What gorgeous fall weather we have been having here for the past week. Sunshine, crisp air and the warm colors of changing leaves. I love New England in October!
We recently went out for an afternoon of nature study and focused on Signs of Autumn and Nature Journals. As Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, we focus on nature study for our science during the early years with an emphasis on learning about local wildlife, flora and fauna and our 'own backyard'.
We use The Handbook of Nature Study as our guide and science manual for the early years and have recently begun taking cues from this amazing blog. I have to say that I have grown to love this book after some serious intimidation over it's size and all-out commitment to learning about the natural world. Charlotte Mason believed that children should spend hours out-of-doors on a daily basis in all sorts of weather (in fact, she believed that "school" for children younger than six consisted almost entirely of time spent outdoors).
In regards to keeping a Nature Journal, she also wrote:
“A field notebook may be made a joy to the pupil and a help to the teacher.”
She also made a rule that "the (nature) book should be considered the personal property of the child and should never be criticized by the teacher except as a matter of encouragement; for the spirit in which the notes are made is more important than the information they cover."
So with all four children in tow and four Nature Journals (Luca shared my of course) we headed out for a nice drive to find a spot to sit, watch, listen and draw.
It was a magical afternoon in which I was able to sit back and enjoy watching my children simply take in their surroundings and lose themselves in the delight of drawing, listing, climbing, running through, touching, picking and observing all of creation around them. I truly wish that I could commit to this daily with my children. It was refreshing to all of us and is something that we all needed.