“In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
The Simplicity of Nature Study
But, oftentimes I hear people getting intimidated by Nature Study. Maybe because it just wasn’t a part of their own education (I am with you!), and perhaps the unfamiliarity and seeming lack of knowing scares folks off (also with you!) But truthfully, it is so simple! I promise! Ready?
1. Go outside.
2. Observe something.
3. Ask questions.
4. Research using a field guide.
5. Express what you have learned in words and /or drawings.
And you’re DONE!
We try to get outdoors everyday and for more intentional exploration at least once a week. Our children started their nature studies at a local Audubon homeschool program and when that no longer was available to us we shifted a co-op I was hosting in my home for many years to a nature themed co-op with much success. I think one of my favorite skills and artistic expressions I have enjoyed practicing with my children is the art of nature journaling. Truly these nature journals are some of our most treasured work throughout the years. And I love having the opportunity to continue to redeem my own lack of “knowing” nature alongside my children.
Peterson Field Guides (any will do!)
For the Children’s Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
Original Homeschooling Series, Charlotte Mason
Handbook of Nature Study, Anna Bostford Comstock
Download Anna Bostford Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study for free HERE.
Took a look at this video to see how we took an insect that just happened to be flying around in our bedroom unexpectedly and turned it into an afternoon nature study the next day with no outside planning on my part. Really, it is this simple and the benefits will be far-stretching.
But ultimately, by being present to and through the studying of nature, we align our “human celebration with the great liturgy of the heavens.” As Dante simply stated, “Nature is God,” and through our nature studies we begin to see that Creator God is “before all things and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)