Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nature Day

This week we started what Ellie calls "Mom School". For the past few months we've had a neighborhood co-op preschool, but that is over now. I want to make the most of this year I've got with Ellie before she starts Kindergarten, so I made a simple plan for things we can learn and do together. This is not going to be extravagant in any way, but it helps both of us enjoy the time together when we have a specific thing to do. Plus I want to keep Ellie excited about learning.

Here is our weekly plan:

Monday: Reading /Math (we still read our chapter book every day, this Reading time is for Ellie to learn to read)
Tuesday: Nature/Science
Wednesday: Reading/Art
Friday: Reading/History

For Nature Day, we went to the gardens at Thanksgiving Point. (We splurged and bought a membership to the museum, gardens and farm country. So far it seems more than worth the money!)

Ellie told me she wants to be an "Artist Ballerina Mommy Cook" when she grows up. She took a little notepad and some crayons and would plop down on the path whenever she found a flower she wanted to draw.

There are statues of animals all over the place. We particularly loved this little chipmunk.

In the children's area of the garden, they have blocks and discs of wood made from tree branches for kids to build with. I fell in love with this idea and really want a set for our backyard. If you cut any big branches off your trees let me know and I'll come get them!

This is what Peanut and I did while Ellie played with the blocks.

They also have a secret garden area. I saw this on the map and as Ellie and I were getting closer to it, I started summarizing the story of The Secret Garden. She wanted me to read it to her RIGHT NOW and was very disappointed when I explained (several times) that I didn't have the book with me. The secret garden was perfect. Just like I imagined, especially with these doors:

It was a very fun day and I can't wait to do it again. We were there 3 hours and saw only a tiny portion of the beautiful grounds. Ellie had big plans to go back again the next day, I did persuade her to wait a little bit longer. But, truth be told, I'm looking forward to our next trip just as much as she is. And if Peanut could talk, I'm sure he'd tell us he feels the same way. I am so looking forward to a spring and summer of outdoor time with my sweet children.


Jason suggested that I add some of Ellie's drawings from our outing. Here are my favorites:

This is Ellie's interpretation of one of the bear statues:


  1. That looks like so much fun. I have always wanted to go there. I didn't know they had the Secret Garden. That is one of my favorite books. Looks like a fun day.

  2. Awesome! I need to take my boys there. I love your "Mommy School" plan. Ellie will love it! Are you going to do it all through next year?