Friday, July 10, 2009

Nature Study

As I sit back and think of my childhood I can easily remember spending MANY a day outdoors!! My sisters, cousins and I were always doing something, climbing something, or pulling some "treasure" out of the neighborhood dumpster. (Yeah, gross I know, I'd go nuts if my kids were to do that!!!) Our neighbors would always ask us if our feet were ever touching the ground!! We just did SO much outdoors!! We loved it!! Yet with all of our outdoor time I don't really remember BEING outdoors!

Let me explain!!

I recently realized that you can be outdoors (exist) yet not really BE OUTDOORS (experience)!! Although I spent much of my youth climbing, searching and discovering our neighboorhood I never really climbed, searched or discovered NATURE!! The gigantic eucalyptus tree that we had right outside our door just happened to be there, I never really thought twice about it. I never (or at least don't remember) touching it out of curiostiy, wondering what was under that bark or what else those smelly leaves could do...I found out later that you can use them to make tea!! My aunt did that once when I was older! I was never interested in the "behind the scenes" of it all.
Fast forward to all too many years later and I find myself the homeschooling mother of 4 children. Now I find myself wanting to give to them the best of what the Lord enables me to give! The best of what He, through His divine wisdom and awesome direction, leads me to.

Enter Charlotte Mason.

I've been aware to the Charlotte Mason method for, oh, about a year and a half to 2 years now. I've just kind of "lurked around the corner" at different websites, blogs etc. just trying to take it all in and understand her philosophy. I have found myself falling in love with much of what she believed in and how she taught but none more than her philosophy on Nature Study! This just a snippet of what Charlotte Mason had to say on the subject, "It would be well if all we persons in authority (Moms, Dads etc.)...could make up our minds that there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they live in. Let them once get touch with Nature (God's wonderful creation) and a habit is formed which will be source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his 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." In my own words, "Shame on us if we do not give the children in our care frequent exposure to the wonderful world God created so as to create a true love and interest in His marvelous handiwork!!"

God gave to Adam and Eve in the very beginning, not a house made of bricks with a nice yard and fence but an expansive GARDEN to be enjoyed and taken care of!!! If that was His original plan then shouldn't we today strive to follow that desire and introduce our children to this masterpiece we call Nature?! Well, the desire of my heart to begin a Nature Study as a part of our lives has been, to say the least, overwhelming!! My only problem in getting started was the HOW and WHAT of it all. Praise the Lord I came across this wonderful website Barb, the lovely lady who runs the blog, has done a wonderful job of breaking down nature study into small manageable lessons and steps! We have just begun our study this week and I am excited to do it!!!

So follow along with us to find out #1 if I can even do this!! and #2 if this is someplace that the Lord is leading you. Everything that we do and all the things that we introduce our children to come from a desire to show them how awesome and wonderful our God truly is. What better way to show them that then by studying something that only HE can create...Nature!!

yellow flower foreground

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork." Psalm 19:1

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