Our Nature Study Bag for On-the-Go Learning
When I first learned about the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling, the area I felt the most apprehensive about was Nature Study. For some reason it intimidated me. Chalk it up to me thinking I wasn't good at science, good enough at art, just not good enough (period). Gosh, we are our own worst critics, huh?
So naturally, I dove right in and learned that it is the one subject I look forward to the most now! It's everything I wish Science was when I was a kid and I am learning right along with my kiddos.
I've learned a thing or two and want to let you in on it. My very first suggestion: make Nature Study your ON-THE-GO subject!
How to Make Nature Study On-The-Go
Really, all this means is to put all your curriculum and materials in an easy to grab-and-go bag. In this video I go through all our Nature Study Bag contents and how I organize it all. Following, I'll highlight all the resources I use for my first grader and tag-a-long pre-k student.
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Books and Field Guides
There are certain must have books that one should really look into having when you do Nature Study.
Also, look into having a great local field guide. I was able to find some Florida specific field guides on trees, birds, reptiles and more that I switch in and out of our bag depending on the subject
In truth, I happened upon these sketchbooks by complete accident and it has ended up being the best thing! These sketchbooks are not very large, so they don't take up too much space and are easy to all fit in our Nature Bag, however they're not so small that they inhibit learning, drawing, painting & note taking. Below are some images of my kiddos and my sketches and notes.
The following are all items that I like to use to keep everything organized and in their place. I keep a composition book and ziploc bag inside the plastic envelope sleeves for each of us. The large plastic envelope helps to keep everything super organized per person making taking items out and sliding items back in very simple and fluid. Also, it keeps the specimens (i.e. rocks, leaves, fallen flowers, etc.) from being crushed. I have composition books in there now, however, I think I might take them out and put our individual journals in there instead.
At the moment we favor watercolor painting the best, however it's nice to have the ability to add to our drawings with each of these other art supplies. We use the geometric shape ruler from time to time to help us with drawing certain shapes, it has helped the kids really feel empowered to draw certain items with more confidence.
There are a fair amount of times we use certain YouTube Channels to help us dive in deeper to certain topics we're studying. The tripod makes it much easier to display my phone, where we play the videos from, so that all of us can see it and no one fights over holding the device. The magnifying glasses are a fun way to get the kids to really see things more closely. Having one per child really helps to increase the focus!
All in all it's very fair of me to say that I absolutely LOVE nature study and look forward to sharing this time of creativity and exploration with my kiddos. I hope this post helps to get you enthusiastic about your own nature study!
If you have a Nature Study bag or travel equivalent, what's in your bag?
Coming up soon are notes on other subjects we're tackling within our curriculum and how we might be approaching them a bit differently. See you all real soon!
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Mom of three beautiful kids, married to my best friend, finding daily ways to bring joy!