“Consider, too, what an unequalled mental training the child-naturalist is getting for any study or calling under the sun — the powers of attention, of discrimination, of patient pursuit, growing with his growth, what will they not fit him for?” –Charlotte Mason
Nature study is one of most beloved aspects of the Charlotte Mason method. It is a lovely time spent in the sunshine discovering the beauty in the world as a family. Nature is often a child’s first introduction to science. Nature study can provoke further study into botany, biology, ornithology, and entomology. A child learns to be attentive, patient, and sees the heart of God in the world around him.
How Conduct Nature Study
Implementing nature study in your homeschool is easy and will be a most enjoyable and welcome addition.
You will need:
• Nature journal
Yes, that is all you will need to begin this adventure.
A nature journal is simply a blank notebook where your child will record what he sees, where he sees it, observations from nature, and illustrations of what your child is inspired by the most. You may want to relate what you see to biblical verses, poetry, or literature you are studying. The child can also use his notebook for dried flowers or leaves he find along your nature walks.
Related post: The Minimalist’s Guide To Nature Journals
Getting outside can be as simple as going to your own backyard. As a child focuses on the blades of grass, planted flowers, bees, ants, and such, a new world will be discovered in his own backyard. This will teach the child observation skills and an appreciation for nature. Do not be discouraged if you can no further than walking distance. You and your child will be amazed how much has been missed before keen observations are made. If you have the ability to go to a park, go hiking, drive to the coast, observe an urban setting, then by means, all those resources to enhance your study.
What to Do Along Your Nature Walk
• Just walk and observe and draw whatever inspires you.
• Study the different seasons. Perhaps go to a favorite spot or draw a tree and observe the changes the seasons bring.
• Use field guides or trail maps and go out with a purpose to find something in particular.
• Ask your child questions about what he sees and thinks without quizzing.
• Show enthusiasm so your child will embrace nature study.
You can use this simple printable for your child to use on nature walks. You can add this to a notebook or binder to record and document your nature walks throughout the school year.