We took a while to get started on nature studies and don’t always do as good of a job at keeping it regular but we do make notations in our nature journals occasionally. The summer months have found us doing more with our nature journals than we have in the past. I think the joy of being outside in the good weather has been inspirational; however, the rest of the year has such wonderful things to study, I’m hoping the habit we have begun to establish will hold into the fall and winter months.
I can tell you that my daughter is enjoying it more as she has continued to explore her interests and make entries. We have everything from sketches to photography to pressed leaves in our journal. I look forward to seeing its development. Hopefully you will find some inspiration on getting started on your own nature study.
There are many benefits to a nature study:
- Makes science interesting – doing a nature study can make learning about nature and science interesting to your student. You both may find that there is a lot to learn that is interesting out in God’s world.
- Cultivates investigation and thinking skills – doing a nature study can help your child naturally learn to investigate the world around him and think about it, ask questions, and research the answers. These valuable skills will develop naturally and progressively with a nature study.
- Develops ownership in his studies – a nature study can give your child some ownership in his education. By exploring and learning about nature, he may find that he is interested in science and the world around him. He may ask to study something in particular or find out what he is most interested in and be ready to study more in depth.
- Gives your child a real connection with God’s world – investigating and learning about God’s world can give you child a real connection with the world that God has created and how each piece has a purpose as well as showing the child the incredible working of the world. A deeper understanding in the world can develop into a deeper understanding for the Word.
Here are some great resources for you to get started with a nature study:
- Outdoor Power Hour and Nature Study Challenge
- Peterson Field Guides on You Tube
- Guide for setting up your own nature study on Ambleside
- Handbook of Nature Study (free e-book download)
Basic supplies to consider as you get started:
- Journal (simple notebook will suffice)
- Charcoal pencils (though regular pencils will work if you aren’t ready for charcoal)
- Colored pencils (any kind will do)
Keep it simple, if a notebook and pencil is all you have, then go with it, you don’t need anything fancy to get started – just get started!
Here is an entry from our nature study book.
How do you incorporate a nature study into your school?