Where to Begin
A nature journal is an excellent way for students of all ages to combine science, outdoor exposure and writing in a creative fashion! Even at the beginning stages I enjoy providing my children with these journals to help them become aware of their surroundings and the hows and whys of it all in a biblical fashion.
Natural journaling is generally included in Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum but is used among homeschoolers of many methods and with many different types of curriculum.
When I first saw on another blog the concept of keeping a nature journal I immediately fell in love! I love being outdoors and hope for my kids to share the same passion. I love to teach them about God's creation while being in his creation so this was a perfect fit for us!
The first two resources I came across were the Handbook of Nature Study and Outdoor Hour Challenges.
The challenges encourage you to spend at least an hour a day outside with your children teaching and learning with them. Whether it is a beautiful sunny day or a rainy day to observe puddles and worms, you are outside an hour a day. One of the resources associated with this study is the Handbook of Nature Study. I immediately put it on my Amazon wish list and received the book! I was so excited to dive it!
I love how detailed it is and presents information and questions to go over with your children while studying outdoors. From birds to mammals, to flowers and trees, it seems most everything nature related is covered!
What I didn't like though, is it's reference to evolution. Normally I don't recommend books on this blog that are not creation-based but since this isn't a book my children are reading but basically a "teacher's manual" so to speak, I just pick and choose the information I want to share from the book and add my own Christian perspective. Overall, looking a the wealth of standard nature related information found in the book, it is an excellent resource for nature study!
~ Handbook of Nature Study
~ Outdoor Hour Challenges
Once I had these resources I went to the Dollar Tree and bought a notebook that I decorated for each child. Every once in a while, we would go through a lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study and then go inside and draw a picture with a few words about it!
This year I hope to do more of the Outdoor Challenges, but if you choose to come up with your own studies as we tended to do this past year, you can print out notebooking pages to correlate with what you are learning.
The books below are great resources to help aid you in our endeavors! Please continue to stop by throughout the week as I share pics and describe in more detail how to use nature journaling in your schooling!
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