Links to reviews of Exploring Nature With Children
The Curriculum Choice ~ Eva Varga
The Curriculum Choice ~ Kortney Garrison
Education Outside School Magazine Autumn 2015 Edition
Raising Rainbows Video review
From the Sandbox To Socrates FaceBook page:
Is Nature Study overwhelming for you? It is something you’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to?
Our very own Lynn has designed an incredible year long nature study course using poetry, art, and best of all, Anna Botsford Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study. She has done all of the work for you, lining lessons up on a week by week basis, and all you have to do is print it out and tuck it in a binder.
You can click through from the blog to see preview pages.
Charlotte Mason would be delighted.
From MT – a home educating mum
It’s fantastic! I love it! I love how you have included a poem & a piece of art! & I love how you don’t presume that the adult has knowledge of nature. I love the extension activities! I feel really excited reading it – like its something I could actually do – despite knowing nothing at all about nature!
From CC – a home educating mum
Feedback for exploring nature with children.
Was thinking over the summer how I wanted to incorporate nature study into my girls learning for the coming year. I had bought the nature study handbook years back but never really used it. I needed something more structured as planning and preperation is not my forte. This resource is ideal. Its written in a clear and concise way and is easily adaptable for all my children, ranging from 4 to teens. I love the fact that I dont need lots of other books etc to get going with it though there is the option of doing that with book recommendations should you want to expand the teaching. Thanks Lynn for giving me a reason to look forward to September, cant wait to get going with it!
From JGC – a home educating mum
I am so thrilled to be reading “Exploring Nature With Children: A Complete, Year-long Curriculum” by Lynn Seddon. It came out exactly when I needed it as well, being a first time home educator of a very spirited four year old boy. While Charlotte Mason advocates waiting a few years before starting formal education, I believed my child would benefit from learning about the rewards of patient observation and he could certainly make meaningful drawings for himself in a nature journal. Armed with two other wonderful CM based books on the subject of Nature Study, I thought I was completely ready to deliver Nature Study to my son. However, I found myself overwhelmed when it came to trying to figure out where to start. I was afraid of missing very relevant details and was unsure about when to commence certain parts of study. For example, its said that winter is the best time for studying bird song. When exactly? What other activities could we be doing in winter? How often should I be taking my son to revisit pond study? What if I completely forget to do this particular nature craft which is holiday themed, in time for that holiday?
I learned a lot about Nature Study from my existing resources as an overview, but when it came to the week by week nuts and bolts of putting a comprehensive lesson plan together, I often found my enthusiasm for natural wonder waning, bogged under the practicalities of actually having to pull it off.
Lynn Seddon’s book solves a lot of problems for me. First, it is written with gentle, loving reverence for the study of nature which makes it an enjoyable read. At every step, she offers suggestions for adapting the lessons for younger children and then for older children. In Lynn’s lesson plans, she asks questions that encourages the use of all of the senses that invites more inquiry and curiosity. The lessons are all laid out complete with equipment lists of everyday, inexpensive items and additional related activity suggestions that build upon what’s being learned, using many different skills from many adjoining disciplines. I find the extensions engaging and I look forward to sharing these with my son.
If that wasn’t good enough, Lynn included book suggestions– both fiction and non-fiction for additional study, poetry selections and art selections to consider each week. To me, its the icing, cherry on top and generous scoop of ice cream on the side! Not only was I struggling with Nature Study for my very spirited little boy, I was also struggling with Picture Study. So while the curriculum focus is on Nature Study, for all intents and purposes, a good deal of Picture Study and even appreciation for Poetry is included. These are relevant to what is being studied for the week and I believe connecting Picture Study and Poetry to Nature Study will entice my four year old to participate in those. This book offloads so much footwork for me!
I think the most important thing for me that “Exploring Nature With Children…” provides is confidence. I had visions of going to our outdoor space for Nature Study with my son happily following with nature journal at hand. Then the reality of this vision turned into him handing his journal off to me to make a run for a nearby playground when I struggled with what in nature to introduce him to. Now I have a plan, books to select from to prepare him for his study outdoors and overall a compass to follow for the whole of the year– and one that can be revisited for years to come.
“Exploring Nature With Children…” could not have come at a better time for me and I consider this curriculum a gift, crafted with great forethought and care. Thank you Lynn!