Our Homeschool Year Takes Flight Today


Today is our first day of school and I couldn’t be more excited.  No, I did not suffer another concussion; I just did a lot of planning and training this summer.  My planning started all the way back in June with Sheila & the now famous Jean Miller.  This made such a difference knowing I had a definitive plan completed before the month of July.  Next, Sheila & I packed our bags and headed off for our Annual Teacher Training with Barbara Dewey at Taproot (this was the icing on the cake for me).  I came home re-energized and ready to put the final touches on our year!

I decided to begin with Alison Manzer’s bird block recently posted on “Sure as the World”.  In June I chose this block to start with because our daughter Sophia is fascinated with birds and we are blessed to live in area where birds are abundant (that’s an understatement).  Logan was not as excited to start his year off studying birds until a family of Cardinals took up residence in the bush outside his bedroom window (the universe always provides).  We all have been watching and waiting for the little ones to take their first flight!

Here is our plan for the next four weeks.

Week 1:  Read The Boy Who Drew Birds by Jacqueline Davies

Read about some of our favorite birds in The Watercolors of The Birds of America by John James Audubon.  This is where I plan to incorporate our weekly artistic expression; each of us will choose a bird from the book and use the medium we are most comfortable with to create our own painting, drawing etc.

Week 2:  Read Albert by Donna Joe Napoli.  This lovely book about Cardinals seemed the obvious chose considering our new residents.

We also plan to do a lot of bird watching this week, documenting all the birds we come in contact with. My hope is to use this book all year to track the types of birds we meet each season. Here is a great book if you live on the east coast Birds of Eastern North America by Paul Sterry & Brian E. Small. If your children are younger you can use Children’s Guide to Birds by Simon & Schuster.

We will be making our own bird feeders this week using pinecones, birdseed & peanut butter.

Week 3: Read Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

We have several different types of owls in our woods, we plan is to use the owl calls on The Cornell Ornithology website to call several different types of owl species.  This summer we have had a ton of success calling The Great Horned Owl, looking forward to hearing who replies.

This week we will be doing wet on wet painting of The Great Horned Owl.

Week 4: Read Angelo by David Macaulay since the story takes place in Rome it is the perfect segway into Logan’s next block on Rome. Don’t you just love when that happens?

Sophia will be moving on to Habitats for her next block so this week our project will be for each of us to create a bird nest from items we find in the yard.

I am so glad that Alison provided me with such a great jumping off point to create my own block on birds. I hope this inspires some of you took take the leap and create your own bird block.

Have a wonderful week everyone:)

16 thoughts on “Our Homeschool Year Takes Flight Today

  1. Blessings on your first day! Alison’s bird block ideas are so great — and I love the serendipity of the cardinals nest, and the Angelo book leading into your history block on Rome!

    One of my favorite bird books is Birds, Nests and Eggs by Mel Boring. Very simple double-page spread for each bird, 15 in all, and some project ideas.

    Another all-time favorite at our house, and a book that could lead into Sophia’s Habitat block, is Animal Architecture by Jennifer Dewey — beautiful b&w drawings. It has a section on birds too.

    Hugs as you take flight!

  2. Andrea, This so warmed my heart _ I LOVED how you took my suggestions and made your own UNIQUE plan… love the art ideas. Making your own bird’s nest is so cool. You guys might want to look at Macaulay’s book Rome Antics – it follows a bird zipping and zagging through the streets of Rome and passing by some pretty famous landmarks. Love to you and have a blast this week!

  3. Pingback: Let the Homeschooling Begin! | Waldorf Salad and Cottage Fries

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