May 25, 2011

Gettin' Out There Again

The rains have finally come, and this means that where we live, everythig is in bloom once again. Things are coming alive and that makes us think more about nature study. We have a structured science lesson three times a week and in that we have learned alot about plants. But I am missing the spontaniety and freedom of nature study. So, to begin again this season we happened upon the idea of doing a nature notebook. The boys the past few years have just not been interested, so I have had ot wait. It is worth it! This year they are drawing up a storm.
We decided upon this type of field notebook because it was simple, I had the materials already at hand, and pages can be removed and/or added easily by releasing the rubber-band around the stick. (we keep extra rubber bands in our backpacks incase the first one breaks) You will need the following to make one. The tutorial for making it can be found here.

"The field notebook is a veritable gold mine for the nature study teacher to work in securing voluntary and happy observations from the pupils concerning their out-of-doors interests. It is a friendly gate which admits the teacher to a knowledge of what the child sees and cares for. Through it she may discover where the child's attention impinges upon the realm of nature and thus may know where to find the starting point for cultivating larger intelligence and wider interests." Anna Comstock Hand Book of Nature Study pg 14

The boys decorated their own covers. Now this little book is theirs. I will not critique it, only encourage them to use it. I will not tell them what to put into it, only admire what they have chosen to observe and record. I love getting out of the way and seeing what they will do.

For fun, we made this very simple vase to collect and admire the small flowers growing wild in our back yard. The idea for this came from Botany for All Ages by Jorie Hunkin pg 61

1 comment:

  1. I love the vase, Sarah! What a fun and simple thing to do. And what pretty wildflowers, too! The notebooks are a great idea! It sounds like the boys are having a lot of fun with them.

    I've started keeping track of all the birds my kids have seen so we can put them in a "life book," a scrapbook album where they can go back and see all the birds they've sighted in their little lives. I love that they can identify a couple of birds just by their sounds already; and many more by sight. Children are inherently attuned to nature...