Monday, September 27, 2010

How do You Study Nature?

I haven't been able to participate in the Blog Cruise topics recently, but I am making sure I participate this week. This week's question on the Homeschool Blog Cruise is "How do you do nature studies where YOU live?" Our answer is a definite yes. However, I have been really trying to be more diligent in the way we tackle this 'subject' throughout our week.

Over the last year (since Arianna was officially in first grade)both girls became very intrigued and interested in a bird feeder I had placed right outside our front window. Then around that same time period I came across a most wonderful blog called The Handbook of Nature Study (HNS). One other item that I had received for free was an e-book of Anna Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study.
These 3 things coincided so clearly to me, I felt the next step was to pursue a more formal take of nature studying.

So I began following the blog and trying to participate as much as we could. Over the summer we accomplished the first 10 challenges. You can read about that here. Over the summer we tried to participate with as many as we could, but some of her challenges (like the one about flies) we were either not interested in (my girls are not so into bugs) or we couldn't find the subject matter (bats) or we got sidetracked with our own 'finds' (which happened more often then not.

That is one of the greatest things I have come to realize with nature studies. You can have a "plan" to begin with, but that is just your catalyst. Your children's interests help lead you in the correct direction for your family.

Since we are back in the throes of school, I decided to get back into the swing of things and went back to the HNS blog site to get some inspiration. We posted last weeks challenge here. This week's challenge is about geese and comparing/contrasting them with ducks.

Well, about a week or two ago we had some geese come and visit us here in our neighborhood. We also live close to a pond that is home to several ducks. SO I was hoping to plan to see the ducks this week and use pictures and my children's memory to talk about these lovely animals. I had prayed that maybe the geese would come back and visit us again (since last time we fed them some bread) and we could get some better pictures and be able to have them fresh in our memory. Well, Guess what?? They appeared here this morning in the middle of our 'square' just waiting to be observed. So we began our week with an impromptu nature study that God has planned for us. We also had more bread to give to them. We took lots of pictures, a video and later today or tomorrow will be drawing in our sketch books about our experience.

Our WHOLE family participates as much as possible with the nature studies. Mom and dad even have their own sketch pads to draw and journal in. It is quite a fun time to all do together and I think it builds many family memories.

I hope you all do some of your own research and see if you could add in even 15 minutes walking and observing things in nature. I think your kids would LOVE it. I know mine do. You can start with anything your child (or you) are currently interested or drawn to. Go to The Handbook of Nature Study and check out Barb's site. And also go and read what other of my Crew Members are saying over at the
Blog Cruise .

Happy Nature Studying!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You make a very good point about nature studies. Our children's interests to vary and even the best laid "momma-plans" may not turn out exactly as we thought. even then, they're still learning!

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