Laura asked. So let me tell you. All this reading is for my co-op class for the coming year. It's a change, though. I'll be teaching middle schoolers! Since we are at a point in the life of our co-op where no one is quite ready for high school biology and since the older kids have all done both biology and anatomy with me, I'm switching gears.
I won't have any of my boys in class this year. In fact, Joel will be the only Pinckney student in co-op... the only Pinckney high schooler left! I know the kids that will be in my class, but not well. I've been warned that I have some strong personalities and some that like to go on bunny trails. Well, I intend to take them on plenty of trails...and we'll probably see a bunny or two.
The class is called Field Biology and Nature Study and it is being developed right now. Our amazing co-op leader, Heidi, asked for syllabi from the teachers by the end of June. Oh, dear. Sorry, Heidi. But she knows I've been working away and have a plan. It's just a matter now of narrowing down what we will do, picking and choosing, and confirming dates for a series of great field opportunities for my kids.
I feel quite privileged to live near several colleges and universities and have already gotten a commitment from a professor who researches barred owls and who will speak to our class. I'm also talking with the folks at the Herp Lab at my alma mater for some spring time herp fun! We have a great local park system that offers a variety of classes/hikes/field trips as well as the Audubon society and their local birding expertise. And that's just a sampling of what's available.
If you're really interested in knowing what I'm doing with this class, I'll send you the overview document. Just leave your email address in the comments.
And now, here's a question. I'm having a hard time finding a good "spine" book for the kids to read. I thought this book might work, but it's a bit too technical at this point for this particular group. It's a great resource and we'll use it, but I'd love it if there was something similar at a little lower (for lack of a better word) level. Any ideas? I do plan to have a class resource library and will be encouraging individual research and reading from the public library, so maybe we don't need a spine book. But if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.
If you want to read a bit more about my thought process as I work on this course, check out this post that I recently contributed to the ChildLight blog.
I would also just like to say a thank you to M-mv (some of you know her), for reminding me that some of the best thinking and planning comes in the idle moments. (do click over and read this short post - it might make the rest of your summer more enjoyable if you're a homeschool planning mom). Honestly, I've probably done more actual "working" on this class on my morning walks than any other time!
And now, after my 6.23 mile walk in which I began noticing more about the pine trees in my neighborhood, I am off to swim a few laps and then soak my tender foot in ice water! I should be able to get some good reading and thinking done!