Fall Nature Tray and Lots of Questions

Today was all sunny this morning, so we were off on a leaf collecting walk! I have been wanting to dip some leaves in beeswax and today I thought  would be the perfect day! It was! The girls loved picking out the prettiest leaves and walking around our neighborhood. When we got home they glued some of their leaves on paper in different designs while I dipped them in beeswax! They turned out super well and very pretty! They are the perfect addition to our nature tray! I have moved our nature tray into our living room and it is nice to see all the little things that we have picked up on our walks! This is the first time the girls are actually putting things on it! In case you dont know what a nature tray, it basically is a tray that the children (or the teacher) will add natural objects that are either found or collected for observation. The tray sits on a tray and the child is free to observe, clean, match, touch, and just explore what is there. It is a great hands on way for the kids to connect with nature! I love having magnifying glasses available in case there is something that needs to be observed more closely! I know that some other things that I have seen in other nature tray are nature guild books, three part cards, and sometime an aquarium for any little critters that come to visit! I am hoping that as the seasons change we can change the tray too. I would love to see lots of pretty things out from nature accessible for them! My dream is to find an old typeset tray and use it for our things and then sort them by color! I like a beautiful natural rainbow! I think that it is easy for me to forget that nature is everywhere and even a walk around out neighborhood can be a source of natural discovery! Sometimes my girls will find things just playing in our backyard and I love that they are so drawn to nature and can find it everywhere! How do your kids play, explore, and discover nature?

Now the questions I am talking about are all my own! I am really questioning the quality of the work that is being done here. If you have any thoughts on this I would love some input! I really love the great lessons and I love the way everything goes together, but I feel like I am grasping for straws trying to figure this out! Bunny has a lot of interests, and we are learning new things, but I feel like these things are sporadic and disconnected. We talk about electricity, conifer trees, rocks, horses, and now Helen Keller. None of the work is connected and I feel like we should have a longer term project or some way to direct things better. But I really have no idea how to do this without telling her what to do. Plus her inability to read and write well makes it harder to have her work independently. I want to have things all connected, but I feel like we have to move forward with the albums. But I think she loves the album work and I have a hard time figuring out how to give her regular presentation and still have time to do research and still have time for Pup. Poor Pup has been a little left out since I have been so busy with Bunny’s work and she is ready for more, but I just dont have time unless Bunny works more on her own! So what to do? I want to do so much more and I think we are going to need to put in more time, but I also need to keep other things going too like cleaning, cooking, and all the other mommy thing! What do you do? How long do you school and how do you deal with more then one age level? Again, if you have an idea, please share! 🙂 I hope you are all having a great start to the week! I am linking up to Montessori Monday, so be sure to stop by there for more Montessori fun! Happy Schooling!