Monday, August 25, 2008

First Teaching Challenge of the Year!

As I jump back into the teaching my kids, I have realized that there is one topic that's incredibly hard to teach.

Calculus? Ancient Sumeria? Alliteration? Chemistry? No, not those.

Teaching the seasons of the year is next to impossible where I live!

Here in Northern CA, the seasons don't change all that much. Sure, our days are shorter in the winter, and it's about ten degrees colder then. But other than that? The weather stays pretty much the same all the time: foggy, sometimes misty with an occassional nice, sunny day. Summer time? 55 - 65 degrees. Wintertime? 45-55 degrees.

To add insult to injury, we have mostly evergreen trees here. They don't shed their needles. They don't even have leaves per se - you know, the things that turn yellow, orange and red and fall off in fall (hint, hint)?

For the third time I am trying to explain the seasons of the year to a four year old, with no real objective reality to show her that they really exist. My big kids took forever to understand the seasons. Even my middle child will occasionally ask me tentatively, "Are we still in summer?"

You can't tell by looking outside!

All those books for kindergardeners that detail how spring is full of flowers and buds (we have flowers year round), summer is sunny and hot (not here!), during fall the leaves drop off trees (not here!) and winter brings snow (ahem....). You get the picture.

We ain't got no seasons here. (Not that I'm complaining about living in a mild climate - I love it.)

So, I'm not going to push it too hard. Will she really be deprived if she doesn't know what time of year we are in until she is 8?


Mike said...

That's pretty funny. I guess Daisy doesn't have a great concept of the seasons either but I never thought about why that was.

Mrs. T. said...

LOL -- take a field trip to the valley. 105 in the summer, 40 in the winter. The trees are lovely in the spring and fall. You could also visit Tahoe in the summer and winter, which is what I did as a child.

You could use it as a Science lesson. Put a blob of clay where you live, and somewhere like Australia which gets more extreme changes. Then demonstrate with a globe and flashlight how the seasons change with the 'tilt' of the earth. Then explain why you don't have such different seasons. Could be a cool lesson!


Sue said...

Mike - I'm glad we're not the only ones!

Nutmeg - yes, yes, yes. I could do all those things. Or I can just wait until she's old enough to understand! Lazy homeschool moms unite!

Anonymous said...

i remeber that when your son was still in dipers he said to me spring is coming becaes bulbs are coming up.your post brought it all back.

Sue said...

Anon: You have the BEST flippin' memory of anyone I know.