I am wondering what you have found to work the best, a blank sketch book or printed notebooking pages? I honestly don’t know if I want to mess with trying to print them, and then what to do with them? Although, they are so *neat* looking!
If you suggest sketch books, is every page just a label and a sketch? Please describe……..
I saw Outdoor Secrets as a suggested resource, but can Christain Liberty Press Nature Readers be used effectively? (I have them and have never used them)!Laura.boraParticipant
We just have a regular marble notebook. The kids draw, do rubbings, write down stuff, color, take photos and tape them in the book, do leaf/flower pressing and keep them in the book, etc. They really make it their own. On top of that, we have a family nature journal that we write down the observations of the day – animals we saw, trees that are coming into bloom, temperature and weather, etc. We love going back over the years to see what was going on in our yard a year or two ago.
Here are some entries in ours that I posted on my blog:
I really think that the blank sketch book works best for us. I sometimes print things out for my younger girls, but I just glue that into their notebooks.missceegeeParticipant
We use a blank sketch book with heavy 60 or 90 lb (I forget) paper for dry brush water coloring. I have used some NB sheets, but prefer our sketchbooks.greenebaltsParticipant
I did end up printing our own because we couldn’t find a page our dd liked. You can see photos and nature study posts here…
Do you have them actually sketch outside? Take the supplies out? Missceegee, how old do you start students w the dry brusing?
I have 4 kids that will be participating. Is QUIET a goal of this? WOuld you suggest spreading them out, for peace and quiet, or just sit by e/o? We have 20 acres, so spreading out is do-able.
I was thinking of having the kids take pictures of what they sketched, and somehow compiling it into a Shutterfly book, along w nature quotes and pictures of them collecting treasures? I sure love me some scrapbooks, and this is an abbreveated version!
We do both indoor and outdoor. When my littles were noisy, restless toddlers, battling insects, wind, backpacks and supplies on a trail, etc, it was very difficult to stay focused on something long enough to finish it. 😉 Now that they are older and more trained to the whole nature study thing, we can stay out for hours – mostly soaking it in and finding the treasures. I actually find that cameras are lovely for that – sometimes we draw what we took pictures of and sometimes we print the pictures to paste into our books. I really enjoy sitting at the table while everyone is drawing – so much easier and practical for my family. Sometimes during that time I will read about the study objects.
The Shutterfly sounds fun, but in my opinion, if your children are writing and drawing they are spending the time getting to know something about the nature item in an intimate way, whereas the Shutterfly has the potential to be far less hands-on, if you know what I mean. I do not care if my childrens books are professional (tidy, yes, lol) – I just want to make sure they spent the time to really get to know something personally. The books themselves become our scrapbooks.
Spreading out and following their own interest sounds great, but you have to stay practical for the ages and attention spans of your children too!andreamParticipant
http://thecraftyclassroom.com/blog/2011/07/12/starting-nature-journals/. Bi love this post on nature journals.
@andream – that post was great! That is exactly what I was saying about some of our first experiences. I pretty much do our study like she does. 😉JenniferMParticipant
I like the Christian Liberty Nature Readers for reading practice and narration. I do list them as part of our science on records.
I don’t think anyone has mentioned this site: http://handbookofnaturestudy.com/ Barb is a nature lover with lots of experience and really breaks down nature study into doable steps. I used her ideas under “Getting Started” when we were starting out. You can subscribe to her newsletter for more ideas and printables. I used some of the printables in the beginning, but this past school year, we each began using a smaller Nature Journal (a bound sketch book from Michaels). I asked my daughter which Nature Journal she prefers, and she said the smaller one.
We have carried our journals with us and sketched in them, but I think we prefer to leave them at home and just go out and explore. I think carrying our journals with us distracted us from truly “seeing” nature, because we were focused on finding something to draw. Now we set our journals out on the table along with colored pencils or watercorlors before we go out. When we come back in, everything is ready to go and our Nature Walk is still fresh in our mind. Sometimes one of the children brings back a specimen to draw. Other times, we try drawing or writing about our nature walk from what we remember. We do take the Nature Journals out into the yard once in a while to sketch a tree that we have been observing throughout the year.
I think the best advice is to go out and get started. You will find a groove that best fits you and your family.
`Along the same lines, are there any great books you have on teaching them how to draw and be creative in nature journals.
A book Like “Keeping a Nature Journal?” Just wondiering if you have any favorite books for that?blue jParticipant
We use sketchbooks with watercolor paints as well as pencil drawings and also use colored pencils. I started out with good intentions with the watercolors, but have allowed that to fall to the wayside. I am planning to get them out this summer to try to restart the habit. At any rate, our nature notebooks have leaves, rocks, rubbings, pinecones… you name it. If they see it in nature, it’s in the notebook. 🙂
I had grand intentions of putting the notebooks in a bag along with the paints, etc. That, too, has gone to the wayside, which explains the other to some degree as well. I am trying to think of a good place to keep the bag where it is both accessible, and yet handy. I will be working on a revamp of our school supplies and school room in the coming months, so hopefully will have that all ironed out by the end of the summer.cherylramirezParticipant
@Jennifer, I like your idea of leaving the notebooks at home. I, too, find that deliberately looking for something adds pressure to what is supposed to be a “natural’ excursion. I like the idea of setting everything out before you go. I always bring my camera on our outings so now I can just take a photo if someone needs one and we can draw from there…
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