|Kimmy examining some of the dug up worms.|
I have been yearning to do many more hands-on activities with her, but for reasons too complicated to explain here, I can't. However, I did get a chance today when we planted flowers together. Kimmy came over just as I was getting ready to plant some pansies and I asked her if she wanted to help me plant or to read. She chose planting and I was surprised because of all of the things she tells me that she doesn't like to do. But she was a willing helper. I didn't realize that planting a flower was such a complicated process until I started to teach Kimmy.
This is what we did.
1. Place the plant where we wanted it to go.
2. Clear away the mulch
3. Dig a hole for the plant without mixing the dirt with the mulch.
4. Measure the hole to see if it is the right size
5. Take the plant out of the pot without damaging it. (Squeeze the sides and push the bottom.)
6. Separate any roots that are starting to get root bound.
7. Place plant in hole and fill dirt around making sure there are no pockets of air.
8. Replace mulch or protect plant as we called it.
9. Water around the plant and not on top of it. (The ground was wet, so we didn't water the hole.)
Kimmy was a quick study and corrected me on any steps I forgot--like the time I was talking about what was on the pizza I had for breakfast and forgot step 8.
But the most fun Kimmy had was with the earthworms. I explained about how they were good for the soil (a new word for her) and we examined them. From then on, she was very excited every time she found one. She said that she couldn't wait to tell her family that she found three worms and she wasn't afraid of them. We also collected acorns and pebbles we dug up that she took home with her.
We both had a great time digging in the dirt and it was a wonderful way to spend a lovely fall afternoon.
*Kimmy is 16 and reads on a first grade level. However, she has many other special skills.