Ryan and I knew before A was even born that we wanted to homeschool someday. We have done a ton of research over the past six years and have ultimately chosen to follow our own path but lean heavily towards a Charlotte Mason style.
One of the key elements of the Charlotte Mason method is nature study. We are both quite outdoorsy and were really excited about this idea. Over the past two years we've enjoyed quite a great deal of nature study and I've been meaning to share some of our escapades here.
Every time we travel and are introduced to another climate I'm amazed at this insanely diverse world God created and I am a little more in awe of how unique each homeschool family's nature study will be depending upon the area they raise their babies in.
Me being me, I liked to relate our study to a picture book. This is ideally read before the event but sometimes we discover something and then learn about it after the fact. These are just the lessons that came to mind at naptime the other day:
Around One Cactus. A was utterly fascinated with the remarkably different landscape of Arizona. He was thrilled to get to touch the bark of a palm tree and loved learning more about cacti after we got home again.
Autumn Leaves. We just read this one the other day. We read it right before taking a short little walk in the woods where we found leaves, compared them to those in the book, and made leaf rubbings together. This was a huge hit for us!
A Butterfly is Patient. We caught a caterpillar and watched it turn into a moth. We weren't sure at the time if it was a moth or butterfly caterpillar but it was very fun figuring it all out! We read several books on the subject but this one was the favorite. We had plans to visit a butterfly garden during this time but it didn't end up working out.
Giant Squid. We were inspired after an aquarium trip and got super into giant squids for a while. We watched a short segment about them in an ocean documentary and we read several books about the subject but this was the definite favorite. Giant squids are incredibly fascinating!
Life in the Boreal Forest. This book is a bit wordy but it still held A's attention and fascinated us both. We really, really hope to take the family to Alaska for our tenth anniversary. If that pans out, we'll definitely read this book again before we go.
Pond Walk. One of my kids won this book in a library thing and I didn't think anything of it but A loves this book. The mama bear and her baby bear have a sweet relationship and they see all kinds of cool things on a little pond walk they take together. We have explored a nearby pond in two different seasons and A really enjoyed reading this book before both walks and enjoyed mimicking the nature journaling shown in the book.
Redwoods. We adored this book and read it so many times before our Redwoods trip! The last time was right before our first hike, with their grandparents and aunt, and we still borrow it from the library pretty often.
Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep. My kids adored this book and we had a lot of fun picnicking in a simple tree park and watching the squirrels scamper up and down the trees after reading it.
Woodland Creatures. We frequently thumb through this one before or after a hike... and also maybe Cabela's trips ;]
On my list: A Rock is Lively // A Nest is Noisy // What's in the Desert? // Birds: Nature's Magnificent Flying Machines // Who was Here?