Thursday, June 9, 2011

Apologia Botany

This summer, we have decided to explore Apologia Botany.  The hubs is a botanist and we thought it would be cool for the girls to be able to knowledgeably discuss work with him.  Also, we love to photograph flowers and plants this time of year and thought it would be a great time to also point things out to the girls or ask them what they remember about botany as we stroll through gardens and fields.  Homeschooling has just become such a natural extension of our life.

We started out last Saturday morning reading about taxonomy.  Then we classified Legos by size, color and shape.  After that, we grabbed one of each shoe in our home and classified them by color, laces or no laces, winter or summer, special occasion or everyday.  By the time we were done, the girls had a good understanding of the concept.
Jason taught the girls a rhyme to help them remember the order of taxonomy:
King Phil came over for good soup.
Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

Jason then showed the girls an ipad app where you can take a photo of a leaf or flower,
and the app will tell you the phyla, class, order, family, genus and species as well as other info about the leaf or flower.

The girls spent the rest of the day playing with our homeschool neighbors.  Sometimes I really think they are MORE socialized now than when they were in school!

After dinner, we went over some more Botany information.  As I watched my husband and girls snuggled on the couch reading Botany, I thought how wonderful this kind of learning is.  Most of the learning I did as a child was formal and a little stressful - I was always wondering what would be on the test, worried the teacher would call on me.  But to learn on the couch, snuggled with your dad, learning becomes something relaxing and fun and a part of your life.  We review Botany when we eat dinner or when Jason gets home from work and tells them about his day.  How much more natural this type of learning is!  There is no pressure, no nerves in getting a question wrong.  In fact, they say we learn more when we make mistakes.  If the girls don't understand something, we have the time to explain it again and again until they get it.

We spent some time over the weekend at a local park learning about Botany.  

When I was in college, I was always taking my books and sitting under a tree to study in nice weather.  I love it!  It was the perfect place to learn about Botany too!

We were learning about moss, and as luck would have it, there was moss ALL OVER where we were sitting.

We also found this cool fungus, which Jason incorporated into our lesson of vascular and nonvascular plants.

We learned about angiosperms and then headed over to the rose garden where we were able to see some pollination:

Jason also taught the girls about hybrid roses (so cool!):

We finished Chapter 1 last night!  I love that our whole family is involved in this and I can't wait to see where this takes our relationship!