Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte Mason’

How to Make a Pop Bottle Bird Feeder

Friday, April 12th, 2013

how-to-make-a-pop-bottle-bird-feeder

This is how to make a pop bottle bird feeder. We made one last night to attract more birds to our yard. For some reason we haven’t seen as many birds ever since we got a cat. But this handy-dandy bird feeder will bring back all those birds that came last time we made this popular feeder, when our boys were in Cub Scouts. These are the supplies you will need:

  • empty pop bottle with lid
  • bird seed mix
  • two wooden spoons (from dollar store)
  • sharp knife or razor blade
  • twine
  • large hook
  • funnel
  • drill (optional)

how-to-make-a-pop-bottle-bird-feeder-2Cut a slit for the wooden spoon, barely big enough to slide the spoon through. Cut a slit on the other side of the bottle, so that the spoon can come out the other side. Do the same with the second spoon, placing it at a right angle so that two birds can eat at the same time.

Fill the bottle with bird seed mix. Now make a hole right above the spoon, about 1/2 inch across, so that some seed will come out onto the spoon. Do the same to the other spoon. My husband said cutting the hole works better with the seeds inside the bottle, because the bottle is more sturdy and won’t collapse when you are trying to cut it.

You can drill two holes in the lid and put some twine through it, tying a knot on the inside so it won’t be seen. Or if you don’t have a drill, just tie the twine around the top of the bottle and hang it up on a hook right outside your window.

“How come the birds aren’t coming yet?” asked my daughter the next morning. She didn’t remember the last time we had a bird feeder. The birds fought over the bird seeds like they were starving, with the squirrels eating all the spilled leftovers.

“They need to find the bird feeder. Once they find it, they’ll come,” I said, trying to reassure her.

“Or maybe it’s because the cat is sitting under it,” I thought to myself…

Spring Scavenger Hunt (free PDF)

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

spring-scavenger-huntWhy not celebrate the coming of spring with a Spring Scavenger Hunt? Go on a fun nature hike and see if you can find the following items. Snap a picture of each item as you find it, and add the pictures to your nature journal. You can add descriptions under the photos, or older students can sketch the items into their journals, using the photos as a guide.

  1. bird nestspring-scavenger-hunt-2
  2. buds on tree branches
  3. daffodils
  4. sapling (young tree)
  5. ducks on a pond or river
  6. caterpillar, cocoon, or butterflyspring-scavenger-hunt-3
  7. new cones on evergreen trees
  8. plants pushing up out of soil
  9. cumulus cloud
  10. tulips
  11. new grass
  12. feathers
  13. crocuses
  14. lichen growing on rocks
  15. dandelionsspring-scavenger-hunt-5
  16. squirrel
  17. egg shells
  18. seeds
  19. hyacinths
  20. bees buzzing around flowers

You can print out a copy of this scavenger hunt here:

Winter Nature Hike Scavenger Hunt (free PDF)

Monday, January 21st, 2013

winter-nature-hike

When the snow is falling softly outside and the children are squealing with delight, why not go on a winter nature hike scavenger hunt? Bundle up the kids along with their snow boots, and go to a nearby trail. A beautiful sunny day is ideal, but even overcast days can be delightful, especially if it’s snowing. Let the children enjoy the snow falling onto their faces. Let them listen to the wind blowing through the trees. Then let them find the following items, and snap a picture of them. At home you can make a scrapbook of your nature hike.

If you have older children and they have nature journals, they can sit (they’ll need waterproof snow pants) and sketch the different items on the list. Later they can add color with colored pencils or watercolors.

winter-nature-hike-scavenger-hunt-3Here are some items that your children can look for:

  1. red berries on trees or bushes
  2. bird flying or perched on a branch
  3. pinecone (find several kinds of cones)
  4. winter-nature-hike-scavenger-hunt-4animal tracks (different kinds)
  5. bare branches on deciduous trees
  6. evergreen tree (several kinds)
  7. large rock (or specific rock like granite)
  8. cumulous or stratus clouds
  9. winter-nature-hike-scavenger-hunt-5frozen pond or puddle
  10. squirrel, deer, or other mammal
  11. a good view (climb a hill or mountain for best views)
  12. fallen tree
  13. thorny bush
  14. leaves-in-snowmoving water (stream, waterfall, or melted snow trickling off a rock)
  15. feather (try identifying what bird it belonged to)
  16. moss (collect different kinds)
  17. evidence of insects (look under fallen logs or rocks)
  18. fallen-logweeds
  19. an icicle
  20. fallen leaves or pine needles

 

You can print out a copy of this scavenger hunt here:

 

Charlotte Mason Online Tools: The Best 3

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

charlotte-mason-online-tools

The three best Charlotte Mason online tools are available for you to enjoy at no cost. Here they are:

  • Ableside Online is a website with a book list for each grade level, based on living books approved by the Charlotte Mason style of teaching.
  • Anna Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study is on the public domain and available to download for free at this site. It is both an encyclopedia and a living book. I love the way she writes in a personal style, completely unlike any other book with nature descriptions. I quote from this book in my homeschool conference workshop Using Journals to Teach Writing.
  • A fun blog with ideas for nature study and notebooking is The Outdoor Hour.

Armed with the best nature study book, a book list for each grade level, and some fun activities to do outdoors, these three Charlotte Mason online sites should help you to homeschool if you enjoy using the Charlotte Mason method.

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