I used to dread teaching my children anything related to science. It was not a subject that I excelled in when I was in school. I really didn’t enjoy it at all. As I began to learn how my children liked to learn, it became easier. As I did more research I discovered Charlotte Mason Style of homeschooling and it includes lots of nature study.
The more I realized how much my boys truly enjoyed nature, the more I enjoyed it too. I went out and bought sketch pads for each of us as well as really good pencils, water colors, brushes, colored pencils, and easels. I joined a few Facebook groups that do nature journaling and read a few books about it. Then, we began.
One of my favorite books for studying nature is the Burgess Animal Book for Children. I love having books that will give you a visual as well as a little information about each animal. Another great resource is the Kids Guide to Exploring Nature. It includes plants and insects as well as animals.
There are many different ways to do nature journaling. One way is to start a “Book of Firsts”. You journal the first snow, the first flower in spring, the first tadpole in a puddle, the first leaves to fall. You can do so many things with this that you will fill up a sketch book quickly.
Another way to explore nature journaling is to do a “Book of Months”. Separate your sketch pad into all the months of the year. For each month, go outside and sketch the different creatures, plants, and insects that you see. It is very fascinating to have this kind of look at nature.
You could also make your sketch pad into a “Field Guide”. You draw or water color your nature items for the day and then go inside and research about each thing in books. You write a little bit about each item next to your picture and where you saw it, what day, and the weather. It makes it very interesting.
Our nature journals are such a huge part of our homeschool. Not only is it science but it also includes art, writing, history, reading, and so much more. It has opened my world to so much that is around me every day.