My kindergartener doesn't often come home with homework assignments, but I could tell he had something he was excited to complete as soon as he got off the bus early this month. His teacher had assigned a month of homework projects that we were to complete at our own pace and in whatever order we chose. A smiling caterpillar curled around an orange sheet of paper with a different assignment on each of his body segments. Many of those assignments were obviously intended to encourage practice of self care skills like tying shoes or reinforce concepts being taught in the classroom like searching for certain letters within a magazine.
I was thrilled though, that several assignments would allow us time to get outside and explore seasonal changes:
Draw something you like about fall.
Talk about what the weather is like today and draw a picture.
Go outside, find a spider, and watch it.
Take a walk and make a fall collection.
My kids have been doing lots of tree climbing this fall (and we're not the only ones. Check out Barb's Me and My Tree Photo Challenge on Pinterest). Eli was anxious to go on a fall nature walk to collect twigs for a tree house the boy's are building up in their favorite climbing tree. We've been waiting anxiously for the leaves to begin to change here in North Carolina. While on our walk we found some beautiful leaves that had just begun to change. These leaves were still pliable and green along the edges. But inside, near the center-most vein, they had begun to change orange, yellow, and brown. The boys loved to see these mid-process leaves and started collecting them.
We walked, and talked about why leaves change color in the fall, and collected twigs and beautiful fall leaves for our collections. What a wonderful way to spend an evening together after a day of school!