“A love of Nature, implanted so early that it will seem to them hereafter to have been born in them, will enrich their lives with pure interests, absorbing pursuits, health, and good humor.”
~ Charlotte Mason (Vol. 1, pg. 71)
We have been keeping Nature Journals since we started homeschooling – it seemed easy enough to do: go outside, observe something closely in nature and draw it. What I didn’t realize is how much the kids would actually enjoy it and look forward to our nature walks. I should have – Miss Mason didn’t build her philosophy and methods on things that she hadn’t tried and proven many times over – I now see that 7 years down the road of this journey.
It is a joy to take my youngest child on a nature walk. She is so full of enthusiasm and interest. She loves to point out things that she notices. Her seat in the car has a storage space next to it for drinks and stuff. It is always full of the treasures she wants to save, explore, draw and enjoy.
“We must rid ourselves of the notion that to learn the 3 R’s or the Latin grammar well, a child should learn these and nothing else. It is as true for children as for ourselves that, the wider the range of interests, the more intelligent is the apprehension of each.”
~ Charlotte Mason (Vol. 3, pg. 209)
Nature Study and the subsequent journaling are natural invitations to explore the world – to see it up close and personal. I have written several posts before about nature study – how to do it and why. But recently I realized that I have noticed some things in my kids that made me want to re-dedicate myself to this so-simple-it-is-too-easy-to-work practice.
“The nature note books which originated in the P.U.S. [Charlotte Mason’s Parents’ Union School] have recommended themselves pretty widely as traveling companions and life records wherein the ‘finds’ of every season, bird or flower, fungus or moss, is sketched and described…. The nature note book is very catholic [universal] and finds room for the stars in their courses and for, say, the fossil anemone on the beach at Whitby. Certainly these notebooks do a great deal to bring science within the range of common thought and experience; we are anxious not to make science a utilitarian subject.”
~ Charlotte Mason (Vol. 6, p. 223)
Some of the benefits of skills and knowledge that I have noticed include (but aren’t limited to):
- increased appreciation of the beauty found in everyday nature
- the ability to creatively express themselves in various media forms: written and drawn, even photography.
- better technical drawing
- increased perception of world around them and ability to question and wonder
- ability to connect science reading and knowledge with real life experiences
- increased self-confidence and self-awareness
- better physical coordination and abilities
- willingness to “be” in the moment – to slow down and see
- shared family culture through enjoying experiences together
What are the benefits you have seen from your Nature Study?
P.S. – Some previous posts that you might enjoy: