Tuesday, August 13, 2013

School planning: nature study

I do well thinking things through by talking or writing about them. Since my AO friends might enjoy "listening," so I'm thinking this out here. I had five school goals that I mentioned before. The first is actually pretty easy. And fun. Nature study is my favorite part of school!

So, I'm off to look at the new-ish nature study rotation.... In September we'll do trees/shrubs/vines. Easy! Especially with a new home that has a yard. (Then in November we'll start studying the night sky. I'll have to do some brainstorming then.) When I'm doing well with nature study, I have a simple running list of topics to cover, like

  • definition of the category we're studying, and draw/paint your favorite
  • list/draw local species
  • start a year-long tree study
  • bark rubbings and leaf collecting
  • fall tree observations; why do leaves change color?
As I said before, we're good at getting outside. What we dropped, and what I'm wanting to pick up again, is the actual study part of nature study. Many people record their observations outside, and I agree that in real life would be best. We're not to that point yet. So far, we have to try to recreate real life indoors. That means we bring something home in order to observe and draw it. Or sometimes we have to work from photos.

We also don't have individual nature notebooks (yet). What worked before was using separate papers. Then, at the end of the term, we collected them into a binder. I just had to make sure that we had time once a week to work, and that I had a specific place to put the papers, so that I didn't lose them. I think I can do that again now. This year Bogdan should be happy to work with us, and I'll make a priority of setting aside time and space.

One more thing: AO has also added geography. Most of the topics fit very well into outside work that can be done on a nature walk, so I'll be working those in here, too. Plus, they fit with Asya's Year 0. (I couldn't resist coming back and adding this quote from my friend Jeanne's wonderful blog: "just where physical geography ends and nature-study begins is not easy to say; each helps the other.")

I'm still thinking about how and when we'll do our nature/geography time, but I think I have a plan....

1 comment:

Mom said...

What a tremendous blessing your children have in their mother! With your love for creation and your eagle-eyed observation skills, you will make this study an absolute delight.