Enriching Everyday: Nature Study, Part II

What does the study of God's creation look like in our home?

1.  Nature Notebooking: We love to notebook in all of our studies.  I do not enjoy using textbooks in our home (old school Charlotte Mason mommy here).  We much more prefer reading and experiencing, then using our notebooks to relate, reason and record what we have learned to God's Word.

2.  Natural Science:  We love natural science reading and even better, reading it outside!
(I will include a reading list in my follow-up Nature Study Edition.)

3.  Nature Crafts:  Crafting is one of our preferred methods of learning and enjoying one another as a family.  There are so many fun and wonderful crafts that you can make from nature.  We have many rules about "taking" from nature.  When we are scout camping it is a strict, "Leave No Trace and Leave Nature Behind" policy.  This is were Nature Photography is used the most with our family nature study.  However; when in our own backyard or at a park, I do allow the children to collect nature's bounty where appropriate.  

Rule 1:  You may NOT take something that is still growing.  Grass and weeds are the only exception when in our own yard.  
Rule 2:  If REMOVING an item would damage an animal habitat, it MUST be left undisturbed. 

We enjoy much of the popular "Waldorf"-style crafts and activities while conducting our daily Nature Study.  We use many of the "Fairy" books by: Andrew Lang in reading with the Bug, she loves to read and read.  This ties in perfectly with using "Waldorf" crafting and creating.

1. The kids look for sticks, leaves and such to embed in beeswax candles.

2.  The girls especially enjoy building "Fairy" homes.
*NOTE: We are very clear when communicating to our children the distinct difference between fiction and truth.*
The Scout does not much enjoy building "Fairy" houses, obviously, but he does like to help them gather materials and "critique" their work afterwards.  Brothers!

Here are a few homes they constructed in the backyard recently.

This is the Bug's 1st attempt . . . hey, she's 8 and working on the patience to make the pile "look" like something at all. LOL!

This is Squeaker's Native American Tepee

This is the Bug's 2nd attempt - much improved.  This one is a "Hotel".

I loved this attention to detail, with a wishing well.

I even spy a miniature tea set in that Fairy Hotel!

This is the Squeaker's Fairy Hut.  I love the little step ladder.

The girls had fun with all their building and creating.  I stepped in only when needed, discussing natural materials and structure.  In total the girls spent 2 1/2 hours of their own free-time, out in God's beautiful creation running, discovering and playing the nature way.  Man, I love to homeschool!

Right now we are planning our Nature Study on Tuesday and Thursday, after Homeschool Cooperative.  We drive to our local Nature Center on the way home to take advantage of the sights and sounds of nature beyond our backyard.  We take all of our Nature Notebooking supplies (I will post on our Nature Notebooking Bag later) and I usually have a poem or Hymn to teach or talk about while we are journaling, drawing and learning together.  Monday will be our full Enrichment day, so we will have an opportunity to do more with our Nature Studies during that day too.  We will keep you posted and hope others will join in the Nature Study Adventure!

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"
Heather Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom)

*Nature Study not for you?  No worries, lots more Enriching Everyday coming your way soon!  We will be posting the Library Science edition this weekend.  Stay-tuned!  

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