Tuesday, February 27, 2007

An Intense Season of Nature Study

I'm gearing up for a lot of outdoor study time this spring. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time but somehow it always gets pushed to the back burner and never happens. I have had the Moon Journal book for years and have never made the time to use it. I know this is the kind of thing I will one day regret never taking the time to do, instead always giving in to pressure to keep up with other areas. I plan to actually be a participant in this study, not just direct it. It's always tempting to just send the kids out to do their thing and enjoy the peace and quiet, but I am determined not to let myself do that this time.

Here are some of the resources I'm lining up to use:

Moon Journals:Writing, Art and Inquiry Through Focused Nature Study - this will take a month of dedicated time observing the moon each evening and journaling about it and then giving time each day for art and writing "invitations". I am thinking April will be the best time for us to attempt this.

Kamana Naturalist Training Program - Level One
(This resource thanks to Dewey's Treehouse who linked to another blogger who had discovered this- it looks great and maybe it's just the help I've been needing)

Actually READ our Nature Friend magazines this season

Full scale garden this year - aiming at providing most of our vegetables for the year. If we are not too busy with other journaling, I'd like each child to start a Garden Journal with observations and instructions. This would be a great help to them in the future when they were growing their own gardens. I tried this once before but it fizzled out - maybe this time will go better since on average the kids are so much older? A great resource I have for this is Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery.

Read inspirational nature fiction like Hatchet, Tracker, Education of Little Tree and maybe Incident at Hawk's Hill and the sequels to My Side of the Mountain

Nature Poetry (any suggestions for resources would be appreciated)

I want to incorporate lots of Scriptures about nature along the way and emphasize a Christian worldview of ecology, especially to prepare them for the onslaught of secularism they will encounter in this field. An excellent resource for this is Timothy Keyes' Eve Anderson Nature Study lecture at last summer's Charlotte Mason conference. This is jammed pack with scriptures that detail God's view of nature. I plan to go through this tape slowly and make a transcript to share gradually with my children.

I also plan to read history on a more occasional basis throughout the nice weather months or maybe even put it on hold, focusing more on nature until it's too hot to enjoy a lot of time outdoors.

Well, anyway, that's the plan. We'll see how it goes.


Granny said...

What a wonderful plan...do let us know how it goes!

DW said...

Great ideas! (as usual) The Moon journal idea I love. The boys and I are always talking about the moon, it seems, and asking ourselves questions. You'll have to let me know how that particular plan goes. Sounds like you have a terrific nature plan lined out with great resources lined up. HAVE FUN!!

tootlepip said...

This sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing the resources.

MomToCherubs said...

The only thing that would make this even better would be to invite another family to share with you, and do Nature Walks and Nature Journals all together. (Big grin !!)