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Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Botany in a Day

Botany in a Day, by Thomas J. Elpel

This has proven to be a wonderfully helpful book for me! I am going to have the (older) kids use it too.

It describes the Patterns Method of identifying plants. I knew I was ignorant in recognizing specific characteristics in plants. I didn't know what to look for, nor did I know of understand the terms used in my plant books. They were speaking another language to me! I knew I needed to overcome that, so that I could get the most of my resources. I copied a couple lists of botanical terms with the intent to memorize them...but in the mean time, I found this book. It is helping me in so many ways. In addition to learning batanical terms as a side effect, I am learning the families of plants. As it turns out, not only traits of the plants that are similar in most families (like same shaped leaves for instance), but their attributes/uses are often simlar too! So...instead of learning about one plant at time (which I still do too) I can learn about groups of plants! How wonderful!! I see so much more now when I wild craft. It is so encouraging to progress at notable speed in my studies. This book has been instrumental in that! His illustrations are monochromatic drawings...which used to drive me crazy because I didn't know what i was looking for, and I thought I needed live color photos...but now I get it! It actually helps me define what to look for in person, better. I don't know maybe its just me....

This book first goes through some evolution blah blah. Than it discusses the benefits of learning plant families, then it jumps right in and teaching you plant families. It tells you how to maximise the book as a resource/field guide, than the majority of the book is a resource guide to identify plant families. It is wonderful tool. I wouldn't say it is a stand alone tool; however, i think it has helped me better use some guides that I had and it certainly helps me see the whole plant Kingdom in a new light! Its sort of holistic approach to learning how to identify plants.

Disclaimer. It has a strong evaluational position - so that is very present in his writings. I just read through that stuff...it doesn't bother me...but thought I would mention it.

Thomas Elpel has also authored a wonderful book for kids too. However, I do NOT want to recommend it. I got a lot out of it...but will not allow it to sit on the shelf for the kids. It is HEAVY in things I disagree with and I will not let that junk soak into my kids heads by allowing them to access the book freely. However, I am considering reading parts of it to my older children (explaining my issues with the parts we are ignoring) as we study botany together. His method of teaching in the children's book was wonderful! It sticks in your brain. The illustrations were vibrant and very effective. It is done in a story format that Living Book Homeschoolers love! Maybe one day I will use it as inspiration to write a Biblically friendly version! (But I've got alot to learn first.) :-)

1 comment:

Andi said...

This sounds like it would be good addition to the learning lib. Of course never minding the evil-ution.
Blessings and Shalom!