HomeSchool: March 11 - 15

Howdy everyone!

Signs of spring are everywhere and we are enjoying more outdoor time at The Garden School. HomeSchool students gave their bird migration presentations and practiced tracing bird migration flyways on a world map and the class globe. Our champion migrator was Ollie's bird, the arctic tern, which travels up to 25,000 miles each year from its Arctic breeding grounds to Antarctica and back again. We drew birds using colored chalks. We learned how to use a compass, played compass basketball, and followed our compasses on a scavenger hunt through the forest. We took a close look at a goose egg and visited with a tiny turtle and an anole. We ate lunch on Kindy Beach and played in the creek, although the water is still a little cool.

This Tuesday, March 19th, HomeSchool will meet at Gibbs Gardens for a field trip at 9:00am. Gibbs Gardens is located at 1987 Gibbs Drive in Ball Ground, 35 miles and 45 minutes north of The Garden School. We will hike through the daffodils, 20 million daffodils in full bloom this time of the year, and tour the gardens. Gibbs has the largest display of daffodils in the nation. 

Parents should plan to come with us or arrange to have their child ride with another parent. Cost is $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children. Siblings are welcome to join us. No pets are allowed. No food or drinks are allowed except for water bottles. They have an Arbor Cafe in the gardens, and restrooms in two locations.
Please be on time. There may be a line of cars at the entrance when you arrive. Go through the entrance and meet me in the parking lot. Text me when you arrive. We will be at the gardens from 9:00 to 12:00pm. We will not eat lunch as a group. I'll return to the school so I can help with afternoon programs there. I'm not able to transport students in my car that distance. You are welcome to stay at the gardens longer or to head home instead of returning to the school.

On Thursday, March 28th, we'll have our second field the neighborhood behind the school. That's right. We are going to place Watershed Stewardship frog markers on each of the storm drains in the neighborhood, and hang bags of educational materials on doorknobs or mailboxes of the houses along the way. We hope to educate residents that nothing but water should go down the storm drains (no plastic bags, no leaves, no grass clippings, no pet waste, no charcoals from the BBQ grill). Everything that washes into these storm drains finds its way into our Little Noonday Creek and beyond.

Meet me in the neighborhood at 9:00am on the 28th. Students should wear tennis shoes, not rubber boots. To get there, take a right out of the church/school and head north on Canton Road. Take the first right onto Ebenezer Road. Cross the railroad tracks. Take the next right onto Bellair Drive. Turn left onto Debonair Drive. We will meet in that culdysac. We will be marking storm drains from 9:00am to 11:30am. We ask that parents stay for that time. If you have a conflict that day, you may arrange with another HomeSchool parent to transport your child both ways. We will arrive back to the school by 12:00pm in time for recess and lunch.

Ki Kate will be with the students on March 21st. I'm going to Mobile for my niece's wedding.

Quote from a child: "If I was a turtle, I would not want to be a tiny turtle. The crows would be looking at me with dinner on their mind."

Quote from Unknown: "If your ship does't come in, swim out to meet it."

See you amongst the daffodils!

Ki Sonya

From The Week of March 4 - 8:

Hi HomeSchool families!

On Tuesday, we learned about Mardi Gras and celebrated with Mardi Gras coins from different years and mango chocolate chip bread. We learned about Great Blue Herons and met Perdido, the Great Blue Heron puppet. Ki Sonya told us a story about her encounter with a Great Blue Heron and we worked together to build a heron nest, complete with three huge sky blue eggs. We learned about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, which was thought to be extinct before a few were found in the swamps of Louisiana and Arkansas. We drew herons and woodpeckers. We covered the terms extinct, endangered, threatened, and species of special concern.

On Thursday, We celebrated Elsu's 12th birthday. Elsu and her friend Gabby made brownies for everyone. Elsu received a rock (blue geode), a feather (from an emu), a shell (shark eye moon snail), and a treasure (a bracelet made from snake vertebrae). We tied kite string to our painted duck decoys and floated them in the pond to see if we could attract any ducks. We played Hidden Birds, hiding painted Cardinals, Bluebirds, and Goldfinches in the forests for others in the group to find. We discussed camouflage, why female birds are usually mutely colored, and why male birds are so brightly colored. We visited the farm animals and ate our lunches in the sunshine on the beaver marsh pier.

Next Tuesday each student will give their bird migration presentation. I'll have a world map and the class globe. They can use either (or both) to trace their bird's migration path.

On Thursday, we will learn about the bp oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. I had the honor of spending 5 weeks after the spill interviewing oil spill workers, shrimpers and fishermen, restaurant managers, and others who were affected by the spill. I collected samples from the water and beaches, took photos, and kayaked to barrier islands to check on nesting birds. We'll experiment to see which substance works best to clean oiled feathers.

The Garden Girls Girl Scouts will meet Tuesday the 12th, 3:30-5:00pm at the picnic tables. We will learn how to use maps and compasses. Each girl will receive patches for their participation in the following programs: creek cleanup, stargazing, cast iron cooking, tent pitching, cookie baking, bird feeders, leash decorating, and reading to rescued dogs.

Mark your calendars! These are the three dates I'm requesting for our HomeSchool field trips:

Tuesday, March 19th: Hiking through the daffodils at Gibb Gardens

Thursday, March 28th: Storm drain marking in the neighborhood behind the school

Thursday, May 2nd: TELLUS Science Museum and Booth Western Art Museum

I still cannot bend my left thumb, the one I injured when I fell hiking in the snow out west. I'll be going to the hand physical therapist the next three weeks to try to regain flexibility in it. Please add my thumb to your prayers!

Quote from a child:"The minute I saw it, I knew you would say that it was special. It was different from all the other things in nature."
Quote from Gustav Mahler: "The point is to not take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life, and to work unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."

See you down the trail,

Ki Sony