Part of Charlotte Mason's method (a large part) is nature study. I have to be honest. We live in a flat, treeless, and windy city. Nature study is a hard thing to get motivated about, especially when I long to see beauty all around me. But, my friends that is not my reality (or the reality of many really) and is NO excuse to give up the study of nature.
I'm always up for a challenge, so I challenge myself to find the beauty where we live. After all, God made this land too, so there is beauty to be found.
My other challenge is the weather. Just as above, I'm sure I could use it on every occasion as an excuse not to go outside (especially in the cold), but am challenging myself NOT to.
Plus, this life, this having children, and choosing to raise them, and school them in the comfort of home allows us the opportunities to show them God in everything. And what is more evident of God than His own creation?
Fist of all, I'm finding that having a bag prepared helps when we want to observe more carefully. Pack a backpack with pencils, sketchbooks, magnifying glass, baggies, books, and paints and a paper towel, and some trail mix just in case. You may not need the bag every time, but it's good to have.
Next up...go outside. Some days we go on a walk in our neighborhood and collect pine cones, berries, leaves, and acorns. Some days we look at the trees and talk about what kind they are or or how they change each season.
Other days, we may sit in our front yard and listen to birds, watch squirls, play with sticks, find bugs, or climb trees.
Some days we head out to a park with a creek, or ducks, or the Canyon to hike and climb.
We used to do this about 4 times a week. Now that it's been so cold, I haven't been motivated. I came across some wonderful ideas to help with studying nature, even when it's cold out!
1) Loved this whole post at the Common Room. I loved the idea of catching snowflakes with black gloves on and quickly observing.
2) I also love making a weather calender and writing what the weather is like each day. She mentions taking note of the moon too!
3)This post at The Educational Life is extremely helpful with getting started and fitting it in your routine.
I loved this idea of creating a bird watching station especially for the colder days.
And you could put a bird feeder right on your window.
Collect items and use them! There are so many neat ideas to put in your journal.
From leaf rubbings, to drawings, or even actual photographs with observations writtin in.
You can even make fun and beautiful crafts!
Have fun with it. It shouldn't feel pressured or hurried. Just enjoy God all around you!