Embodying the Wild - Homeschool and Preschool
Zak Kozlowski, March 15, 2017
Tuesday Homeschool @ West HillPeople were running through the woods at lightning speeds last Tuesday at homeschool.
It’s fun to embody the spirit of the Red Squirrel. These boisterous, territorial squirrels seem to mimic children at times, too. Aside from running and chattering, we connected with Tamiasciurus hudsonicus in another context: we had the opportunity to meet a dis-embodied red squirrel which was hit by a car. We honored the little squirrel by saving its hide and giving it a proper burial beneath a White Pine. The gift of the pine continued in abundance as we made pitch glue sticks out of pine pitch and charcoal.
Tracks and Trails
We set our feet on new territory this week at Tracks and Trails. There comes a certain point in every season when we have to find out how far we can travel as a whole clan in homeschool day. There are always lands to explore, and there are forest types yet to be seen. This past week was the time for Tracks and Trails. Hiking above clay slopes and around the serpentine bends of Fall Creek, we all saw natural tree specimens and signs of human history that we have not come across before. Examples include the sturdy remains of old foundations of homes and 4 wells that accompanied these settlers’ homes. We found Cottonwood trees larger than any tree at 4-H acres, as well as coyotes scat comprised of deer hair. The final piece of the journey was tiring for some, as they choose to slide down a muddy clay slope on the way back to the bridge.The experiences were worth the long trek!
Ithaca Forest Preschool
This week, excitement grew around one of the most iconic birds in America - The Wild Turkey. Great "theme animals" make for great weeks, so thank you Wild Turkeys out there. Monday we began with a quest to spot, touch, and learn from the Turkey Spirit. A Hen call rang throughout the forest, and the kids had no trouble following their sense to a camouflaged figure. It gave a great lunch story to the kids, by passing it on to Marc, the chief story-teller. Tuesday the kids were gifted "turkey snoods" to wear on their nose. Camouflaging continued, as clay and charcoal were painted with quill pens around the pavilion. The group played hide and seek themselves, and later in the week, they stole "turkey eggs" by playing a version of keeper of the keys. Wednesday, we added rock paint to the mix to finish painting the plaster casts of our own feet!