One of the most anticipated days of the week this past school year were Fridays and not just because it’s the last day of the week but more because it’s our art and science nature study day. Let’s take a look at what we accomplished with a flip through of my year 1’s and my nature journals.
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Some Lessons Learned
Here are some lessons I’ve learned from this past year when it comes to nature journaling:When we first started nature journaling I sort of allowed my Year 1 to just pick any page and go. Then one day we sat down to look at the work we had done so far and she realized that hers felt a little disorganized. She was a little down on herself, but quickly recovered and said, “next nature journal is going to be better than this one, mama.” Now … I think she did a beautiful job for her very first journal. I mean she progressed from just wanting to put some color on the page to understanding the importance of sketching out her image and then building on that. I think I will remind her next year to use the next page for each entry though as I believe that will help her journal feel more organized and she will appreciate the growth from one year to the next as she looks back on her work through the year.
If you have reservations about your kids doing a nature journal, please know that they and YOU are more capable than you know. Start somewhere, start WITH them, if it’s your first time sketching or painting, make learning how to paint and sketch a part of your schooling as well and find classes, lessons, and/or tutorials on technique. A wonderful resource we use is the John Muir Laws website and tutorials on YouTube.
There was a tremendous learning arch for my year 1 where she first began drawing something very quickly and wanting to be done as soon as possible ….. tooooo taking her time and having a conversation with me as we sketched about what we were learning. She sometimes took it upon herself to take notes from our library of nature books on different subjects that we hadn’t yet studied or that we had studied but she wanted to dive deeper into. So if your kiddos don’t want to label their journal entries or write down any notes, make sure they’re watching you continue your own nature study lesson and finishing the labels and the notes to the best of your ability in your own journal. They will see how much care and thought you put into your studies and with every invitation you give them to sit a while longer to jot down a few things, the easier it will get for them to want to do it, perhaps even extending it into their own time.
I really enjoyed my first year of creating a nature journal. I want to to do more of this not only in the comfort of our home using informative videos, but by taking even more nature walks with our supplies and taking notes and sketches on what we see. Now that we have a good foundation on how to approach nature study, I’d like to stretch out of our comfort zone and get up close and personal with the world around us way more often than we were able to last year.
Supply List For Year 2
This following year we’ll officially have 2 students doing Nature Study and I’m adding to our supplies with the following:
What are some tips you’ve learned this past year when it comes to nature study and keeping a nature journal? I’d love to hear from you to learn and incorporate some new good habits when it comes to our favorite subject!
I hope that this helped inspire you to start a nature journal of your own or if you are far more advanced than we are, well then hopefully our humble beginnings push you ever onward in this beautiful journey of observing the magnificent natural world around us.
Mom of three beautiful kids, married to my best friend, finding daily ways to bring joy!