Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nature Study... How?

I admit it!
When it comes to nature study, I am terribly challenged.
There is no doubt that nature study can be a daunting subject.
After all... not all of us, as children, were blessed with the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the natural environment that God has so lovingly provided us.
I am one of those.... who is afraid of spiders, roaches, and creepy crawly things.
It has been challenging to overcome this "lack of love" for all things squirmy, but I decided to give it a go the day that I saw my 2 year old little boy shriek in high pitched terror over a house fly.
That was the day that I decided it was time to check my fears at the proverbial homeschool door! There was no way that my children would inherit my blatantly ridiculous fears.
Having made the decision to help my children foster an appreciation for ALL God's creatures... I was overwhelmed with the Question of :
How, indeed, would a clueless person such as myself educate my children on the subjects of; Bugs, Flowers, Birds, Insects, Trees etc.?
I was brought up in the Middle East Desert... There were no forests;, no trees in which to dwell. There were no laughing brooks or green rolling hills!
Here, in the good ole' U.S.... were few birds, plant, and animal life similar to what I had knowledge of. How was I ever to familiarize myself with such a change in habitat?
Such a baffling question.
I am happy to say, a few years later, that my personal education on this subject is still on going. I think my biggest fear in tackling the subject of nature study... was the fear of NOT being able to answer my children's questions.
It never dawned on me that it was OK to not know everything.
I was so set on the task of "educating" my children, that I never dreamed that the educational process could occur without an all knowing teacher.
And it certainly never occurred to me that NOT Knowing the answers would be the greatest blessing I could possibly ever asked for.
Day after Day, my children come up to me with questions.
Question about:
The name of a flower The Type of a bug
What tree a certain leaf comes from...
My answer on most days is... "I don't know"... "lets go find out"
The "lets find out" part is what has given me the biggest thrill and the greatest satisfaction.
Not only am I facilitating the satisfaction of their natural curiosity, but I am enabling them to work to attain THEIR OWN Knowledge... which will one day become their greatest possession.
And the happiest part, is that in the process, I am learning right along with them. I am exploring the great, vast labyrinths of self-education, and experiencing the discovery of invaluable treasures.
I can Truly say that this "Homeschooling Quest"... is a venture worth taking...
It was Charlotte Mason who said:
"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."
Inexcusable indeed!
How else can we revel in the magnificence and power of God.... if we do not take the time to appreciate and thank Him for the Earth that he gave us.
Some Recent Nature Journal Entries:
<-------Jonah Age 4
Cossette age 8------>
2 weeks ago... we spotted a fascinating, and beautiful bug. It's color was so breath taking, that we captured it in our bug house so that we could take it home to identify it.
Little did we know that we had captured a "kissing bug".... a "blood sucker".... EEEK!
Observing caterpillars
<----Jonah age 4
Cossette Age 8---->
We recently received 5 caterpillars via mail. We have been having a fascinating time journaling their daily changes.... we eagerly await for them to emerge from their chrysalids!!

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down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by
acting."- Henry David Thoreau.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
-Proverbs 22:6