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Looking for some inspiration on these resources


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I have the following resources on my shelf:  The Handbook of Nature Study, Drawing with Children, and How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare.  I know I would like to incorporate them next year into our studies to add some beauty to our days but I'm drawing a blank on how best to use them.  I keep circling around, brainstorming different ideas, and searching the internet but I would love to hear how YOU are using any or all of them in your homeschool.  What is really working for you or what did you try and found to be a flop?  Help me brainstorm how to get the most out of these rich resources. 



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I would use HoNS along with something like the One Small Square series & do a related nature study. So say you are doing OSS: Backyard - choose something in your plot (a snail, a flower, an ant hill) & do what the HoNS recommends for that object. Then when you move on to OSS: Woods pick novel creatures/plants that weren't available to study in your previous plot (a fern, a pine cone, a new beetle)

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I actually have all those books too and wonder about putting them to use.


Drawing With Children does have a site to help you start thinking about lessons here http://www.donnayoung.org/art/draw-w-children.htm. I have never successfully got drawing going in my house so we do that through coops. Part of that is me not taking the time to sit down and do it with them though.


I love the idea of pairing one square inch books. There is a whole website dedicated to using this resource and outdoor challenges. Haven't done it, but lots of ideas here: http://handbookofnaturestudy.com.


Lastly, Shakespeare. Read Aloud Revival did a podcast with the author early on and you might get some good ideas from it. http://amongstlovelythings.com/6/. My oldest knows the main story of most of Shakespeare's major plays because I downloaded them from Librivox - Beautiful Stories and another one. He listened to them multiple times. I might pull the passages that he suggests in "Teaching Shakespeare" for the plays that we read and memorize them. Here is a list with the "family friendliness" of different Shakespeare movies: http://www.charlottemasonhelp.com/2009/07/shakespeare-movies-for-family.html.


This coming year I plan to start reading the real play as recommended at Ambleside and just a scene at a time. I also like what Cindy Rollins says about her experience here https://www.circeinstitute.org/2011/09/teaching-shakespeare-to-children. Maybe she'll talk more about it in an upcoming Mason Jar podcast. She did talk about nature study in a recent one.


Some of these books are a bit harder to turn into actionable plans. I am realizing that a lot of it is just me getting interested, trying it out and the kids coming along beside me as I figure it out. Nature study, art and poetry were not big parts of my education growing up so there is a learning curve for me too.


Hope that helps,


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Drawing with Children plans: http://da1.redshift.com/~bonajo/dwclp.htm


Handbook of Nature Study:  I pick a topic to cover, read through the lesson ahead of time.  Pick a few facts to share with the kids or teach some related vocabulary words.  Then we find a specimen (if possible) and go over the questions in the book.  I usually ask things like what color and texture is the frog's skin and why is this helpful.  Another book we use alongside it is Natural Science Through the Seasons.  It has lots of projects, activities, poems, and quotes organized by topics and calendar months.


We have the Shakespeare book, but I haven't figured this one out.  So far we've been reading through the Shakespeare Poetry for Young People book.  I plan on reading a short version of the play, then watching or listening to it, picking a passage or two to memorize, then reading the actual play.  We haven't gotten to this point yet, but I keep taking baby steps in this direction.  lol

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Handbook of Nature Study, 

Love this one. Agreeing with how the others use it. And also you can use Exploring Nature with Children (click preview in upper right hand corner) with it for a great guide to when to cover what topic, and lots more. 



Drawing with Children, 

This one totally overwhelmed me. 



How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare.

No idea. I just use a child's version of Shakespeare like Shakespeare for Children or Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare.

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