Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nature Journaling

A big part of the Charlotte Mason education is nature walks and nature journaling. It's simple really: go outside, experience and be curious about God's Creation, research it, and draw and record it in a nature journal. That's it. 

Anytime we go on a nature walk, we take ziploc baggies to collect "treasures". Which could include pine cones, acorns, sticks shaped like letters, flowers to be dried, interesting rocks. If there is something interesting and worth remembering but not really "collectable", we'll take a picture of it instead of collecting it. Spider webs and poisonous mushrooms are good examples of what NOT to bring home.

Then we go home and draw our treasures and label it. The CM suggestion is to also record the Latin name, which I do in my journal, but do not make the boys do at this age. Baby steps, right? I also record the date of the event, location, and any memorable moments we had during the trip.

So here are some journaling results from our trip we took this past weekend. 

Mine is on the left, JK's on the right.

I have a childhood born passion to draw and paint and had many years of being under the tutelage of a talented teacher and mentor, who has since become a dear friend. But I haven't touched it seriously for a VERY long time and am VERY out of practice. So I have found my journaling to be a fun way to brush up on my rusty artistic skills and learn about Nature at the same time. It's also a great way to model nature journals for my boys. They're young and we keep it simple for now, but at some point, I see them taking a deeper interest in the Latin names and more detailed drawings or recordings.

I would say this is likely my favorite thing about homeschooling right now! Being outdoors with my boys, appreciating God's Creation. We get as much outdoor time as we possibly can.

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