking at moss. We collected our moss samples yesterday and this afternoon we have been learning about moss, and drawing in our nature journals. There are over 12,500 species of moss, and thought to be nearly more like 14,500! The children have learnt how they collect water (they are a non vascular plant) as they have no roots, and how they reproduce as they are very simple plants and do not flower. With all three worn out and rosy cheeked (and mini man no.1 a little under the weather) I decided that story time should be extra special, and do the well known Swedish thing of having Fika with our stories and poems. Fika is Swedish for a coffee break that’s more about socialising than drinking coffee. And something sweet is also welcome. So, replacing coffee with hot squash, and plating up kanelbulle (cinnamon buns – no day is complete in Sweden without scoffing a few of these, and you can never have too many in your life….apparently!) we settled down on the sofa for stories, with the snow still falling heavily outside. Today’s story was “The Mouse, the Mole, and the Magnificent Moss-Covered House” by C Stirling, and the poem was “All Overgrown By Cunning Moss” by Emily Dickinson. We also dived back into Elsa Beskow’s “Around the Year” book of poems and read “November”. Our little lady then set to trying to write a story about moss, but with writer’s block in full force, and snow calling louder than any writing exercise, I released them all back outside again!! We also made our lovely hungry birds some yummy treats to go on the bird feeder with their usual seed, nuts, and fat balls. We melted some lard, mixed it with bird seed and put it into a half coconut shell to help them keep happy in the snow 🙂
All three should tumble into bed tonight happy, worn out, and very rosy cheeked….and the snowmen should be left in peace for a few hours!!
The Nature Curriculum we use is, “Exploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum”. It is a beautifully written framework, written by Raising Little Shoots, and can be found over at https://raisinglittleshoots.com/ It suggests a topic for the week, and then provides some background information and suggestions for nature journaling and outdoor exploring. It also provides a comprehensive suggested reading list (fiction and non-fiction) for each week, plus a poem and a piece of art to study. There are extensions activity ideas too. We use the topic as the theme for our week, and follow the ideas for our journaling, and one fiction book. What we have been doing from the curriculum can be found on our curriculum overview post. The craft, science, maths, and English ideas we have researched ourselves to fit in with the theme 🙂 This makes a learning a lot more nature based.