Last year we followed the seasons with our red bud tree. Prominently center in the classroom bay window, we relished its pink blossoms, small heart-shaped leaves, dangling seeds. We learned so much! It was hard to leave this front yard beauty behind. We’ll always notice its changes. Still, we spent some time on the southern evergreen, the magnolia, just last month. It made us curious. We thought we’d study this tree over the course of the year.
Then, five-year-old noticed the buds followed by the new leaves on the backyard river birch. It’s become her tree. So, we are studying two trees this year! An evergreen magnolia and the backyard river birch.
- We all enjoyed the suggestions for study listed on the notebook page. Who isn’t drawn to the invitation of sitting beneath a tree, listening for the leaves rustling from the wind and tuning an ear to a bird’s call? Besides the fact that it was a beautiful spring morning.
- Five-year-old noticed a spider’s web and was pleased the spider had picked her tree. I shared in our Signs of Spring Outdoor Hour Challenge how she……came running in last week: “Mama! The tree! The tree in the backyard had buds a few days ago – now it has its leaves!” I smiled at the fruits of nature study.
- The spectacular bark is nice and curly, which made it hard to make a rubbing. So, the leaves were better to rub.
That truly is a wonderful feeling. When the children make discoveries, like new leaves on a familiar backyard tree, on their own. Simply because they are in the habit of noticing and enjoying nature study.
The magnolia, near the tennis court at the front of the neighborhood, well, it may look a little greener to us since it’s spring. But we didn’t notice any of the distinctive and fragrant buds yet. We did borrow some of the thick, long leaves to study up close.
Two trees to study for a whole year. (We almost chose the dogwood too. Oh, so many trees, so little time. But, there’s next year). The privilege of watching for changes, noticing a creature home, appreciating beauty.