Friday, February 11, 2011

Winter Tree and Snow

Our selected tree, picture taken by Q
Last week we decided to combine our Outdoor Hour Challenges and have two nature studies in one week.  We neglected to do our nature study the previous week so it all worked out.  We began a winter tree study and a winter weather study.

Ms. Q won rock paper scissors and was the official tree picker.  The only stipulation was that the tree had to be inside the backyard fence.  She chose the tall maple tree that sits to the side of the back door.  It was an interesting choice given that this tree is the one that holds our clothesline, had a birdhouse on it that Ms. Q made, and provides much of the shade we use when playing outside in the summer.  What was interesting is that even though this tree provides all the above uses, Ms. Q and I noted that we really never look at it.  It's just always there.  So this study allowed us the opportunity to really study something that we always look at but rarely ever see. 

For winter weather we studied snow.  The east coast has had more than it's fair share of snow this year.  In New Jersey we received more snow in the first month of this winter than we did in the entire three months of winter last year!  This is of course fun for the kids but I find as I grow older that snow has lost some of it's funness. Now that Little M is big enough to go outside with Ms. Q I don't usually go play in the snow.  Snow has become dangerous roads, closed offices, and higher utility bills.  It means cancelled activities and the possibility of a power outage.  But with a closer look at the snow this week some of that wonder has come back.  We measured the snow fall from the morning and discovered that 5 inches had fallen already that morning.  We filled a measuring cup with snow and waited for it to melt.  Each of us wagered a guess at how much water would be in the cup when the snow melted and we were all surprised.  More than one cup of snow melted down to about 1/2c. of water. Who would have thought?  This is one of the joys of homeschooling - learning together as a family.

5 inches of snow in 2 hours

More than 1 cup of snow
Melted to about 1/2 cup of water

1 comment:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I am so glad you are going to do a tree study! I totally agree that you can have a tree in your own yard and never really pay attention to it until you slow down for a few minutes each season to take it in.

Snow has lost its "funness" for me too. :)

I appreciate you sharing your link with the OHC.