"What is a nature study?", you might be asking and "Why should I add more to my school day?" In part 1, I talked about the first three steps to implementing a nature study in your homeschool. In this post, I'd like to share a couple more steps you can take to make your nature study truly integrated so it's not really adding anything extra to your day, but rather, adding a love for learning and an appreciation for the beauties of God's creation. Keep reading, my friend.
In part one, I talked about the first three steps to easily integrating a nature study into your homeschool week. Here, I'll pick up on step four.
Step 4: Read about nature. Amazon has a plethora of good nature books and so does your local library! You can again illustrate and write about what you see in your nature books in your nature journals. Why read about nature? Nature has a soothing effect on our minds and afterall, the study of science is the observation of what we see in the natural world. Isn't it wonderful that our brains can comprehend so much through a book?
Step 5: Explore poetry about Nature. We all know for young readers how important it is to hear poetry, rhythm and rhyme of words. Books about nature in the form of poetry are easily available as well. Robert Frost wrote about nature in his state of Vermont. Christina Rosetti has several poems about nature which are short and easily memorized by young children (like the one in the picture to the left, which we've memorzied this month.) Even Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about nature (the picture on the right).
Step 6: Read about findings in nature. Children need to know the raw study of science through nature really can lead somewhere! Study nature through the eyes of everyday people such as Wilson A. Bentley, "Snowflake Bentley".
Wilson Bentley was a dairy farmer in Vermont and at an early age as a teen began studying snowflakes on a microscope and sketching their designs. After his parents purchased a high powered microphotographic camera, he spent 50 years captering snowflakes on film.
Scientists still go to this book, Snow Crystals ,to study snow. His curiosity as a youngman gave us the understanding we have today about how snowflakes are formed, their hexagonal design and that each snowflake is unique! Oh, that we would inspire that kind of curiosity in our children!
Step 7: Participate in a Nature Pal Exchange. This is a great way to participate with other homeschool children in exploring nature!
Step 8: Art. Use what has inspired your children in nature to serve as subjects of paintings, drawings, and oil pastel works of art! Many homeschool families have afternoons once a week filled with times such as these, all gathered around the table with the nature books open and the paints out!
Now, just chose a time. We do a nature study in form during our school time on Friday afternoons, but you can integrate nature books throughout your read aloud or read to self time during the week! It doesn't have to take much time! We do our exploring journies on Saturdays as our hearts desire or even in our backyard or parks. Just get outside.
Begininng a nature study in your homeschool will be super easy when you integrate reading, poetry, science, and art! Please let me know if you try a nature study! We love it!
Here are some great resources to help you get started! We like the Burgess Bird Book. It's recommended by Nature Pal Exchange. :)
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