Friday, July 10, 2009

Outdoor Hour #1

After obediently following the lesson from the Handbook of Nature Study blog I felt more prepared than ever to "conduct my first nature study." Sometime after lunch the kids and I took to the outdoors to see what we could see.

If you have read anything about Charlotte Mason and her methods she is very clear in the fact that the parent or teacher should allow the children to direct the lesson. In other words Mom needs not to talk and direct so much but allow the children time to explore and discover on their own and then come to you with their questions.

Well I was excited about trying to do this and I kept repeating to myself, "Let them lead, don't drive this time with them, let them discover." That was very hard because I have a bad habit, I feel, of "thinking" for my kids sometimes.

Anyway things of off to a pretty good start. We took some time to look at some beautiful leaves and plants that we have growing in our lucious backyard. Now I'll have you know that out of the four children we have the oldest is afraid of all things creepy and crawly. She has always been like this. I never knew how to help her so I feel the blame on that one. The problem with this is that she spends a lot of time telling us, "I don't want to be out here, oh! watch out there's a bug!!" etc. This wouldn't bother me so much except for the fact that our little guy seems to adopt some of her fear and apprehension. I don't want them to be afraid of the outdoors by any means and was kind of worried that this would sabatoge the whole experience.

Well as things would go the oldest, while looking intently at some "baby pinecones" stepped in an ant hill and I think the whole neighborhood heard about it!!! She was pretty discouraged and jumpy after that. Then she got hot and wanted to go inside. Instead of getting frustrated I told her that she was welcome to go inside and we would join her when we were done (same thing I told her before we even went outside) but she decline and hung in there for the rest of the time. YAY!!!

We we were able to find some nice leaves and rocks today. That was the extent of our Nature Study! About 15 minutes of analyizing the plants in our yard and looking for the best ones to dry out and keep. Here are some pictures.

Our treasures!!

Her flower...or weed? A nice branch!

Her contribution!!! ;)

Once inside and with all our treasures spread out I asked what they were interested in the most, what they wanted to study about more. Biggest sister said, "Cats!!" and Big sister said, watch for it now, "Ants!!!!" Sisterly love!!!!

I think we did okay! I do feel that we will need to take baby steps so as not to overwhelm the oldest...or frustrate *anyone else*...but today was a good start!!!


  1. Welcome to the Outdoor Hour Challenges! I love that more people are joining us all the time. :)

    I think you have a terrific attitude about nature study and that is key! Believe me, I hate crawly things too. Funny thing is that once we started learning a little about how the insects are part of the big picture in nature and how helpful they are, I started to at least appreciate them a little.

    I love how Anna Botsford Comstock tells the story of things and you might try prereading the section on ants and then as time goes by point out some of the benefits of ants or anything insect for that matter.

    Take it slow, keep up the positive attitude, I love it!

    Thanks for sharing your nature study,
    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  2. Awesome! Sounds like a great start.

  3. Are you still working on it?

    Okay, go back into html and just put a " and a space right after the php. Then it will go to right place.


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