Nature study is certainly a big deal in the homeschool community at large – even outside of Charlotte Mason circles. For that, I am very excited!
But, I still get the impression that many view nature study as a fun extra to their regular homeschooling. “Yes, it might bring a little more goodness into the week, but it isn’t a make-or-break subject.”
I’m on a mission to broaden the vision for nature study.
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I’ve written before about how much real science is at the heart of nature study. It’s so true.
Whether nature study is used as the full science curriculum, or it serves as extension lessons to the “regular” science curriculum, or even if it stands alone as its own once-a-week curriculum in addition to the “regular” science lessons – there is much value in nature study.
And really, I believe is it a make-or-break subject.
Anyone who has ever taken the time to truly study nature will tell you the same thing. Real science doesn’t even scratch the surface of nature study’s benefits. Just for starters…
Through observation and inquisitiveness, so many intricacies of this world can be understood and connections made between big ideas. We can certainly know more about our Creator’s character and goodness. We can even become healthier as we explore our outdoor nature lab.
So, what exactly is that mission to broaden the vision for nature study?
I want you to know that you can take nature study beyond the nature walk! Nature walks are important for all those reasons listed above and many more. But, nature study can happen in so many “off the trail” ways, too.
2. When you watch a video about a nature topic, knowledge expands. (The No Sweat Nature Study series helps with this!)
4. When you make models, research interesting topics, complete experiments, recite nature poetry, or work on nature art projects, you rev up interest and allow children to deep dive into learning. (The NaturExplorers series helps with this!)
5. When you play nature games for fun, you build excitement and understanding about nature study.
Think about how many nature topics you can discover when nature study is more than where you can walk on any given day! Through books, videos, and activities you can discover nature all over the world.
My vision is that folks get excited about nature study indoors and out!
When you begin to look at nature study as real science that can take place indoors just as easily as it can outdoors, your vision broadens.
When your vision is broadened, nature study becomes less like an “extra” in your homeschooling schedule and more like real science.
When you treat it as real science, you’re likely to have more motivation to do it on a regular basis – both indoors and out.
When you do it on a regular basis, you see great gains in understanding and enjoyment.
When you see great gains in understanding and enjoyment, you’re motivated to keep it up and maybe even add more to your schedule.
Once this happens, you’ll turn around several years down the road and realize the incredible blessing nature study has been to your children academically and your family personally.
And then you’ll smile. I did.
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