Friday, April 15, 2011

Environmental differences and how plants grow

Arbor Day was a few days ago, and it provided us with a great chance to learn about trees, their insides, the growth patterns, and what we've got in our own little interior garden here.

Some trees grow very tall and create a canopy of leaves that keep other plants from growing beneath. We can simulate this effect with our Marigolds by putting a paper cup over the plant (with holes in it of course, some sun will get in) which will allow us to see what happens when plants don't get sun as much as others.

Keep a little ruler near by and see what the difference is in growth on a daily basis with your first grader. Watch the plants which get more sun grow with gusto...

Now we can simulate a much more arid environment as well. Set one Marigold aside from the sunny bunch and don't water it as often as its counterparts get watered. This will help your first grader learn about different climates and how certain plants grow with different conditions.

How are those Cherry Tomato's growing? Ready for a planter yet? No? Ok. Let 'em keep growing. That's the hardest part of Tomato's, watching them grow enough to transplant.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Was that a prank I pulled?

So April 1. It's a prank filled day here, one that would not be complete without making up a rather annoying word-search online for my first grader, filling it with tons of letters, and then setting the following directions at the top, which I know she can read.

“Read the directions before you do anything. Write your name and the date at the top of the paper. Read the list of words. Circle any ten individual letters that you want to in the puzzle. Turn over the paper and draw a picture of something you like.”

Now am I being mean to my homeschooled child? I don't know, after all I had this one pulled on me several times in several forms in school – all the way from Elementary to Post Secondary.

This is actually a critical lesson for your first grader to learn, however, and will be helpful later in life too. It decreases the chance of getting yelled at for not reading the fricking manual on a piece of electronics.

Moving on to your growing plants, how are they doing? The Tomato Seedlings won't be big enough to transplant yet, but soon, and you will likely want to find a bigger planter for them before moving them into your upside down planter. Please be careful to minimize shock to them while you do it, as they don't like April Fools as much as other beings on this planet may...