Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall Nature Study


Sorry this place has been so quiet this past month!  We had visitors for two weeks.  Then we were recovering from them, as lovely as they were.  And then we bought plane tickets for moving to Africa in January, so we have entered full-blown transition mode now.  So, please accept my apologies if things are a little neglected around here.  I do have a lot I would like to share in this space...all in good time.

We have, however, had some really wonderful times of fall nature study, despite all the busy-ness.  I am feeling so very blessed that we have be able to enjoy autumn two years in a row before we go back to the tropics.

One thing we did was record the end of our Sunflower project.  We got to observe the seeds down there in the flower head...just like the ones we started with when we planted!  Everything came around full-circle.

Over on the Ambleside Online forum, a group of us has been reading and discussing the Handbook of Nature Study. It has been a wonderfully inspiring discussion.  One of the things we discussed was the balance between freedom and structure in nature study.  When do we let our children run loose and find the things that interest them, and when do we gently nudge them in the right direction?

Not long after this discussion, we decided to pop over to the park in between rain showers.  Inspired by one of the ideas from this month's Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter, we decided to see if we could find leaves in three different shapes and/or three different colors, which we did.   There was the structure.

 I also stopped to take a closer look at an evergreen tree that was covered with some kind of berries.

While I was trying to figure it out, Michelle noticed that there were mushrooms growing in the dirt under the tree.  Heaps of them.  Different kinds too. 

 We spent several minutes observing and counting them.  Michelle was absolutely fascinated.  There was our freedom.

We also stomped in the puddles on the way home.  What good is nature study on a wet day without some puddle stomping? =)

Hope you are enjoying the season wherever you are, too.


  1. Always fun to see what your family is up to. :)

    I so agree that nature study is better when we have a bit of a focus but allow the unexpected to unfold as well. The focus can always just be a back up plan.

    Thank you for sharing your entry with the carnival..loved a glimpse into your part of the world.

  2. Wow - it would be quite a change to have these seasons and then move somewhere you don't have them! We have visited Africa, but never lived or stayed long-term anywhere without a full range of seasons. Anyway, this was a lovely nature study, so thanks for sharing.