Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It’s Rock Week!

From the very beginning of our homeschooling adventure Ben and I knew that we would sort-of ride the fence on having a curriculum and unschooling. We like to mostly stick to our regular school books, but break from them every so often when the children show a special interest in something. This time it was rocks.
I first noticed the interest in Timothy, he has always been a collector, but lately he has been overly interested in rocks. For example; the other day Maddie put rocks from the driveway in the hubcaps of my van. Yeah…. in the hubcaps. So the next time we left the house there was this terrible noise going down the road! Ben pulled over to have a look and Tim said "Oh yeah! Maddie put wocks in the tires!" Ben looked, and sure enough, a big "wock" had been wedged in there. He fished it out with a stick and jumped back in the car and Tim says "where's the wock? Dad, I need that wock". LOL! He needed that rock. Yes, Ben got back out and gave him his "wock".
And so….this week we will be studying about rocks, minerals, and fossils. At the end of the week we will be having a picnic lunch with all of our friends at a local park for the final rock hunt. Yesterday we went on our first rock hunting adventure here at home. We walked all of our trails and creeks and found lots of good rocks to start out with. Then we went to the book store and bought a couple of books to help us identify the rocks that we found. We had a blast! Some of the rocks we found were slate, coal, and a couple of fossils.
Dad was home for the day after our weekend apart so that made our rock hunt even better. Sometimes I wonder if there is anything more fun than exploring in the woods all day with these little sweeties. Children have such a way of making you see things differently. They can make those old woods we have been exploring for years seem new every time we go out there. Everything is a new adventure!
Tim wanted to find all of the biggest rocks, Molly was looking for the most colorful ones, and Maddie only wanted rocks that were shaped like triangles. LOL! We sure came home with a load of them!
I loved this picture of Tim, I caught him right in the middle of skipping a rock across the creek. I love that look on his face and that stance! All BOY!
If any of you have any favorite videos, websites, or books about rocks and minerals please share! I haven't been able to dig up as much information as I thought I'd be able to. Any little tip would be great!
This is totally off subject but I wanted to tell you all how much fun I have been having browsing through all of the blog followers (it's the feature on the side bar at the very bottom) it's so much fun! You are one talented group of people!


Joy said...

Isn't it great how that happens? I, for one, am thouroughly thankful that Ben's fascination with beetles is done- we read about them in our science book one day and he kept asking questions, so I sent him outside to find some- but then, his "collection" kept showing up in the most unfortunate of places. James got a pretty good laugh at my prissy girl, yucky bug ways yet while being in the throes of proper homeschooling mommy and adventuress. I washed my hands. ALOT.

Stephanie @ My Answered Prayer said...

That's what I think would be so great about homeschooling...being able to get off track and learn about something they love....that's when they learn the most. Love the pics...Looks like a fun place to look for rocks!

We went to the diamond mind here in SW Arkansas this fall and the kids had a great time sifting through the dirt and finding rocks...no diamonds unfortunately :(

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you would enjoy watching The Vision Forum's Raising the Allosaur...about lots of homeschoolers finding a huge fossil.

Anonymous said...

I used to use lesson plans from the mineral institute when I taught about rocks. Here is their website: http://www.mii.org/ I just noticed they have lots of dowloads now, when I used them they mailed many POUNDS of things to me. They sent rock samples and posters and all kinds of things. The boys in my class loved that unit! You should also be able to find lots of books and movies about rocks at your library.


Vanessa {Bloom Right Here!} said...

What fun! Things like that are what make me wish I homeschooled. I just don't know if I could do a good job overall. It is a lot more than just field trips!

Sorry for the long link below, but I don't know how else to do it. It is for Usborne's Rocks and Minerals Spotter's Cards. Fun!


Anonymous said...

Samantha this one really struck a chord since my own son was very interested in ROCKS! I still have some of the fossils he found, we've moved them cross country several times. He's 38 now and a motorcycle racing research bio-chemist so there ya go! He was also interested in astronomy and biology and bikes. Youngest daughter was chemistry - that was HARD for me since I knew 0 and had about 0 interest. Oldest daughter was sewing and reading and history - OK, NOW we're talking!
I did not home school my kids but we were always doing the field trips and 'educational' activities things - whatever they were interested in. And yes, my son learned to sew, too!

For more ROCK info - check out the local geology or rock hound club, most likely it will be a bunch of old men who will be DELIGHTED to tell you and Ben way more than you ever wanted to know about local rocks!
from Sparkle

Louise said...

I've spent a good 15 minutes looking at your blog and you've made some wonderful things.

I must admit I agree with your son, I harbour a secret love of rocks and fossils too - I love going to the beach looking for fossils! My house is full of ammonites! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey there Strangers,

Stumbled across your blog because I have 'Rock Hunting' set up on a google search..... cause I'm a rock hunting fiend.

I can't tell where you live from your blog, otherwise I might know a thing or two about the rocks in your area.

The best starting point for rock hunting on the internet is "Bob's Rock Shop" http://www.rockhounds.com/

I would also recommend locating "Rock & Gem Magazine", or even subscribing. Locating a copy at the newstand can be difficult, but every issue has a four to six page section for kids. You can find information about the magazine on Bob's web page.

Happy hunting!

~ Mister X

little dresses said...

THANK YOU friends!!!

You have all been so helpful! I had no idea there were so many resources out there. I will be ordering the movie "Raising the Allosaur" from Amazon today, the kids will love it.

Sparkle and Mister X, thank you for the rock hound suggestions! Maybe we have a club nearby. We are close enough to Birmingham (AL) that I should be able to find something.

We live in a little old coal mining community (there are still several active mines) so I'm sure there is lots of cool stuff around here, but I just don't know what to look for or where to look! Mister X if you have any suggestions I would LOVE to hear.

We also live on an old road bed that was used as a detour back in the 50's when they paved the main road. There are lots of rocks on the old road.

By the creek we have found TONS of slate, it
is beautiful! The colors are so pretty! It's also full of fossils (of shells and leaves).

Thanks again for all the suggestions! We are having so much fun with this, and I can totally see this lasting for the next few months. I can't wait to see where this adventure takes us!



Jaime said...

Maybe you have already done this since you live in a mining community, but we do too, and we have tried to go gold panning and it is kind of fun to see the different layers, and how they settle differently, it looks like you would have some perfect little cricks for it.

Samantha said...

looks like you had lots of fun...great pics!!