Thursday, April 23, 2009

Drawing Nature

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has come across a good idea, thought that they should implement it, but didn't. That is what happened with nature journaling and our family. I had heard about nature journaling/nature studies from reading articles on Charlotte Mason. The thought of letting kids be outside to explore, observe and study nature on their own was something I strongly agreed with in theory---but just never got around to putting it into practice.

I decided that this spring would be the perfect time to start our botany unit and nature studies. We have all our unit pages going in a 3-ring binder, so for their nature drawings/observations, I have the kids take a piece of cardstock outside with colored pencils. Then when they are done they can place the drawing in a page protector. I have been pleasantly surprised that ds has been the one most interested. At first I thought he only wanted to do it in order to get outside and get away from all the "school" stuff. But he is really putting thought and hard work into his pages. And I think that the change of scenery is good for all of us. We were stuck in a rut--and needed to get some fun back into learning. This method is helping! When I get my scanner unearthed from the mounds of paper covering it, I'll share some of his observations.
Now I know that they are supposed to be outside observing nature, but on this particular day, DS determined that he was too cold and brought his sample of a non-vascular plant (aka moss) in with him (I'm sure Charlotte Mason would have sent him back outside---lol)

I know others go more in-depth with their nature studies, but this is a good start for us. I'm learning right along with them. In fact, I hope to post my digital versions of nature studies in the near future. For me, my art tool of choice is my camera and I plan to digital scrap my observations. I might even hand over my camera and let the kids give it a try too. Digital scrapbooking isn't just for adults ;) Until then, here are some resources I've found that can help you start your own nature studies.

Nature Studies/Nature Journaling Resources:
What is Nature Journaling? -- lots of links here
Nature Journaling Notebook pages
The Outdoor Hour-- wonderful challenge on this blog--also samples of nature study pages

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Blogger Sarah said...

All of my friends around here follow Charolette Mason. How much do you follow that style? We love our nature journals, but you know I havent had them do an observations addition to the journal, thanks for the idea - I think we will add that to our summer guide.

April 24, 2009 at 12:28 AM  
Blogger Mozer said...

We are loose Charlotte Masonites :) I'm just starting to read more of her works and have found that some of the things we already do fall in line with what she advocated.

April 24, 2009 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger BrnEyedGal said...

I really dont know anything about Charlotte Mason but what I do know is that this is just an awesome idea!
Anytime you can surround children in nature or activities that inspire them to learn....they benefit so much more.
Just reading about it inspires me to get my son out this weekend to explore and draw about "nature!"
Thanks... :)

April 24, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

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