Monday, May 20, 2013

Adventures in U.S. History Week 12

It was finally the week we've been waiting for…the start of our study of the 50 states!  Miss M has been anticipating this all along and has already memorized the states, their capitals, their shapes, and their locations, thanks mostly to the fun little game Stack the States.

When she's interested in something, there's pretty much no stopping her from learning about it!  We have a large map of the U.S. on the wall in our hallway and she spends a great deal of time looking at it, asking questions about the names of places or the legends on the map.  She's really enjoyed some of our book basket books on the states, but her especial favorite is United Tweets of America: 50 State Birds Their Stories, Their Glories. (affiliate link)

We are learning about the states in the chronological order of when they joined the union.  First was Delaware, aptly nicknamed First State, then Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia.  Next week we'll learn about a few more.

We also got started on our study of birds that's going to span the course of several weeks.  To begin, we went outside and ran and ran and ran.  When Miss M was tired, we looked at Isaiah 40:31.

"Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary."
We discussed what it would be like to fly like an eagle.  Eagles don't need to expend much energy flapping their wings like other birds.  Once they get up, they can soar for a very long time using thermal updrafts.

Then we broke out a pair of binoculars and did some birdwatching!  We have been keeping a list of all the different birds we've seen and identified in our backyard.  We've seen

  • robins
  • blue jays
  • cardinals (a.k.a. redbirds)
  • blackbirds
  • sparrows
  • brown-headed cowbirds
  • ruby-throated hummingbirds
  • orioles
  • turkey vultures
  • hawks and
  • yellow tanagers

among others!  The orioles and blue jays are definitely the kids' favorites!  (And I've been having fun photographing them!)

An oriole robbing our hummingbird feeder.

Two blue jays seeking a juicy meal.

We ended our lessons a day early and spent Friday at Miss M's first spelling bee!  She joined the other 2nd grade homeschoolers and, though she's only 6 1/2, she held her own! By the time she got eliminated, they were spelling 3rd grade words.  She ended up getting 3rd place! (Only 1st and 2nd got recognition in the awards ceremony). Way to go, Miss M!!

On our weekly nature walk, Little Guy caught this pretty little butterfly called a Spring Azure.  The wind was gusting that day, so it didn't rest on him long before it was blown away.

One more week before we take a week off to rest and refresh ourselves before plunging back into our Adventures!

Our adventures from previous weeks:

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