Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Outdoor Hour Challenge #9: One Small Square

“Children should be encouraged to quietly and patiently watch the bee, spider, ant, caterpillar or other wildlife that crosses their path. If this seems dull to them, they just need to watch more closely, because their alert eyes can catch the smallest ways of insects in ways that grown-ups can’t without magnifiers.”
Charlotte Mason, Home Education, volume 1, Outdoor Life, page 57 We began our "One Small Square-Backyard" project by roping off a square in our backyard. After reading the introduction to the book by Donald Silver, we decided to measured off one 2-foot square. Their first task was to see how many different things they could find in the square.
We lifted up leaves to see what was underneath. We collected some of our finds to bring inside and draw for our Nature Notebooks.


Part II: Up Above

The second part of our one small square was to look at what was in the air and sky above the one small square. They noticed that a branch of the nearby peach tree fell in this square. They also found a spider web in that nook of branches. Then we looked closely at the ground and noticed that the ground cover plants had grown taller and in fact, we had some trouble finding the string that made up the square. They also found lots of ants and other small insects and things like fallen apples and seeds.

They recorded their observations in their nature notebooks.

Part III:
“Besides appreciating the world, observing nature develops other mental powers-ability to focus, to tell things apart, to patiently seek answers.
These things are useful in every facet of life.”
-Charlotte Mason, Home Education in Modern English, volume 1 page 61




The third part of our study of our One Small Square, involved looking at what was below the surface of our square. We took trowels to help us. They found some insects...some we knew like black ants, and some we didn't know the name of like a small black beetle with a red head. They also dug up earthworms and lots of decaying matter such as old leaves, dried apples and peach seeds.

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