It has been a long winter for us– one where I found myself and our homeschool routine stalled. I’ve been in this place before, and knew I needed to pair things down to the basics and find a mini-unit study to focus on. We ended up doing a Rocks and Minerals unit study, and this– along with our morning basket routine, helped breath a little life back into our homeschool routine.
Way back when (I’ve been homeschooling for awhile now) I used to do Morning Time with my children. We had gotten out of that practice, but after reading a post from Pam Barnhill, I was excited to implement this again. So I grabbed a copy of her Spring Morning Basket plans (aff) and started a new routine. The nature study focus for our spring unit was Rocks and Minerals— and ended up being so much fun!
We gathered many books on Rocks and Minerals for our Morning Basket. It is very helpful to have more than one rock identification guide. We used a variety of books to help us set up our own Rock and Mineral collection. Our favorite for younger elementary is My Books of Rocks and Minerals.
To jump-start our rock collection, I purchased a box of rocks from Dancing Bear on Amazon. We were very pleased with the variety and spent several days sorting them and trying to identify them. Included in the box was a color sheet of all the rock names. I made a copy of this sheet, and my kids cut it apart and glued each rock name in an egg carton space. Then we sorted all the rocks to start our formal collection. We’ve been steadily adding to our collection as we find little treasures on nature hikes or museum gift shops. 🙂
My five-year old got his own little paper bag journal. It’s just the right size and has content that is perfect for his attention span and abilities. This printable is available in the Nature Study Printables 2 e-book.
Sometimes when you least expect it, going on a rabbit-trail, doing a unit study, going outside your normal day-to-day routine breathes life into your homeschool. This unit did that for us. We all were learning and exploring together— having a reason to find treasures to add to our collection and our nature display box. It’s been fun for all of us! And it ties in to our painted rock and painted rock hunting hobby too. 🙂
What have been some of your favorite unit studies or books that helped spark an interest in your child or bring an excitement back to your homeschool? I’d love to hear your experiences.