Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nature Study Fall 2010

We have started our weekly nature study a la Charlotte Mason this week. 

I have not read
Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study yet,
but I have found an excellent online resource which has been a help
in getting started on nature study right away.
The Handbook of Nature Study blog has Outdoor Hour Challenges
and the Fall challenges are just beginning! Perfect!

 On Friday, my oldest and I finished our 'table' time' in the morning (more on that in another post), so I decided it would be a good time to take a quick walk before lunch and before the homeschool park day later in the afternoon. The Outdoor Hour Challenge this week was just to choose a journal and take a 15 minute walk around one's own yard. 
Sounds like a nice, easy start to me!

We had a little girl cousin over for a visit, so she came along. We loaded up our double stroller for a walk up to the park, which is not far away. 
We made sure to carry water
because it is still quite warm where we live, even in September.

The kids were excited to carry their nature notebooks. 
Their aunt (my sister) sewed them these handy carrying cases with handles. 
Each boy chose the fabric and ribbon colors;
they really like them.

Here is a view from the inside.
There is just simple lined notebook paper and twist-up crayons.

We took a slow walk, and I explained to the children to look out for anything from nature, 
like bugs, rocks, sticks, birds or animals. 
Right away, our little cousin showed us a rock she found. 
Boy #3 pointed out the holes in it and wondered aloud how they got there (the holes). 
He came up with his own idea about that: "People". 
The kids continued to point out various plants and other things. 
When we arrived at the park, someone found a feather 
and someone else found pennies and a mechanical pencil. 

I steered the stroller to a shady spot and had the kids open up their notebooks 
to draw at least one thing they could see. 
The garbage can was a popular choice (laughing to myself). 
They all drew something. 
Little girl cousin even drew a big pink blob 
(meant to be a flower she had found).
Here is a (sideways) view of boy#2's drawing.

After a few moments playing on the playground, 
we headed back to the house with thoughts of lunch in our minds. 
I was happily surprised to see the kids still looking 
at various plants in people's yards in the neighborhood. 
Boy #3 picked a flower from a bush for me to smell. 

The boys and I have spent lots of time outdoors, 
hiking and camping and playing at playgrounds,
but this gives us all a chance to take time
to really observe what we find 
and then record those moments  in notebooks. 

 We can also look up online or in books 
later on anything we have questions about 
or want to learn about further. 
For instance, one time, a long while ago, 
we noticed strange webby things in bushes 
and came back to the house to learn that
they were cocoons for a type of moth.

I enjoy learning more about the nature that is right outside our door,
and I hope to encourage this interest in the children from the start. 
I want them to learn the habit of taking notice 
of what is around them and to enjoy the wonder of nature.

Pine cone!

Finding a feather.

Birds are the topic of the Outdoor Hour Challenge for next week!

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great start to your nature study. It looks like everyone truly enjoyed themselves and found some interesting things to observe.

    Great job and I look forward to your next challenge. :)

    Thanks for sharing your link.


Thanks for your comment today! I love reading your thoughts, too. :-)