Our last article ended with thoughts on how Michigan summers are perfect for adventures. I stand by that statement as I stand in Lake Michigan thinking about ways to encourage you to jump in and enjoy such adventures with your family.
My family continues our adventure through “Nature Detectives” a summer school / summer camp program from Mother Goose Time. We jumped right into this weeks theme of “Mystery in the Water” and pulled our friends into the deep blue with us. Like always we started with questioning what we knew and what we wondered about, and by weeks end we listed all the new things we learned about. I love how this curriculum can be adapted for all levels. While preschoolers note “we need water to drink,” older students researched “why we can’t drink salt water.” We enjoyed our “Freshwater soup” and explored many math and science concepts measuring water and “puddle jumping.”
We love jumping into bathtubs, pools and lakes, but we hate swimming in “yucky” waters, so discussions of “sorting in water” and water pollution brought us back to last weeks saving the earth issues. Even the weather determines clean water issues when rain-run off brings trash and oils into water-ways. Weather and seasonal explorations were taught through the water cycle and predictions of rain water freezing then thawing then evaporating … We decided we better keep umbrellas in the car as Michigan weather is very unpredictable!
As much as unpredictable weather and water pollution is a concern for us – we were more concerned for our animal friends. In discussion of how water animals and all of the earths animals need water, we had fun playing “would you rather games” and pretending to wash our zoo animals. My boys decided elephants are pretty cool since they can wash themselves, but this led to questions of if they have to… I mean who cares if an elephant is dirty? Since elephants don’t use their hands to eat do they haveta wash their trunks to prevent germs? Germ facts and discussion of what causes them and kills them took us sorta off topic for awhile. Then we got back on topic only for a short while before going back to hand-washing needs after lessons of animal care and of mixing and painting with water.
We could spend much more than one weeks time exploring water. We love the water and feel blessed to have the GREAT LAKES to learn and play in. We love camping on the shores of lake Superior best and usually do so for my son’s birthday. This year we can’t camp where planned since my husband will be busy directing a movie on that date, but we have found ways to camp this summer when requested. Sometimes we even camp randomly in the back yard! The other evening we decided to do just that. One son mentioned we weren’t near a lake – but we almost had one in the tent as a storm came in quickly and we had to clean up camp as we were eating our picnic breakfast. We’ll put it back up soon. We’ll enjoy lakes when we can get to them (it’s only 20mins away!) and the storms when they come here (not enough this summer!).
A nature unit wouldn’t be complete without lessons on how important water is. As one student said “it’s not just about us or even animals… there wouldn’t even be trees!” That’s right ~ there wouldn’t be trees, much less your family tree! Make sure your family tree passes down the importance of protecting nature, protecting our water sources. Make sure your family tree spends time together enjoying those resources. Need ideas for outdoor family adventures? Contact us! Want your children involved in such adventures? Check out Adventure Academy! Wondering how to have such great curriculums for your homeschool, daycare or tutoring center? Get in touch! Adventure Academy and Mi Families are ‘reaching out with resources’ for all families and those who work with families. Have thoughts on other topics you’d like us to cover besides outdoor adventures? Let us know in the comments below. We PIN, we also share ideas and resources on our FACEBOOK page, there’s video content on YOUTUBE, we do the TWEET thing, you can learn more about me (the Director) on LINKEDin… We’re around! And we’d love to keep you posted – if you haven’t already please subscribe up on the right. Thank you!!!!
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