lots flowers

Our primary focus at the Academy flowersis teaching our students through real-life experiences and using the most of teachable moments.  The Academy’s Garden is the perfect means in which to do this and is located at the back of the school behind the porch which is easily accessible to all our classrooms.  These real life hands-on experiences provide the opportunity to develop many skills and concepts including responsibility, cause and effect relationships, and observation skills.

squashOur students all pitch in to help with  planting, watering, pruning, and maintenance of the garden (yes, even the little ones).  We plant a variety of plants throughout the year including wildflowers, herbs, vegetables, melons, sunflowers, and bedding plants.  While in the garden, students will encounter cucumbervarious types of insects and also learn about the life cycle of plants.  Our students also  harvest the vegetables, melons, and sunflower seeds when ripe and experience the satisfaction of enjoying something they worked hard at for several weeks.  Once we have harvested, we will wash and clean them and then allow the children to taste the efforts of their hard work.

milkweedWe also have milkweed (or butterfly plants) planted in the garden as well.  Towards the fall, several monarch butterflies will come lay their eggs on the plants that will soon turn into huge caterpillars.  Once the caterpillars are big enough, we carefully place them into a bug house container with some cuttings of the plant and some water and bring them into the classrooms.  Our students can then watch and observe these beautiful caterpillars up close.  Soon, they will crawl to the top and begin to form their chrysalis.  After a couple of weeks, the caterpillars emerge from their chrysalis as a new beautiful monarch butterfly right in front of our students eyes!  We observe the new butterflies up close for a couple of days and then release them back into the garden.  Our students witness the life cycle of an insect up close and right in front of them!