If you are like me (grew up city-girl through and through so I really don't have much nature knowledge), sometimes you need a little inspiration. We usually have a nature-themed read aloud going as part of our school time - currently Outdoor Secrets. We read about catkins a couple weeks ago and the very next day happened to see some on a bush while we were out and about! I am also really liking following along with the challenges on the Handbook of Nature Study blog. Barb provides ideas that can be as simple or as detailed as you'd like them to be depending on the interest and ages of your children. She often provides links to YouTube videos and other info if you want more details, and if you purchase her ebooks there are heaps of recording sheets as well. Fun stuff.
By way of example...here are a couple of the studies we have done recently:
We purchased a couple of pansies from our local market and took time to look carefully at them. Can you find the little face? Michelle then used the prompts from the notebooking sheet that came with our ebook to write a simple poem about pansies (she dictated it to me, then copied into her nature journal in her own handwriting):
Happy Green and Curly Leaves
2 Petals for the forehead, 2 for the cheeks, 1 for the chin
Blooming, Jumping Petals
Yesterday, we took a Sunday-afternoon walk through our city and noticed some of the signs of spring. Europe was in the midst of a deep-freeze when we arrived here, so there has been a definite transformation! Some of the things we observed:
The planters along the sidewalks around town were planted with purple and white kale when we arrived (I wish I had a picture...not something I've seen before!), but have recently been replanted with beautifully colored flowers:
Including some surprises yet to bloom....something to check back for to discover what they are:
We recorded everything on the notebooking page that came with the free March newsletter and pasted into the book we are making about our Year in France:
So that's what we do! Simple! The kids are getting a wonderful introduction to the natural world around them and gaining skills in observations and making connections that will serve them well as they move into more formal science study. Perhaps most importantly taking time to notice God's creation around us...even in the city...has brought much joy to our busy days.