Loving Nature Study

Years ago when I was a young mom and homeschooling novice, I was introduced to Charlotte Mason and Nature Study.  At the time we lived on the campus of Cornell University where Russ was doing his graduate work, so we were especially attached to the Handbook of Nature Study written by Anna Comstock.  Anna was the first woman ever appointed to the Cornell faculty and the head of the Department of Nature Study.  She wrote this book for elementary school teachers in 1911.

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

Nature Study is not just for homeschoolers, but for anybody who wants to enhance their ability to see nature and understand it better.  It allows for those “teachable moments” when a child finds a snail in the garden and wants to know what it eats or why it has a shell.  This is the delightful kind of teaching that I love.

My interest in Nature Study was revived by one of my readers whose blog I took a look at last spring, Joyfully Original.  I don’t know if Renee will even see this post, but this is a great example of how we can encourage one another.  She was participating in The Outdoor Hour challenge found on this fabulous site, Handbook of Nature Study where there are oodles of great Nature Study ideas, including free downloadable notebook pages for topics such as Seasonal Trees and Oaks and Acorns.  Last week I purchased the Autumn 2010 ebook and plan to look it over it this week.

One of the most satisfying pieces of Nature Study is keeping a Nature Journal.  We like to use black sketch books, which I ordered from Amazon. There are many varieties available, but I prefer the ones that are not spiral bound.  Sweet Pea and Mimi still have theirs from when they were young and they look great on a bookshelf.  I also prefer using good quality colored pencils for drawing and have an old set of Berol Prismacolors that is still going strong.

Last week we went outside and looked at our old apple trees which the kids sketched into their journals.  The week before we took a walk through the pasture and enjoyed taking a closer look at the grasses and the trees in our small tree farm.  I was so pleased to see Ladybug and Sunshine plop down to make a quick sketch.

I’ll admit, I like to crank through our schoolwork, math, Bible, spelling, etc.  But it is the delightful things like good literature and Nature Study that feed my homeschooling mommy soul.

I am no expert, but this kind of learning keeps life simple and that is the way I like it.

It is not too late to add your thoughts to this week’s Tuesday Topic on helping older adopted children make the transition into your family.  We want to hear from you!

~Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

17 Comments

  1. Christina
    September 22, 2010

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have this book and I love the idea but was at a loss as to bring it all together!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      September 22, 2010

      I'm so glad to hear that! You will love the Nature Study blog.

      Reply
  2. kristen
    September 22, 2010

    Thanks for the links! I think I may get the eBook too!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      September 22, 2010

      I read through the ebook yesterday and it's great. We already have our nature journals started, so we should be able to jump right into the 1st challenge this week.

      Reply
  3. Giann
    September 22, 2010

    I remember doing those when I was younger. It was and still is nice to get out and enjoy God's creation while learning about it!!

    Have Fun!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      September 22, 2010

      That is good to hear.

      Reply
      1. Giann
        September 22, 2010

        oh and I also noticed that one of your daughters is left-handed! I am a fellow lefty and understand what she has to put up with! 🙂

        Just thought I tell you that!

        Reply
        1. One Thankful Mom
          September 22, 2010

          Yes, I have two lefty daughters, Mimi and Sunshine, and they are both artistic. This is another benefit to avoiding the spiral notebooks, the black bound books lie very flat and there is no coil to work around.

          Reply
          1. Giann
            September 22, 2010

            yes….I bet she is thanking you for that! I had to use a spiral notebook when I did it, though. 🙁 It was okay…I just had to work around it. 🙂

            Are any of your sons left-handed? or are they the only ones? just wondering.

          2. One Thankful Mom
            September 22, 2010

            Nope, no left-handed sons, only the two girls.

  4. Lori
    September 22, 2010

    Thanks for the link to Handbook of Nature Study. Faerynn is an avid nature studier and will enjoy some new ideas and challenges!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      September 22, 2010

      I'm glad you can use it. I was so happy to see my girls sketching in their journals this morning. Ladybug did a lovely drawing of a moth.

      Reply
  5. gjisaac
    September 22, 2010

    fun! we just started nature journals for this year AND I'm reading my first book on Charlotte Mason – I'm also really interested in her century books – did you ever do those?

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      September 22, 2010

      Jen, I don't know about her century books and it's been twenty years since I read much about her. You'll have to fill me in.

      Reply
  6. learningpatience
    September 23, 2010

    Oooo – what a fun link! I can't wait to sit and have some time to read through more of it! Thank you also for the encouragement to get back to nature study. I planned to spend our entire summer doing nature study, but it was so crazy hot here that we avoided being outside unless we were in a pool! I have the little black sketch books all ready, now would be a great time to start!

    Reply
  7. Joelle
    September 23, 2010

    I love the Handbook of Nature Study book. I wish I'd known about the website when my children were younger. Have you seen Karen Andreola's Pocketful of Pinecones? It's a "how to do nature study" within the context of a story. It is intended for mom's but I gave it to one of my children when they were middleschool age and interested in sketching.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      September 23, 2010

      Hi Joelle, I have heard of the book, but I haven't seen it. I'll have to find a copy to look at; maybe it would be a good addition to our Nature Study library.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy