Nature study is an important part of the Charlotte Mason method.
“We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things,” she said. Nature study can be as simple or as complex as you wish it to be. It can be a simple walk outside during good weather (or bad, if you’re hardy). It can be a trip to the zoo. Whatever it looks like for your family, the most important part is getting outside. Miss Mason advised: “Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.”
The following list is our best attempt at recreating a workshop on nature journaling given by John Muir Laws in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 2018. He spent the first two hours of the workshop talking about the brain and nature journaling. So far we haven’t found an online resource that captures this information. Hopefully it will be available in the future.
- How to Teach Nature Journaling (video)
- at 10:00—The Three Languages of Journaling (words, pictures, numbers)
- at 26:40—3 Prompts for Deeper Nature Observation (I notice, I wonder, It reminds me of…)
- (Brief text version of the three prompts)
- How to give children feedback:
- at 12:28 of this video
- Quantity, not Quality (text)
- 3 Easy Nature Journaling Activities for Beginners
- 5 Keys to Better Drawing (video)
- Why I love the non-photo blue pencil (text)
This list comes directly from the nature journaling workshop given by John Muir Laws in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 2018.
#1 Recommendation (and it’s FREE!)
- Opening the World Through Nature Journaling (Nature Journaling Curriculum, second edition) — Free download
- Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards
- Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv
- The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling – A beautiful book that balances instruction on nature drawing with nature journaling. This is not a book you give your seven year old to work through alone, rather it is a wonderful reference for parents and older students.
- The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds
- The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking, by Mike Rohde
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Outdoor Ideas from Miss Mason
It’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and many people are starting to venture outside more often. Miss Mason’s book are full of suggestions of what sorts of activities outside would be beneficial. If you’re just starting out with Nature Study, feel free to keep it simple. But if you want a few ideas for digging […]