Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Beginning our nature journaling

We started our first "official" homeschool year almost three weeks ago, with Izzy (6) starting first grade.  Since we're brand new at this, and since it's summertime, these last 2 or 3 weeks have been more of a  transition time.  Even though we're almost three weeks in, there are still some things that we have yet to begin, but we're slowly getting there.  Plus we're (read:  I'm) still figuring out a good routine/schedule/flow to our days.

Anyway, one of the things that has taken us awhile to finally implement is our nature journals.  We've been on several nature walks, but the act of drawing or writing something down has not happened...until now!

On Monday we went on a walk around our neighborhood.  When we came back to the house I asked Izzy if there was anything that she wanted to draw or write about in her nature journal.  I do plan to eventually have a focus area, but for now, since it's new and we're developing the habit, I'm going to go with her interests.

She decided to draw a blackberry bush - we actually have three different blackberry bushes growing in our neighborhood.

I have an old Reader's Digest Complete Book of the Garden and we found a nice picture of part of a blackberry bush.  Izzy used the picture to draw hers.




I wasn't going to make Addy (4) draw anything, but she was more than willing!  She decided to draw a couple of flowers that are around our neighborhood - a dandelion (of course) and a daisy.  She actually asked for her own nature journal, too, but I had to explain that she'll get one when she turns 6 and begins real school.  I think she was a little disappointed :(  Instead, she just drew on plain white paper and I put it in a sheet protector in a binder.

I found this wildflower book at a yard sale awhile ago, and it was perfect for finding some nice pictures.


 


Addy and I took turns drawing the petals of the flowers, but she did the rest and colored it.  Izzy did hers completely on her own.  I thought they did such a good job!  Especially since these are their first nature drawings and we haven't done any drawing lessons yet.


And here's Addy's daisy.



Unfortunately, I didn't draw anything in my journal because I was busy helping Addy with her drawings.

How is your nature journaling going?


14 comments:

  1. Beautiful job. :) I've made a resolution to make at least a couple of drawings in my own nature journal every week through July. This sometimes inspires SA(7) and JJ(5) to draw something as well, but not always. I told JJ(5) he would have to wait until he was 6 for one, too, but now he draws in mine so I may just have to give in and get him his own.

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    1. Good for you! I hope to be more consistent with mine. If Addy stays interested, then like you, I may just have to get one for her, too. Actually I already have one because I forgot that I had bought one for Izzy several months ago!

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  2. Hi :-)
    I'd like to thank you for your blog. I have a 5 yrs old I am thinking of CM homeschooling with her (somewhere between CM and unschooling). Most blogs I read (mostly CM) are of parents with older (mostly much older) kids, so it it nice and interesting to read about homeschooling CM style with a kid who is just beginning!

    As for nature journaling, we did start something almost a year ago (mainly copying different types of leaves) but neglected to continue. Then the other day she was trying to warn my mother of a poisonous plant, so she drew it - out of memory. That made me decide to reintroduce the nature journal. My plan is to take it, together with a flower guide, out when we go out and let her choose what she wants to copy.
    Not sure about joining her and also doing my natural journal. On one hand I don't want her to look at how I draw [not the best, but an adult after all..] and think she cannot. On the other hand there is something nice about us both sitting and drawing...

    And as for your kids' pictures - very beautiful!

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! I'm still learning about CM and the more I read, the more her methods just seems to make sense to me. Gentle, yet not at all easy. I'll be honest in that the whole nature journal idea has been a little intimidating to me. I've never had one - never really heard of one, actually - and I've been concerned about how it can be the main source of science in the early years. But, someone (I forget where I read it) pointed out that science is all about curiosity, and how better to encourage that curiosity than through nature study/journaling? It gives them a foundation early on for noticing and discovering all that nature and science have to offer.

      As for journaling yourself - my brother got my mom's artistic skills, ha! Have you heard of the book "Drawing With Children" by Mona Brooks? That's what we're using for drawing lessons and the lessons are very conducive to adults as well. There's a whole lot about being positive in one's attitude toward their drawing skills. And the book literally starts at the beginning - getting accustomed to your materials, learning the elements of shape and how to see them and eventually reproduce them. I also think it's perfectly okay for our children to see something that we're not strong in, and how we perservere regardless and try to improve ourselves :)

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  3. Beautiful, Angela. We don't do much journaling through the summer, but we are out in Nature most of the day, still observing things and learning.
    I bought the children new Nature journals last week and we eager to get back into it once our school year begins.:)

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    1. Thank you, Lisa :) I was really proud of the girls. They have really taken an interest lately in all things nature - very often pointing things out to me that they find. I don't know how consistent we'll be this summer - it is summer after all and even though we've started school, we've had a hard time staying consistent with anything school-related! We'll just do what we can, but making sure we get outside as much as possible like your family :)

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  4. Very good drawings for a 4 and 6 year old! Thanks for sharing. Hope you have a terrific official first year!

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  5. They did beautiful work, Angela. What's nice is that your 4yo (if she's anything like my littles, who usually join in on family learning since they love copying big brothers and sisters!) is going to already have the habit by the time she hits first grade and it will be one less thing to transition to. :) And congratulations on starting Year 1! We are three weeks in to the new school year now, so a little behind you guys. We almost have the kinks worked out. Soon!

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    1. They did, I was really proud of them. I hope you have a great year! We are now in week 5 and still have some kinks to work out!

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  6. Just lovely! :) That wildflower book looks so neat. I love vintage-y drawings. :)

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    1. Thank you! It is a really lovely book. Can't beat yard sale finds :)

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  7. It's great you're starting to put this into your routine early on. Nature study is one of those areas that is often put off because it's seen as an extra but it is so intrinsic to a CM education. I love looking back at some of the early entries my children did in theirs.

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    1. Oh, we're trying! I'm glad we do a lot of nature walks and noticing things, but the journaling is still a work in progress. We'll get there, though :)

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