PDA

View Full Version : Serendipity - or - there is no need to get fancy when talking about dirt



Snoopy
04-29-2010, 12:59 AM
Today we did school outside, as we have for the past 2 weeks now and loving it.

In science we talked about soil, soil horizons, soil profiles. Hmm, the subject matter was a little dry for Noah until we looked around our table... .

It just so happens that we had torrential downpours on Sunday evening so all of our meager topsoil had washed down our slightly slanted backyard, onto our patio, and landed at the foot of our homeschooling table.

So we were able to observe what topsoil is and how truly thin is is in Florida, talk about how what we has studied about plants preventing erosion was true (our backyard is shady so we have a few weeds but no grass will grow so we have erosion issues every time it rains a lot), what sandy soil is, see erosion and weathering IRL (and further see their effects when we took the dirt road up to the horse farm where Noah has his lessons this afternoon because that road was washed away!).

Next week we will be talking about the bacteria found in soil and quite coincidentally, I found termites in our garden bed today and my research on organic pest control turned up "beneficial nematodes", which are bacteria that live in the soil. I need to order some in order to illustrate next week's lesson (and kill those darn termites!)

Yes, we watched a Brainpop video here (http://www.brainpop.com/science/earthsystem/soil/preview.weml) and found more info about it on Brainpop Jr. (http://www.brainpopjr.com/science/land/soil/grownups.weml) and visited such sites as Discovery Education's The Dirt on Soil site (http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/soil/index.html)and the Field Museum Underground Adventure website (http://www.fieldmuseum.org/undergroundadventure/virtual_tour/index.shtml), but I think Noah will remember more from his own observations in our backyard than from a website, no matter how cool the site.

We even had real clay bricks in our yard so, even though I didn't have any clay soil to show him, I was able to explain that indeed a soil that can be used to make such bricks is NOT a good soil for growing plants.

I just love it when real life totally (and serendipitously) illustrates what we've been talking about without my having to make any type of special effort or planning... gasp! Was I saying that I was happy I hadn't planned something? Eeek, maybe we'll turn into unschoolers sooner than I thought!

What serendipitous event/conditions has/have benefited your homeschooling lately?

Museling
04-29-2010, 09:32 AM
We even had real clay bricks in our yard so, even though I didn't have any clay soil to show him, I was able to explain that indeed a soil that can be used to make such bricks is NOT a good soil for growing plants.

I just love it when real life totally (and serendipitously) illustrates what we've been talking about without my having to make any type of special effort or planning... gasp! Was I saying that I was happy I hadn't planned something? Eeek, maybe we'll turn into unschoolers sooner than I thought!

What serendipitous event/conditions has/have benefited your homeschooling lately?

Tell me about the clay! I've got a meager 3" top soil layer then nothing but clay from there to eternity. Somehow we've managed to escape foundation problems though.

On the way to school we had a decent little geography lesson. My car displays the direction we're going so I was having him predict what left and right would be and also asking him what direction our home was from his school -he got it right too!

Rather quick but fun none the less. It was funny, at one point he was putting the directions together South East was Seast, North West was Worth. Lol, he even asked, "Mommy? Is that why Fort Worth is called that? Because it's North and West?" I told him I didn't know but that we'd check it out when we got home.

Snoopy
04-29-2010, 10:26 AM
Is that why Fort Worth is called that? Because it's North and West?" Oh Denise, this is classic! The things that kids come up with... the world must seem a very strange place. I wish I remembered what I thought of it back then.

Museling
04-29-2010, 10:31 AM
Oh Denise, this is classic! The things that kids come up with... the world must seem a very strange place. I wish I remembered what I thought of it back then.

I know! It reminds me of the old Gallagher routine about his daughter and a restaurant being a 'dinner store'!