lessons. My students have a lifetime
ahead of them in which to observe
and discover—to become self-educated in their leisure, so to speak.
My job is to allow their feet to walk
the paths of wonder, to see that they
form relations to various things,
so that when the habit is formed,
they will carry an appreciation for
nature with them throughout their
Miss Mason’s students took a nature walk
once a week and kept a nature journal.
Your students can too.
remedy. We can share in the newness of
our children’s sense of wonder. We can
take nature walks and lead our children
to record their findings in a nature journal. A drawing, along with the field guide’s
Latin name of the finding, a verse of a
poem, or a short written observation can
be done once a week. This record keeping
of firsthand observation will fill a journal
with a good many personal entries by the
end of a calendar year. No matter how
simple the drawings and entries are, it will
be an impressive journal in true scientific
style. And unlike a workbook, it will become a keepsake. Miss Mason’s students
took a nature walk once a week and kept a
nature journal. Your students can too. Insects (a boy’s favorite), wildflowers, birds,
mushrooms, garden plants, clouds, trees,
mammals, etc. are not secretive but will
reveal themselves only to those who take
the time to look.
During the morning’s lessons the
children listened to me read about
the woodpecker. I’d like them to
learn to recognize the drumming of
its beak and have a chance to observe its unique hopping slide up a
tree trunk. But I know that not all
of what they will learn about God’s
creation will conveniently fit into my
Home educators know Karen Andreola
by her groundbreaking book A Charlotte Mason Companion. Karen taught
her three children through high school—
studying with them all the many wonderful things her own education was missing.
The entire Andreola family writes product
reviews for Christian Book Distributors.
Knitting mittens and sweaters and cross-stitching historic samplers are activities
enjoyed in Karen’s leisure. For encouraging
ideas, visit her blog: www.momentswith
1. Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason,
2.;Pocketful of Pinecones—Nature Study With the
Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola, page
I leave you with a paragraph from my
book, Pocketful of Pinecones. In it Carol
takes nature walks with her children and
guides them in keeping a nature journal. At first she teaches more by courage
than confidence. Quite soon, however,
she finds nature study to be a pleasant
aspect of their home education efforts.
Her thoughts are my own—written for
my fellow home teacher to instruct and
hopefully inspire her to do what she has
it in her heart to do with her children.
2/28/12 2:01 PM