Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
First, we want to say that you and your students will thoroughly enjoy this well written, easy-to-use book whether you are seasoned nature-journalers, novices just getting started, or simply curious about Nature Study.
We have been doing Nature Walks and have been keeping Nature Journals for several years now. We are very well acquainted with The Handbook Of Nature Study (Comstock), and also have gathered a good collection of other resources including Nature Guides. However, the Comstock handbook (for which there is a link in the book to read free online) is used with the OUTDOOR HOUR CHALLENGES, and is more than suitable for a family who does not have additional resources on hand, and also for a family just "testing the waters" of Nature Study. There are also some great websites listed at the back of the book (free resources) for help with identifications and additional information. The lists of resources included at the back of the book is quite extensive, which will make beginning this Nature Study Adventure easier for all involved.
Because we are a family with 7 (and possibly 8 when dad joins us) , we printed this book (46 black/white and color pages). We read through the GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS and HOW TO GET STARTED pages first, which would be particularly helpful to those new to Nature Study. For each Challenge, we began by reading aloud each challenge and it's components. Then we proceeded with our walks and challenges. We would work on our Journal entries at various times - sometimes "on site" and sometimes when we returned home after walking. We agreed that this book would be simple to use on the computer only, but we have a "preference" for printed resources.
The included Notebook pages are great. There is a wonderful variety of page styles, and many pages even include suggested information to include. The Journal pages included (26 black/white pages) are lovely and are simple to use. (I would recommend printing them on heavy paper or cardstock for durability.) I spent a lot of time, long ago, making and collecting these types of pages, at the beginning of our Nature Study adventure. Harmony Art Mom has removed that "work" by including them with this book, which is fantastic. These days we prefer to use sketch paper (heavy). On these pages we include written information as well as sketches. Then we insert our journal pages into page protectors, and keep them in a loose-leaf notebook. We decided on this sketch paper method because we have several left-handed children, for whom "bound" books prove cumbersome and difficult. These included Nature Journal Pages could be put into page protectors and into notebook, could be hole punched nad put into notebooks, or could be used "loose". The choice is up to the user, which makes this a great resource. Harmony Art Mom shares some of the optional journal ideas in the book as well.
We particularly loved the Focus Area information which is woven throughout the entire book. Harmony Art Mom suggests repeated visits to a specific area to watch for "new" and "changed" things. When we have talked about our Nature Studies with families who are not familiar with this form of "study" (and who are curious), they often express frustration due to being "overwhelmed" by all that they see (and remember) on a walk -- "how do you even notice that ?", what should be noticed, what to study in particular, how to narrow it down, what to "journal", how to "journal", where to find such a wide variety of information, and other such concerns. So, we felt that the suggestion of the Focus Area would be particularly helpful to those new to Nature Study who might experience these same feelings.
The included photos of Nature Walks and also copies of Nature Journal pages are lovely -- these are both inspiring and encouraging to those new to Nature Study and veterans alike. The book is not-too-plain and not-too-cluttered - a perfect balance.
We HIGHLY RECOMMEND this inexpensive resource for those interested in Nature Study. No one will be disappointed, as there is something for everyone in this wonderful economical resource.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
One Robin from the flock who ventured near the house during snow flurries.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Renae shared Building Childhood Memories .
Dawn shared Buddy Reading .
Dawne shared Charlotte Mason On Phonics And Learning To Read .
All the way from Australia, Jeanne shared The Enigmatic Poet .
Molly shared Whatever Is Lovely: Music Appreciation .
Melissa shared about their Hymn Study in What We Do .
Jimmie shared Living Math With Playing Cards .
Laura shared A Charlotte Mason Minute: Shakespeare .
Jessica shared Winter Outdoor Time .
Barb shared Winter Art - Three Different Ideas .
Barb also shared Nature Study With Very Young Children .
I decided to share The Somethings and Nature Study Group .
Keri shared Experts In Their Field .
(1) Feeding The Ducks (Mary Cassatt)
(2) Three Musicians (Pablo Picasso)
(3) Young Girl Reading (Mary Cassatt)
(4) Pen To Paper (online search)
(5) A Christmas Carol At Bracken Dene (Arthur Hughes)
(6) Living Math Tree (U. Penn website)
(7) Works Of Shakespeare book (online search)
(8) Girl In Winter (Tasha Tudor)
Thursday, February 12, 2009
How To Participate:
Printable Tally Sheet:
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tthe Snow Tube Runs as seen from on top of Stone Mountain.
We rode these after dark because our tickets for tubing were for 9-11pm.
It was so much fun !!
Cherub 2 coming from her first Snow Tube ride.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
But it is simply too early, so I am trying to to focus on perusing the garden seed catalogs and on planning. The "research" phase is not nearly as fun as the actual gardening, but it does seem to help bide the time. (HA !)
Yesterday during our lunchtime, the children were chattering about shorts and sandals; about working and playing in the garden; about swimming again. I just did not have the heart to tell them that this is a brief respite in our "winter", and that there are probably several cold snaps coming before it is truly spring again.
It seems our feelings for our gardens are not uncommon.
Nathaniel Hawthorne said, "I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green."
Monday, February 09, 2009
-- Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1923
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009