Thursday, June 14, 2012

Homeschool Thursday: Nature Study

Nature study is an ongoing adventure in our house, with much of it documented here on our nature table.  Our table generally changes with the seasons and displays many small objects found in nature, living creatures, field guides pertaining to recent interests, and seasonal art work.  The display case is new to us, from Acorn Naturalists. I love it.  It is super easy to open and has a soft, textured fabric inside that seems to grip things easily so no pins were necessary for our butterfly (a roadside casualty).  I ordered two of the smallest size, but we may need to get some more before long.  

Recent nature topics of interest include:  
Salamanders (the tank holds a few larvae that we thought would be frogs)
snapping turtles (we've had a few close encounters with mama's laying eggs nearby)
Asian long horned beetles vs. white spotted sawyer (ours was one of the good guys) 

We don't typically have any kind of a sit down lesson about nature study.  Occasionally we sit together and do some work in our nature journals, documenting recent discoveries or drawing something we've seen.  But, more often than not nature study takes the form of noticing something really cool happening outside (ie. snapping turtle walking across the lawn), stopping everything we're doing to watch it, then hitting the field guides and Google for as much information as we need to feel satisfied.  Many of the facts will be forgotten, I'm sure (and relearned next year when the turtles migrate across our lawn again) but what will be remembered is the realization that our lives are a part of, not separate from nature.  That our actions impact the world around us (surely there was once a nice place to lay turtle eggs where now our barn and chicken coop reside) and how to be careful stewards of this world in which we live.  

1 comment:

  1. The nature table is a great idea. I love the open water pail, it reminds me of the discovery area at the aquarium.


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