by Jeanette Steiner
Nature study is quite simply a study of nature by observation. This method of teaching science to children was championed by Charlotte Mason. She believed in keeping the study of science simple and that children would learn and retain better by hands-on involvement. This type of learning is especially well suited to kinesthetic learners and the elementary grades.
To implement nature study as part of your science curriculum you will need:
- Field study guides (birds, wildflowers, trees).
- Note sketch book (half-plain and half-ruled pages) or just a nice ruled notebook journal.
- #2 lead pencils
- colored pencils
- water color paints
Getting started with your nature study
The best way to get started with your nature studies is to pack your journals, pencils, guides, journals, some water and snack and go outside and take a walk. Take note of anything that looks interesting. Maybe you saw an interesting bird or an unusual wildflower. Your might have come across some shelf mushrooms growing on a tree or maybe an old majestic tree.
The next step would be to take home a specimen to observe more closely at home and/or preserve. Also, spend some time sitting, sketching and making notes in your notebooks about the plants and wildlife that you see. Discoveries of particular interest can be more fully researched once home with the help of the internet.
Expanding on the basics
After going on a few nature walks and getting the hang of things, you can expand your study to cloud observation and cloud types, star gazing at night, storms and weather patterns, etc. Be sure to take advantage of the Spring and Autumn seasons in a colder climate, since there is much less to see during areas with cold winters and snowfall and enjoy the time outdoors with your child.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jeanette Steiner is a single homeschooling mom who has been teaching her (7) children for 11 years. To read more informative articles with tips and advice like the ones in this article, please click here: http://www.homeschoolbiology.com
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