Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Nature Journaling with Littles

Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life.
-- Charlotte Mason

Nature study is a completely natural thing for a child to do. Children are naturally curious and want to explore and learn about the world around them. With just a bit of guidance, children have the ability to learn so much from the natural world on their own. A part of nature study that Charlotte Mason emphasized was keeping a nature journal.

As soon as he is able to keep it himself, a nature-diary is a source of delight to a child. Every day’s walk gives him something to enter: three squirrels in a larch tree, a jay flying across such a field, a caterpillar climbing up a nettle, a snail eating a cabbage leaf, a spider dropping suddenly to the ground, where he found ground ivy, how it was growing and what plants were growing with it, how bindweed or ivy manages to climb.
-- Charlotte Mason

You can look on Pinterest and Instagram and see so many pictures of beautiful nature journals that older elementary and upper level students create. I wanted to begin nature journaling with my young child - and this method has worked beautifully!

When we are in nature and Meghan finds something that she finds interesting, and if she were older I would guide her to draw in her nature journal, I take a picture of it. Every few weeks, I send the pictures off to be printed. When the pictures arrive, I tape them to a piece of paper and put the paper in a page protector in her nature journal

When we "work" on our nature journals, she picks a picture and illustrates it as best as she can. I then have her tell me as much as she can about the object in the picture and write down what she says.

It's a super simple system and it's so intriguing to see how much she is already learning to love and appreciate and take note of the world around her. Nature study, and nature journaling, have done so much to encourage her love of the world around her!!

From the flower in the crannied wall to the glorious firmament on high, all the things of Nature proclaim without ceasing, ‘Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty’.
-- Charlotte Mason


Some resources I love for learning about Nature Journaling:

Pocket Full of Pinecones 
I love this book for Mamas. It tells the story of a mother doing Charlotte Mason homeschool, and particularly nature study, while they live in town. It's an enjoyable story for fiction reading while at the same time giving tons of great ideas for doing study with young children.

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady 
This book is a reprint of a woman's nature journal. It's absolutely beautiful to look at and gives me inspiration for the kinds of things we can include in our nature journals as we grow into keeping them!

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