Nature Study: Leading by Example

Art and Nature by example

I love nature study. I love teaching the wonder of God’s creation to my kids. I love trying to learn about what is around us. I love the skills of observation that it teaches.

It thrills my soul to see the kids with their nature notebooks and colored pencils. But lately, I feel that I’m having to coerce them more. Perhaps because it’s been a little while since we’ve studied nature; we’ve been all wrapped up in earth layers and volcanoes. Perhaps it’s because we’ve moved from 25 acres of country to a backyard in the city.

As I was mulling over this problem (and reading Charlotte Mason’s thoughts about children learning from an atmosphere, the ideas that rule MY life), I decided that maybe they would do better with less coercing and more example. Confession: I had not yet started a nature notebook for myself.

And so, with much trepidation and embarrassment, I began. I pulled an unused journal from my shelf and started. I can’t tell you how hard it is to share these pictures. They are not nearly as splendid as I’d like them to be; a fourth grader could probably do better. But my one consolation is that perhaps I will encourage another untalented mother to step into an unknown realm for the sake of her children.

My nature journal


The result of leading the way? It’s worked!

The kids are now eager to see what I have in my notebook, eager to copy what I have drawn and discover for themselves, eager to bring in the outdoors for more study.

Even Littlest grabbed a book and “pen” the other day for his trip outside.

Littlest's "nature journal"

Published by Tracy

Our life is creative chaos, and our homeschool is loud and busy and distracted and challenging and lovely. My name is Tracy, and I homeschool my crew of three kids with ADHD/dyslexia, finding creative ways to use their strengths to teach their weaknesses. As a homeschooled homeschooler, I love customizing curriculum and making adjustments to incorporate fun, hands-on projects for out-of-the-box learners. Stop by to find grace for the messes and mistakes, and knowledge to pick up the pieces and make something special. Let’s grow together!