OBJECTIVE: TO LEARN HOW TO NURTURE A CHILD'S NATURAL LOVE OF NATURE AND HOW TO GIVE THEM EYES TO 'SEE.'
The purpose of Nature Study is to help a child feel at home in Nature. Nature Study is emotional -- Science is intellectual. They're two completely different approaches. In time, heart and mind will work together, but heart work comes first. Unfortunately, in our excitement over science, we've left the study of nature behind. Children are taught the scientific method in kindergarten, but they have little awareness of the miracles of nature that surround them. The job of the mother is to open a child's eyes and especially his heart so he can 'feel' all the lessons Mother Nature teaches. NATURE IS GOD'S UNIVERSITY.
Pierre Curie, Marie Curie's husband and fellow scientist, wrote about spending time along in nature: "Oh! What a good time that was, in grateful solitude, far from the thousand irritating little things which tortured me in Paris ... I went off in the evening, up the valley, and came back with dozens of ideas in my head."
Charlotte Mason and Nature Journaling
Art credit: Picking Blossoms by Emile Claus
Speak to the Children, Little Book,
And bring to them happy hours;
Teach them to find in every verse
God's message in the flowers.
His loving care of beast and bird,
His wonders in the deep,
His patience in His perfect work,
His care o'er all who sleep;
And learn from all His teachings true
How much a little child can do.
The Nature Series from The Forgotten Classics Children Library has a lot of great stories to awaken an interest in nature. The Series is broken down by subject: Stars, Ocean, Rocks, Plants/Trees, Gardening, Insects/Bugs, Birds and Animals. Copies of each can be found throughout the Rotation.
VII: 393-494 Nature Study
"If the trees and flowers, the clouds and the wind, all tell wonderful stories to the child, he has sources of happiness of which no power can deprive him."
David O. McKay
"Another contributing factor to happiness is to be able to enjoy the gifts of nature. The poorest man living can enjoy these because God gives all his blessings free."
"Why do we wish to learn to draw? ... In order to develop in us those nobler faculties which God has given for the appreciation of His works in nature...
"Drawing produces an exactness of thought."
The value of Nature Study should not be measured by the acquisition of knowledge, but rather by the love and the profound reverence for the design and protecting care revealed in the works and sky by an all-wise Creator."
WEMH PODCAST #106: Opal Stanley Whiteley