BR has become interested in the “inconsequential” world around him as the year has progressed. We began they year with a “Yeah, yeah . . . grass, so what!” attitude. It was difficult to encourage him to grasp the wonder of the smallest of items.
The unveiling has brought him to squatting over tiny flies on the beach to see their wings beating the sand to make little fly angles. I could not believe it. He wanted to know why they were staying so close to the sand. Then what were those dimples in the dirt. AV just stepped over him and kept walking. BR was undeterred. He watched. He observed. He was so peaceful. He rose excited and gestured all the way through his observation discussion with me.
Recently BR has become a farmer of a 3 foot by 3 foot box. He bought the fake wood with his own money. He sawed the fake wood for days in my kitchen; its fine powdery sawdust lurking next to the fridge. He and JV worked together to pre-drill screw holes (had to figure it out), screw the pieces together, find the proper spot for the box, fill it with dirt, and go to Hyams for seeds and veggis.
He planted the seeds just as he had seen me do in my garden, and daily, he would check to see if his seeds were sprouting. They did. He rejoiced. He has fretted over the mildew on the squash leaves, pulled weeds, dead headed the marigolds, and generally puttered about his plot of ground.
He decided he needed a new project and it was going to be botany. No questioning him on this. “I love plants,” he declared.
He is working on his own project which we will post when it is complete.
I went and pulled out the Montessori Botany Demonstration Cards. These scientific demonstrations are accompanied by a Montessori Botany Chart illustrating the principal to be observed in the demonstration cards.
I also pulled my AMI botany books (which have three part cards, too), seed packets, and “Who Am I” Botany Cards. I have also begun revising my botany classification cards for a 5 to 6 kingdom approach to science.
Montessori’s approach to Botany is three pronged.
1. Taxonomy – dividing the kingdom into its subset so that the child may be able to understand relationship among living things (or the lack of obvious relationship as the case may be).
2. Nomenclature – the parts of, types of, groups of: plants, leaves, stems, adaptations, roots, flowers, fruit, and seeds. This allows for deeper observation of the natural world to aid in understanding and classification.
3. Physiology – how it works or doesn’t. What systems do plants have and why.
Just as an added note: If you need to pop a seed quickly out of its protective coating, place the seed under a cotton ball that has been soaked in hydrogen peroxide. In about an hour as opposed to 12 hours, the seed coating will be ready to remove. BR needed to see the differences between monocotyledon and dicotyledon seeds. Shazzam.