I love this quote that I came across,
“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, Original Homeschooling Series
She is a strong believer that through the parent and outdoors is the best way to introduce children to science and help nurture and develop in them a love and an appreciation of God’s creation.
“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.”
“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
It’s because of this that one of my favorite parts about Ambleside/Charlotte Mason is the emphasis on Nature Study.
To read Charlotte Mason’s thoughts about children and nature study you can read them here:
With the Ambleside Curriculum, nature study doesn’t officially begin till Year 1, however it doesn’t mean that earlier on, you can’t take small steps. I
t’s as simple as taking notice of the world around you while at the park or on walks.
“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
Basically, on Mondays and Wednesday’s,me and the kids work on our Science and then every Friday and even Saturday, we will devote that to our Nature Studies.
“We must assist the child to educate himself on Nature’s lines, and we must take care not to supplant and crowd out Nature and her methods with that which we call education. Object-lessons should be incidental; and this is where the family enjoys a great advantage over the school. The child who finds that wonderful and beautiful object, a “paper” wasp’s nest…has his lesson on the spot from father or mother.” (Charlotte Mason; Parents and Children, pg. 182)
Until Spring officially starts and we get some bird feeders up to attract some more birds, we are going to actually begin with working on creating a nature journal and from there start with Insects and reading the “History of Insects”.
A free copy of the “History of Insects” can either be downloaded or read online here.
Followed with that, we will begin reading “Burgess Book of Birds” by Thorton Burgess that can either be bought online, or if you prefer, you can download a free public domain copy here or even read it online.
In addition, we are using our copy of the, “Handbook of Nature Study” by Anna Comstock and a ield guide to birds and insects.
Also, beginning in the spring, we are using the blog, “Handbook of Nature Study” to help guide us through Anna Comstock’s book using their,Outdoor Challenge each week, starting with this Saturday.
Those of you who need a little more structured, I highly recommend visiting Ambleside Online guide for incorporating Nature Study in your homeschooling, join their group or if you want, I’ve formatted a copy of Anna Comstock’s 16 page book,”Syllabus of Lectures-Nature Study” that is a great guide for what to teach and for some selected subjects, there is a “graded lesson plan” by grades.
We’re pretty excited about introducing and beginning this new subject in our curriculum.
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