Nature Study

"And he wandered away and away, with Nature the dear old nurse,
Who sang to him night and day, the rhymes of the universe. 
And when the way seemed long, and his heart began to fail,
She sang a more wonderful song, or told a more wonderful tale."

-- Longfellow

"Nature-Study is, despite all discussions and perversions, a study of nature; it consists of simple, truthful observations that may, like beads on a string, finally be threaded upon the understanding and thus held together as a logical and harmonious whole. Therefore, the object of the nature-study teacher should be to cultivate in the children powers of accurate observation and to build up within them, understanding." 

The Handbook of Nature Study, Anna Botsford Comstock
"What is Nature-Study?"

 “Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” “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.”

-- Charlotte Mason

Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life...

Do children keep tadpoles, and silkworms, and caterpillars in these days? Very few have given us the results of their own observations. We have many capital descriptions from books, and that is better than nothing, but the very essence of natural history is that it should, so far as possible, be drawn direct from Nature. 

Surely it is not too much to expect that every boy and girl should, before the age of twelve, have formed a little herbarium of the wild flowers in their own neighbourhood, nicely pressed and mounted, and carefully described." -- Charlotte Mason, Vol. 6. 

Charlotte had much to say about the importance of Nature Study and the Out-of-door life of a child. In fact, she put it as priority #1 in education of a child. The benefits of teaching a child the skills of observation through nature-study cannot be replicated in any other way. There's also the benefits of health mental and physical & moral education that nature can provide are also key. If you keep a Nature Journal there is also the added benefit of seeing patterns in nature, recording and charting the moon phases, geography of the landscape you live near, the seasons and their effects, as well as pond study, bird migrations & other animal tracks, & even life cycles (watching caterpillars become butterflies and tadpoles becoming frogs, etc.)

She recommended that a child be out of doors no less than 4-6 hours every day! That seems obsessive, I know, but after having reading a few parts of The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock I am starting to realize that a lot of the issues we face in our school day could likely be fixed entirely by just being out doors and doing nature-study. 

Below are a few resources that will help you in your considerations of Nature-Study and how it might impact the education of your children. 

A Few Resources to Help:

**The links above are affiliate links as Ambleside Wonderland is apart of Amazon's affiliate program. To read more about this visit this link HERE

If you know of  anymore Nature-Study Resources that could happily supplement a Charlotte Mason Education feel free to comment below or message me with it! 

[I am constantly adding more resources, this entire endeavor is a work in progress. Be patient and check back often! Thanks!]

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