Here’s a little story about our nature studies over the last week…Insects. When a millipede interrupts math you just might have to open the front door to put it back outside. Capturing the millipede, gently in a paper cup, of course prompts an Eldest Boy to share a comparison list of millipedes vs. centipedes he recently learned from his Apologia Biology text.
Opening the door might cause two boys to notice a slug.
Noticing the slug definitely makes boys step even further outside.
The front step is a wonderful vantage point for finding granddaddy longlegs spiders. Counting the eight legs on the spider might remind a boy to finish a math lesson.
But likely being outside will just make younger brother pause to listen to the birds. Either way a millipede interrupting math is always a prompt for spontaneous nature study.
Birds. Another day, at lunch time, children notice the variety of birds at the feeder. One decided a SunButter hot dog bun is what the birds would like for lunch. Bird watching continues and all these are noted besides the brown-headed nuthatch above: white-breasted nuthatch, yellow warbler, doves, downy woodpecker, wren, carolina chickadees. Middle Girl makes a homemade bird bath from an abandoned lego bucket, complete with a perching rock.
(Note SunButter ‘hot dog’ placed carefully in the feeder, above). Middle Girl wondered if I noticed the ‘new’ birds at our feeder.
She noted that we see more woodpeckers in the cooler weather. Especially when we provide suet and yummy SunButter.
Color. Fast forward a few days to an early afternoon. One asks if SHE can lead nature study time. Out come all the field guides and each chooses a favorite to browse. Next, it’s time for outdoors.
Being less than two weeks until Christmas, all decided on a hunt for red and green. (We noticed the evergreen pine trees. Their cones, needles -thanks to our handy December nature study grid).
It’s the first really warm day in over a week, so all five children burst forth to the outside.
A leaf rubbing of a mimosa tree here. (prompt from Handbook of Nature Study’s Outdoor Hour December Newsletter)
And, a nice spot to perch in the sunshine here.
Mom had plans for sketching afterwards but being outside just reminded the children of swinging.
And swinging in the sunshine reminded others of being pulled in the wagon.
In summary. If you learn just a little about the outdoors, if you open your heart to nature study, you’ll definitely be grateful to The Handbook of Nature Study site and the love of His creation Barb-Harmony Art Mom shares with her monthly Outdoor Hour Challenge newsletters. Your family just might enjoy your outside time and nature learning most of all. And you’ll grow to love the wonderful community of nature loving families she hosts.
Definitely you’ll look forward to a millipede interrupting math.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom says
Sigh. Makes me so very happy to see your family truly engaging in nature study as a way of life. If nothing else, just providing the opportunity and the flexibility for your children to be outdoors or indoors noticing the small creations we have all around us….for no other reason…you deserve to have your mother’s heart feel deeply satisfied. You are doing a wonderful job. Thank you so much for sharing with me (and everyone one else too).
…building wonderful, wonderful memories with the children!
This is clever and full of beautiful pictures and wonderful memories. Thanks for the reminder of what *real learning* is about.