Week 13 Nature Curriculum – Christmas Plants

img_0819It was the first day of förskola for the mini men today, their first full day (well, 8am-1pm) and no Mamma there.  So, at 7.55am this morning we all headed up the road to various schools.  It was very strange as since the end of March I have always had at least one child home, and 6 days out of 7 it’s been all three.  So what did I have planned on this momentous few hours of freedom?  A run (which I haven’t been able to do for a long time), a lot of housework (but the fact I didn’t have to act as referee, lego engineer, and glue monitor all at the same time was so nice), and then some cooking!  I did definitely relish the peace and quiet, I won’t lie 🙂  The view on my run was stunning, and I was very cold!  The boys were not ready to leave when I went to collect them, and they stayed another half an hour finishing off what they were engrossed with, which was Hama Beads.  I’ve never seen them concentrate so hard.  The ladies there were in no hurry to turf them out either, despite their time being up, and our little lady knew where I was so was happily just swinging away outside in the playground until I emerged with her brothers.  I’d seen her swinging away during the morning from our kitchen window….she’s pink head to foot in her ski stuff so hard not to miss!

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After I’d managed to collect all three children and got them heading in the same direction, we crossed the road into the woods, for a little potter to collect supplies for our Nature Curriculum topic of the week.  This week it is Christmas plants, and we needed to collect some samples to draw into our nature journals later in the week.  We collected three different types of evergreen pine needles, as well as some fir cones.  We also manged to get some holly, berries, and some ivy.  We are going to add our poinsettia to this as well to draw.  The curriculum suggested heading to a local nursery to look at the plants, but I haven’t discovered one yet, and I am not sure they exist in quite the same way as in the UK.  This is something I need to research before the spring so I can add some colour to our garden.

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We dived into our book of monthly poetry and read December’s as well as reading the poem for the week, “The Holly and the Ivy”.  We looked at the painting Christmas Roses by Claude Monet, which all three thought was lovely, but weren’t impressed that they thought the painting didn’t resemble a real Christmas Rose!  The story for the week was “The Miracle of the First Poinsettia” by Joanne Oppenheim, which is a Mexican Christmas Story.  It was so lovely to feel we are now heading towards Christmas.  The school and förskola too have their star lights hanging in their windows and their candle lights on their window sills.  Our little lady’s class are even allowed to bring a candle in to light every day on their desk!  img_0827



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.

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