Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nature Study

“There is no kind of knowledge to be had in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves, of the world they live in. Let them at once get into touch with nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life.” (Charlotte Mason)

"We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things." (Charlotte Mason)

“There is no part of a child's education more important than that he should lay - by his own observation - a wide basis of facts towards scientific knowledge in the future." (Charlotte Mason)

"Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life." (Charlotte Mason)

"Ideas are held in that thought-environment which surrounds the child as an atmosphere, which he breathes as his breath of life...." (Charlotte Mason)

“Nature study should be approached with reverence. For the natural world is the expression of God’s personality in a form that is within reach of all of us to comprehend some measure.” (Charlotte Mason)

We are blessed with a seemingly unlimited source of Nature Study topics here at home. Our house sits on 3 acres of "yard" and is surrounded by many more acres of "hayfields" which grow wild for much of the year, and there are plenty of "tree lines" all around. Add to these a pond and a large spring at the front of our yard. Quite simply, there is far more "Nature" than we have been able to identify over the course of a year, but not for lack of trying.

During the past year, we kept hearing from the Farm Owner and Farm Manager that there is a large lake (60 acres ?) across the road that we "had" to see, located on a part of the farm we had never seen -- so we decided at long last to go and find it.

And we invited our friends from Shadybrook Acres over to join us for this first Nature Hike to the lake.

As we followed the farm roads through fields of newly planted wheat and corn, we saw so many lovely wildflowers here and there along the way --- and some interesting creatures. We walked for quite some time, and at the end of our walk we were not disappointed ! The tractor road rounded a curve as it climbed a rise, and then, just as the road leveled on top of the hill -- there it was !! A truly spectacular lake. A few of the boys tried fishing, and the children tossed rocks into the water, splashed along the edges, rolled down a high grassy hill, and romped along the borders of the lake. We spied a few fish leaping out of the water, and heard birds singing from the tree lines. It was nearly too much to "take in" on this first visit --- we will definately have to plan some return visits soon !!

After our hike, we took turns looking up some our varied "finds" in our Nature Guides --- the potato bug, the Bachelor's Buttons, Wood Sorrel, Vinca, Vetch, Buttercups, Dandelions, Honeysuckle (full of buds) --- just to name a few. The children (and MamaLion) did some sketching in their Nature Journals - Cattails were the most popular item of study, but the potato bug and the flowers were fairly represented as well.

It was absolutely a wonderful Afternoon Adventure.

Thanks Shadybrook Crew for coming over and sharing this Nature Walk .... we had a wonderful time and will have to do it again soon.


MamaLion said...

Isn't it amazing to realize all of the cool things we saw on one walk! My transplanted bachelor's buttons are doing well so far. Thanks for the donation!!!

We'll be back....

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Isn't it wonderful when we can find new and exciting things in our own little part of the universe, things we never knew the names for or knew anything about and then suddenly there they are right in front of us because we are looking and seeing.

Great nature study post. Thank you for submitting it to the carnival.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom