I’ve been reading a lot about the Charlotte Mason homeschooling approach and I plan on slowly implementing several aspects of it. I just love how un-pressured, natural, and yet complete it is!
We started out with the Delightful Reading kit to help Tobi with his reading. Simply sounding out words was not working for him so a friend suggested I look into the Delightful Reading program, which incorporates sight words. It also uses a hands-on approach that my son really likes.
Another aspect to the education that I’ve been looking forward to starting is the nature study. Now that we’re finally getting some warmer weather I decided it was time to begin! I gave each of the 3 older children a new notebook, I stuck a pencil case of crayons and some water bottles in a bag, and off we went.
Before we started our walk I gave the kids some simple instructions: Look for cool things in nature. As we walked, we discussed what nature is and how we can tell it apart from something man-made.
After a good walk around town we settled down on some church steps and the kids were able to draw what they wanted from our walk. Older kids can write about their findings but my children aren’t at that level yet.
I didn’t put any rules or instructions other than it had to be God-made, not man-made things that they drew. Annie and Josiah finished quickly (Josiah just scribbled a bit but he loved taking part in school!) They got some exercise while Tobi finished up.
And that was about it! Nature journals are not anything complicated, especially with young children. I see them as just a way to help us be more aware of the beautiful world around us; to slow down and smell the roses, so to speak.
Even if you don’t do a Charlotte Mason homeschool I think most kids would really enjoy making a nature journal and it opens opportunities for a lot of good discussion as well. The supplies needed are things that almost every household has on hand; paper or a notebook, crayons, and the outdoors. Even urban families can go to a park, zoo, look for birds, or learn about the flowers they see in window boxes. Enjoy!