Friday, September 19, 2008
Nature study is a big part of a Charlotte Mason education for the younger years. So we try to get out every Wednesday afternoon for at least 2-3 hours to just spend time outside. We've learned how to do this over the year: everyone must wear tennis shoes and it's best to wear long, yet light pants (bug bites and poison ivy have taught us this); Bug spray is a must; we bring our backpack stuffed full of things like notebook, colored pencils, magnifying glass, compass, Handbook of Nature Study, plastic bags, etc, etc; we bring three Tot Spot chairs and sometimes a blanket to sit on; Everyone has their own water bottle (which I freeze; in this hot weather, it melts quickly enough); a snack. I think that about does it!
In these pictures we've gone to the "wood park" (the kids call it that because of the wood structures the kids can play on). We do nature study for a while before I let them play on the toys. The kids threw out bird seed. No birds came, but ants came. I tried to take a picture of an ant, but my camera wouldn't focus well enough. Jonathan is scared of everything (thus his feet up on his chair to keep away from the ants). The longer we stay out in nature, the more we see: we've seen a black racer snake, 4 armadillos, an anhinga (a bird that swims under water to catch its food); we've discovered different flowers, trees, plants (we now have a picture book of poison ivy so we know what to look for), birds, insects... It makes for a tiring day, but it has been beneficial.