Study Nature

orangememe

I shall be hosting a weekly ‘Explore-along’ on my Facebook page, to share our nature studies from Exploring Nature With Children. Each week I shall post what we got up to for that week’s lesson and I invite you to share your own family’s studies.

We shall begin on Monday 7th of September with the first week’s activity from Exploring Nature With Children: Seeds

Please visit me at my Facebook page, to get ready for our first week!

Exploring Nature With Children: A Complete, Year-Long Curriculum

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The last few months have been busy..very busy.

I wrote a book!

I have written the book that I have always wanted to buy; a book that really does take the hassle out of nature study, the book that I can just open and go.

I am so very excited to present: Exploring Nature With Children

Exploring Nature With Children is a complete, year-long curriculum, that will guide you step by step, through an entire calendar year of nature study. It has been a true labour of love, and one that I know will make nature study actually happen for many home educating families out there.

Inside Exploring Nature With Children you will find:

An entire chapter devoted to getting you up and running with nature study. This will get you all fired up and ready to go.
Forty-eight weeks of nature study; four weeks for each month of the year, organised by season. Exploring Nature With Children can be used as a whole year’s study, or dipped in and out of as you please. Each study comes with a complete list of
Each week’s nature study contains the following:

A themed nature walk.
Exploring Nature With Children will take you step by step through a themed, Charlotte Mason-style, nature walk. There is no need to hunt through various books and websites; all the information you need is there, leaving you free to enjoy being out in nature with your child.

References to the Handbook Of Nature Study.
Exploring Nature With Children is completely self-contained, but we have also included references to related pages in the Handbook Of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock, should you wish to delve a little deeper.

A themed book list.
With books for children of all ages, you will find a comprehensive list of living books related to the week’s nature study theme. Again, Exploring Nature With Children is a self-contained course, so the book list is a bonus, not a necessity.

A poem
Related to the nature theme of the week; a classic piece of poetry that can be used for copywork, dictation, or simply to just read aloud and enjoy.

A piece of art
The name and details of a piece of art that relates to the nature theme of the week has been included. This can easily be looked up online, or in art books available from your local library.

Extension activities for your child
Here you will find a list of activities, written directly to your child, that will extend their nature study throughout the whole of the week. You will find ideas for crafts, writing, science and more, with absolutely no busy work.

I have written the book that I have always wanted to buy; a book that really does take the hassle out of nature study, the book that I can just open and go. I have tried to make Exploring Nature With Children as user friendly as possible for all families. The book gives you the necessary scientific information for each week’s nature theme, then the parent can present that information to each individual child as they see fit.

The extension activities included vary; venn diagrams, writing poetry, making models. A child that is old enough to keep a nature journal would get the most out of this book, however, the reason Exploring Nature With Children came to be written, was because I have been looking to buy something like this since my twelve year old was a toddler. I would have jumped at this book, even with such a tiny child, because it would equip me as a mum to talk with my child about nature, without having to go through a pile of different books first! To know what to be specifically on the look out for each week, with out a lot of extra information that overwhelmed me!

If you click on any of the blue links, it takes you to the page where you can buy the book. On that page is a preview page. Click on the preview (the top right-hand corner) and you can view the table of contents, plus a whole week’s activities. It should give you a good idea of whether the book would be a good fit for your family.

Exploring Nature With Children is currently available as a PDF. Click on one of the blue links in this post to see a preview of the book or to go ahead and purchase.

The regular price of the download is $15, but I have a coupon code for 30% off the price that runs until August 31 2015. Please enter coupon code: Earlybird15 for your 30% discount.

Please feel free to join my FaceBook page & do let me know what you think.

Update:

Here is a review from a happy customer:

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.

JGC

Daily Rhythm

Our Calendar
Our Calendar

I thought I would share our daily rhythm. I take a very structured approach to educating my girls, which makes me rather an oddity amongst my home educating friends, who mostly favour an autonomous approach.

How our days generally progress:

Monday – Thursday

7am – The girls get up, bring pillows & covers down to the living room & I read aloud for an hour while they eat breakfast.

8am – They read quietly. Elianna usually reads her ‘Literature’ choice, sometimes ‘popcorn’ style with me, Rose reads a science book.

8:30 – Latin with Elianna, Rose gets dressed & does her chores

9am – Rose works on her maths lesson & then she reads to me from her ‘Literature’ choice (currently Beatrix Potter) Elianna showers, dresses & does her chores.

10am– maths for Elianna, free play for Rose.

10:30 – Writing, spelling, and grammar for everyone. They work from different books, Ellie often takes herself off to her ‘reading room’ to work on this & I sit ‘elbow to elbow’ with Rose 🙂

Rose’s lessons are usually much shorter than Elianna’s, so get gets lots of chunks to play, throughout the day. She has such a vibrant imagination, I usually hear her chatting away, playing with her bears, or wooden animals, or lego figures…

11:30 -Memory work; poetry, Shakespeare, maths facts, grammar facts, and the periodic table song – but not all on the same day 🙂

12-lunch

1pm/1:30 depending on how the day is going!

Monday is usually our Pond Study day, so we are out for the afternoon.

Tuesday to Thursday are for History.

Dependant on the day, Elianna either reads from the Kingfisher encyclopaedia, outlines from what she has read, reads a primary source document & writes a paragraph about it, or reads from a history book & writes a narration.

Rose reads from a history book for around 20-30 minutes.

2pm/2:30 Free time…but no T.V. but often the girls paint, sketch, model with clay, or sew. Sometimes we do watch a documentary or film.

After dinner the girls often enjoy watching a T.V. program with their dad. Rose is tucked up in bed at 8pm & Ellie goes upstairs to read. She reads a chapter from whatever science book I have assigned.

Then she then either reads from her own choice, (currently she is taken with Greek/Roman/Norse myths, or comic books) or sketches & colours.

Fridays are completely different – we still have read aloud time in the morning, plus quiet reading time. The girls add anything they have read about in history to our time line, I have allocated time to work with Rose on anything to do with Little Passports ~ reading related books, looking places up on the map etc.then the rest of our morning is science & art. Friday afternoon is free for outings & meeting friends & family.

This year I have not got into a regular rhythm of picture study. I have ordered a few books from the ‘Come Look With Me‘ series. I will be using these during Friday morning Read Aloud time, so hopefully this will get us enjoying picture study again.

This is my guide for our days. We do not always follow this rhythm…but it gives me a structure to work with.

How do your days flow?

Little Passports

Little Passports
Little Passports

Rosie’s first parcel from Little Passports arrived this week.

It was greeted with much excitement & fervour, opened immediately, and the activities completed within the hour!

The initial package contains a letter from Sam & Sofia; the imaginary children that are writing to your child from various destinations around the globe, a passport, boarding pass, stickers, wall map, activity sheets and finally a Little Passports suitcase. This is designed for the child to keep all of the items sent in future packages. It is sturdy & well made & Rose was soooooo excited to have one!

She first added the stickers of Sam & Sofia to her suitcase, then completed her passport, filling in her name & address, plus the other couple of questions in there which really engaged her. Next she chose to play the activities online. The ‘boarding pass’ the child receives has a special code, which allows them to access various online games, puzzles, quizzes, and other activities. Rose whizzed through these, playing them all, then she wanted to complete the activity sheets, which she had fun with. One of the games on the activity sheets lets your child know which country Sam & Sofia will be visiting next. Oooh! The excitement!

I am really delighted with Little Passports. Rose whizzed through this first package, but she is able to go back & play all the online activities at any time. I think the main benefits for me are the following; I was looking for an activity for Rose that she could work on at her own pace & have me as involved or uninvolved as she liked. The first package is of really high quality and & I pleased that this structured activity will be dropping through my door once a month.

Being a Charlotte Mason inspired family, of course there will be books! Here are the main resources I will be using to go with Little Passports:

If The World Were A Village: A fantastic, thought provoking book, which explains facts about the world’s population in a simple and fascinating way.

Material World:This book shows ‘average’ families from various countries, photographed with all their possessions.

Hungry Planet: What The World Eats: Again, a book filled with informative photographs, revealing what people eat during the course of one week.

I will also be taking books out from our local library each month, to read about the individual countries, and I plan for Rose & I to create some national dishes from the various countries.

I hope this gives a little insight into what is included with Little Passports. Here is a link that gives more information about the various packages.

Happy Weekend!