Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fitting in nature study and all those 'extras'

I noticed this year as we got into a more rigorous curriculum (Ambleside Online), with more books to read, more work than last year, nature study had slipped a little around here. Sure, we still do a bit of nature study but it hasn't been as much as I would have liked nor as much as Charlotte Mason's students truly did.

Also, some of the so called 'extras' too like handicrafts, art etc were taking a nose dive! Because I am not an arty person, they would get left to the last and then when we ran out of time they wouldn't get done:(

So, I tried to rectify that by adjusting our schedule this term.

I've alloted certain 'days' to certain 'subjects' so they don't get left out.
So my schedule goes like this. Besides our daily subjects like Bible, Maths, penmanship and poetry, we allot the other subjects as follows:

Mondays and Tuesdays we cover Literature, History and Geography (the readings are spread out over two days as I don't want to overload her with one subject on each day)

Wednesdays is our 'science and nature study' day.

Thursdays we call our 'artsy' day in which we do all the extras (which are not really 'extras' because they are a key differentiator between a Charlotte Mason education and other methods): composer study, picture study (art), drawing, hymns, handicrafts (knitting) and the all important 'craft' for my craft loving daughter:)

Fridays we have off for park days, etc.

We are almost at the end of second 12 week term and I can say we've had better success with this than term 1.

By having a set day to do certain subjects that I don't necessarily like, I ensure it gets done and that Rebekah is getting that liberal education that Charlotte Mason talked about.

With Nature study however (where we actually go to a specific place to observe nature, do nature journalling etc) I have allowed myself to schedule it in once a fortnight (for my non-Aussie readers that's once every two weeks) (smile) instead of once a week as it involves much more time and preparation on my part! I figured that this way instead of constantly feeling like we never do it, if I allow myself some leeway and set a more realistic goal, it will actually get done!

So, having said all that, as we had no park day this week and also because of poor weather, we had our nature study day yesterday - a Friday.

We had a lovely picnic lunch along with Rebekah's new Sylvanian family bike and picnic set,

fed the ducks at leisure,

took time to relax and breathe, observed and discussed at length about the birds, trees and flowers, have fun,

did some nature journalling,

did some reading in a shady spot, and just marvelled at God's creation!

I brought to Rebekah's attention the design on the petals of the above flower. Nature has some invaluable lessons for us in that they display the beauty and wonder of God and teach us so much about Him. Prior to homeschooling Rebekah I would never have noticed the intricate designs on the inside of a flower!
Isn't this flower just amazing! It's a dietes and is a very common flower. I'm sorry that these shots are just from my mobile phone and don't do the beauty of the flower any justice but when Rebekah took a closer look, she was amazed and said, it's like God drew it with a texta! That's exactly what it looked like! A texta drawing / or as if someone had personally hand painted that brown design on the inside of the petal! To think that God put so much detail into a flower that is here today and gone tomorrow.....

We had an awesome day! It actually turned out to be a lovely nature study day mummy/daughter date actually:)


Joluise said...

What a lovely day and it looked like the weather was good to you. There is nothing better than share Gods beauty with a child. Now that my sons are all grown up I often walk past something and wish I could show them but they aren't with me. So enjoy every moment as it disappears all too quickly.

have a lovely weekend:)

Jeanne said...

Sounds perfect. Just lovely.

Sarah said...

I've found the same thing happen, some of the other important subjects get neglected! You have done so well in putting it all together. Love the picture of Rebekah with the ducks...creating beautiful memories! :)

Ganeida said...

Juggling everything is hard but practise makes perfect & you will be getting lots of practise! ☺

Amy said...

Well done! Sounds like Rebekah is loving it. :)

Clara said...

Sounds like a fantastic day!! :) And your schedule sounds really good, too - I find it all works better when I schedule things realistically, too.

Mrs Adept said...

Oh I love the look of that water fall thingy in the background. What a beautiful place to do some nature study.

ps. I love the comment in regard to the flower, "it's like God drew it with a texta!" Next time I am out in the garden I will be thinking of that.

Julie said...

Yay for a lovely mummy-daughter date AND nature study day.

tea said...

I love hearing about your schooling experience. The nature time sounds really great! And I love that about God - that he is such an amazing Artist!

Susan (HomeGrownKids) said...

we have those flowers in our neighbourhood. I spend quite some time photographing them ;)

Ah nature study... remember nature study? LOL We did lots of ns when the children were younger but then life turns a corner and driving lessons and part time work take over.

But now, my hubby and I are getting back into it- and journalling with our camera!

Arky said...

hi rebekah!!:D <3