Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Peek Into Nature Study

First off I would like to say that Charlotte Masons emphasis on Nature and the studying of it with children is one of my favorite aspects of her teachings.  I think Accomplishing a true "Charlotte Mason Nature Study" is an admirable goal. However, for the one hour time slot that falls at the end of our Mae Day we usually have a back (or front) yard, short version of nature study.

These are the words that loop through my thoughts as I try to plan and execute our Mae Day nature study:

The children "must be let alone, left to themselves a great deal, to take in what they can of the beauty of the earth and heavens; for of the evils of modern education few are worse than this - that the perpetual cackle of his elders   leaves the poor child not a moment of time, nor an inch of space, wherein to wonder- and grow. At the same time, here is the mother's opportunity to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child" ~ Charlotte Mason

Fynneus waits for help opening his colored pencils

 The task I asked of the children on this particular day was to find a natural object that they could hold in one hand and make a journal entry. Below Gabe takes time to trace the leaf he chose.
 Rollin shows a nut he plans to draw.
 Tucker and Chloe 

Samuel working on a sprig of holly with berries
 Sophie getting the color just right on her single berry drawing.

The children seem to be more and more comfortable and confident with making their journal entries. This task is never mandatory. I usually say something like "I would like you to" or  "it would be nice to" or "then you can make a journal entry" and I don't think there has been a single refusal. Of course some days they are more invested in their work than others.  They are certainly learning to look at their surroundings and the natural world in new ways and for that I call it a success!

"Mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them." CM


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