Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Using the World as Our Classroom - "cabin sweet cabin"

Once we got to our family cabin (our home base for 1 month), I knew that I wanted to focus on 1 thematic unit and a few individual units based on the interests of my little learners.  

Our BIG focus for the month was “The Hydrologic Cycle” aka “the water cycle”.  What better place to really understand this than in the beautiful mountains dusted with snow.

I printed out these great placemats from, none other than, the USGS.  We walked around Lake George, looking at the lovely backdrop of mountains, streams and the lake to discuss and talk about how the water got there.

Side Note:  The boys were throwing rocks into the lake the WHOLE time during this lesson/discussion.  I found the interesting!  We often tell kids to be still and listen, and sometimes that is appropriate.  But other times, let them "throw rocks in the lake" or kick the rocks in the dirt.  That's how they learn...boys need to be learning by seeing, by hearing and by doing!

When we got back to the cabin, we made a model using clay and rocks in a plastic shoe box.  I cut a hole in the lid and we added a small collider (that was my great cool), along with some ice cubes.

We placed it in the sun and observed...then played...then came back to observe throughout the day!  We saw the ice melting, forming a stream down the mountain, down the rocks to form a lake!

We even left it out over night and THIS happened!!!  They were so excited to touch and feel the ice/snow that had formed over night!

THIS is Child-led learning (and child inspired)

When you have a dinosaur lover that only wants to read about dinosaurs and play with dinosaurs and talk about take him to visit DINOSAURS!

The Dinosaur Resource Center - Woodland Park Colorado

And when you have a 5 year old that is obsessed about anything that can fly.  You make some fun stops like these...

Ft. Garland Colordao

Penny Arcade -Manitou Spring, Colorado

And when you little learner is CRAZY about knowing the time, you buy him a cool watch to start teaching him how to recognize numbers.

Counting with Pinecones was HIS favorite thing to do in the mornings

At-Home Learning

When we were "out there" learning, we were right here.... 

Relaxing and Writing...

Fishing, Climbing, Observing, Listening...

...doing life as a family!

* Side Story - My great grandfather had this cabin built for his family back in 1940.  It's a magical place and means so much to me and my family.  My Mema was "one of the best"!  She was always up for simple, fun and it was always with friends or family.  I "talked" to Mema a lot this trip.  Specifically, when the boys would play the player piano in the front room or when we'd hike up to big rock every morning as a family.  Or when Mason and I made playdough in the same kitchen that her mother once cooked.  

Mema would have LOVED these boys! and they would have loved my Mema!* 

Anything else you'd like to know about our trip?  Or maybe you you have some questions about how we did this and that?

Feel free to leave a comment or email me (

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