Why study nature and keep a nature study journal?
Charlotte Mason loved nature and encouraged her students to be out in it on a daily basis. Spending time outdoors every day, studying God’s glorious creation will give your students a sense of wonder, while setting the stage for some amazing science discoveries.
They must be let alone, left to themselves a great deal, to take in what they can of the beauty of earth and heavens. –Charlotte Mason (Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.44 )
For those of you, who like us, are homeschooling in a delight-directed manner, spending time in nature is one of the surest ways to discover passion and delight in your children. As they explore trees and flowers, look for animal tracks, observe the behavior of ants and butterflies, watch the changing clouds, and soak in an afternoon rain shower, children become mesmerized by the sights, smells, and textures all around them.
All this is stale knowledge to older people, but one of the secrets of the educator is to present nothing as stale knowledge, but to put himself in the position of the child, and wonder and admire with him; for every common miracle which the child sees with his own eyes makes of him for the moment another Newton. — Charlotte Mason (Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.54 )
Have your children draw what they see, put their budding photography skills in to action, search field guides, collect specimens for observation, and write descriptions of their discoveries, storing it all in a nature journal.
This is all play to the children, but the mother is doing invaluable work; she is training their powers of observation and expression, increasing their vocabulary and their range of ideas by giving them the name and the uses of an object at the right moment,–when they ask, ‘What is it?’ and ‘What is it for?’ –Charlotte Mason (Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.46-7 )
To help you on your nature studying journey, please feel free to download my FREE nature study printable: Nature Through the Seasons. This PDF is filled with printable scavenger hunts and nature journal pages for every season of the year. In the spring section, you’ll find a scavenger hunt, nature journal, and pages for pressing flowers. To download your FREE Nature Study Journal, subscribe to our weekly newsletter below.