Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Welcome May!

I try to do something special to welcome each month in our homeschool.  Yesterday, we celebrated the start of May with a little maypole dance.  The girls danced with silk scarves around a broom handle while we watched some real maypole dances on YouTube.  This was integrated into our learning...

L copied the first section of Tennyson's poem, "May Queen".  I let her be the May Queen in our little celebration (after we looked at historical photographs and read about the tradition).  She ended up wearing her white dress and flower crown all day.  Her handwriting has improved so much since the beginning of the school year.

Another ritual we try to do at the beginning of every month is to read a chapter in Linnea's Almanac by Cristina Bjork and Lena Anderson.  May's chapter was about pressing flowers, which we're going to do later this week.  We also enjoy reading the poems and looking at the nature illustrations for the current month in The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden.  Last year, we read a book for each month from the Thirteen Moons series by Jean Craighead George.  We're taking a break from the series this year, but plan to restart it next school year, along with some nature / science / journaling activities for each book.

The kids also fill in their own calendars every month.  Surprisingly, the twins, who are starting some 3rd-grade level topics in math, often write their numbers facing the wrong way (they are only 6 and a half, after all).  This is a great exercise for making sure their numbers all face in the correct direction.  We also do typical calendar activities during this time every month, like singing the months-of-the-year song, reciting "Thirty days has September", and discussing any holidays, birthdays, or special events going on this month.  

Besides This May
by Emily Dickinson

Besides this May
We know
There is Another -
How fair
Our Speculations of the Foreigner!

Some know Him whom We knew -
Sweet Wonder -
A Nature be
Where Saints, and our plain going Neighbor
Keep May!

1 comment:

  1. What a clever way to connect children to nature. Flower pressing exercise, cute dresses and encouraging children to write poems. I think I should implement some of the exercises with my students too.


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