Jump to content


Nature Study with Nature Lovers (fanatics)


Recommended Posts

I really want to add Nature Study this year and have been reading over Barb's blog. Is there anything I should do differently for kids who could probably teach nature study? My boys are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about just about everything science, I want to be make sure they're really getting something out of. Do you think it would be wise to combine several of the first few lessons?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am in the same spot. My boys love all the things that creep or grow on our land.


My 4yo knows the names of almost all the moths and butterflies he catches (rosy maple, underwing, and swallowtail are some of the recent ones) or he looks them up, they can tell the difference between the channel cat one of them pulled out of the pond last week and a flat head or a madtom. They can ID the poisonous snakes that live here and found a pigmy rattler this spring. And on and on, the frogs, the trees, kinds of rocks, crawdads, and on and on.


So I was hesitant if we even needed nature study. I mean they spend hours out there most days digging around, flipping things over, catching fish, climbing trees, playing in the creek, eating things out of the garden or things they find (wild blueberries, strawberries, and plums all grow on our land). What could nature study add????


After reading the first few pages of The Handbook of Nature Study I have decided that what nature study really can add is observation and appreciation. I really have enjoyed the few "lessons" I have read from it. Sure we know that a snail folds up inside its shell when it is scared, but when Anna writes about it there is such joy and intrest in the smallest things. She writes about the snail hiding--


But when his snailship whishes to let go and retire from the world, this foot preforms a feat which is certainly worthy of a juggler; it folds itself lenghtwise, and the end of which the head is retires first into the shell, the tail end of the foot being the last to disappear.


That kind of observation niether my kids nor I have. That is what I am looking for in our nature study.

Edited by Mallory
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to add one more thought :D


Because I was there not long ago, it seems like from your post that there is this set amount of nature "stuff" that you know and then you are done with nature study- and your boys are almost done learning that "stuff". They could teach it :D


But here is another quote from Anna ;)


The nature story when properly read is never finished...


She goes on to say that you can tell you are progressing when you find the time you spend studing nature speeding by. That at first 10-30 min will be more than enough, but as time passes hours will go by quickly.


Because of reading the hand book, I am going to try very hard to make our nature study NOT lessons. In fact I think I am going to treat it as my own study and not even "tell" the kids.


We are all going to go outside and I am going to take my own sketch book and find something interesting. I am not even going to offer books or tips or ideas to my boys. When dh wakes up I am going to show him my books and talk about what I saw, maybe even at dinner.


Quite frankly I don't even think it will take days for someone else to be following me with a clipboard or a notebook of their own looking for something cool to study.


Anything "lessony" will be saved for science. Discussions about what we see and "Hey, look at this" will be during nature study.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will focus more on the observation and sketching. I think they'll like it too. I'm almost positive they'll love just sitting and reading the handbook on their own too. I was also thinking that the other series Barb mentions looks really good, the Discover Nature books. Anyone have reviews on these?


If anyone else has some ideas, they'd be greatly appreciated. I'm always looking for ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...