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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
DS will be in 1st grade in the fall. I’ve been reading through Hours in the Out of Doors and am starting to understand more about how nature study works. I am re-motivated to commit to doing a few minutes of NS weekly with the kids (DS5 and DD3, and DD1 tagging along). This week I had them pick a flower to draw, and then describe it to me while I wrote it down.
I am looking to hear from people who really do/did nature study as their sole science in elementary years. Also, did you have a schedule of some sort for which topics to cover? I am thinking of doing wildflowers for a month or so (one flower per week) then switching to bugs. Having them draw in their journals and observe/describe. Does that sound ok?psreitmomParticipant
We are just getting into this, so I won’t be much help. I think what you are doing is good. We are going to begin 106 Days of Creation in the fall. That has nature study incorporated into it, so I will follow those plans along with letting my daughter explore things on her own. She loves the outdoors, so we will do a lot of that this summer. I think you are on the right track.Laura.boraParticipant
I think that sounds great. We’ve never really followed a schedule – just kind of went where nature study took us. If there was a sudden interest in birds, then we focused on birds, when there was an interest in trees, we studied trees, during this winter, snow was the thing that the kids focused on. Right now, we’re studying the signs of spring.my3boysParticipant
We’ve never followed a schedule and just did/do nature study as it comes. Some days/weeks we have a great study, then it could be awhile before that happens again. So, this week, probably today, I’m starting 106 Days w/ my youngest ds. We have used the program in the past w/ my two oldest dc and he tagged along, but he was so little he it will be new to him. Although I love to be outside, I seem to need more hand-holding or direction in this area of study.
My oldest didn’t get as much Nature Study in as much as I would’ve liked, sad, but true, my middle boy a bit more (and he loves nature), but my youngest craves to be outdoors searching for spiders and whatnot. I have so many good books, Handbook of Nature study blog to follow (can’t seem to do that, either), nice areas around us….but I still seem to need more of a program, so 106 Days is going to be it. He’ll love it!
Your plans sound great!HollySParticipant
One thing I’ve been doing is keeping an eye on what I see outside. Right now there are lots of robbins, finches, and some crows. We’ve also noticed lots of nests since the trees are so bare. I’m also waiting for the daffodils to bloom so we can observe them. Paying attention to what’s in our neighborhood and yard has helped me to look up topics ahead of time, which helps me to answer questions with my DC on our nature walks. If I know which animals are around, I can be better prepared. I’m beginning to really see when you observe nature, it gets to be another habit. I’m starting to observe our surroundings without having to remind myself to take a closer look! I noticed some finches in our grocery store’s sign and wondered how many times I’d been through there and never noticed them before!
We’ll be using 106 Days and Outdoor Secrets next year for science. I’m hoping this will help us to make our nature walks more regular and successful. I’m still working out the details, but I plan on focusing on one area for our science lessons. I think our actual nature walks will be less organized since we’ll be observing whatever pops up. Maybe that will get them more excited when that topic comes up later in the year.
HollyS-So funny to hear you say that as our daffodils in GA are already done blooming!
I was reading some more on the Outdoor Nature Hour website (or whatever it’s called?) and that does provide some insight. DS was just telling me today how much he likes nature study and wants to read more books about it! Are there any kid books about nature study? DS is 5 but can read at a 6th grade level.my3boysParticipant
I’m reading the Burgess Book of Animals (or something like that) to my 7yo right now…he loves it! Check the bookfinder OR the Science tab on the Free Curriculum guide. 106 days uses a lot of Burgess books.
Gotta run..hopefully that gets you started.HollySParticipant
mama_nickles post reminded me… Handbook of Nature Study has a free monthly newsletter with a link to some fun pages each month. April’s had some nice drawing lessons on frogs and some other fun ideas on reptiles and amphibians. http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/ShannonParticipant
I was pleasantly surprised by a nature study book for children called A Desert Scrapbook: Dawn to Dusk in a Sonoran Desert. The artist shows how she goes out and draws whatever she sees all the while introducing young children to the desert critters. The illustrations are wonderful!
Shannon-Thanks. I’ll check the library!sherazParticipant
I blogged about several of the books we used and loved to get us started on this science/nature study thing: the links are in my post.
We also really liked A Desert Scrapbook. She did a great job with that one!
DS likes the Desert Scrapbook book! Thanks!melindab72Member
Shannon, thanks for the tip! We aren’t in the Sonoran Desert, we’re in the Mojave, but I’m sure that a lot of it will work just fine for us.ShannonParticipant
Oh, so glad folks found the suggestion helpful. Yeah!
Also wanted to give an update on our nature study. We’ve come a long way in the past month and we are enjoying it! I got DS5 and DD3 real bound notebooks to use. We are doing at least once a week of nature study, and another day a week of a neighborhood walk to just check things out (they bring their magnifying glasses and their buckets to collect treasures). I think it was an “aha” moment for me when I read someone here post about doing nature study and nature walk as different days/events. Now the walk can be just “let’s see what we can find” and the study can be more focused when I have a topic in mind.
Anyway, so we’ve pretty much been focused on plants from a study perspective. We have a couple garden veggies growing (green beans and tomatoes) and DS is trying to grow a sunflower. WE’re also doing the root vegetable experiment from the Outdoor Hour website. Both the older 2 are observing, drawing and describing and dictating to me. I’ve also realized that DS really enjoys taking and recording measurements. DH and I are both engineers (I’m “retired” 🙂 ) so I think he’s headed that direction too! Anyway, so he’s been measuring the heights and recording, counting the number of veggies, etc. At dinner the other day DD3 mentioned that there were little beans growing on our green bean plant and DS says to me, “Mommy! We HAVE to draw them!” That never would have happened a month ago.
Thanks for the encouragement. Hope someone else finds this post helpful too.
Oh yeah, and we are reading through the James Herriott treasury, and also different garden/plant/flower type books from the library. They are really enjoying one called Rosy’s Garden. Planning to do the Burgess Bird book in the fall.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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