Nature Walks - Different locations and styles

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
Shari
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:43 pm

Nature Walks - Different locations and styles

Unread post by Shari » Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:05 am

We live in a city neighborhood
Lisa B wrote:Please share different things you have done for your weekly nature walk. We live in a city neighborhood, not out in the country, and we have just taken walks around the block, looking at people's yards. There's not a lot of variety in that! I could plan for an outing to a park or natural site perhaps monthly, but certainly not every week (7 kids, busy lifestyle). I need some ideas, or perhaps just a different perspective.
I live in a city too, I don't have seven children,but I do have a teen and 10 year old. What I will do is walk around our neighborhood and look at the leaves changing color(not cool for the teen,but oh well),and observe the many squirrels getting ready for winter.

We have a nature center near our local zoo, so we will go there when it is too cold to walk around the area. We also have Forest Preserves(glorified parks),and hopefully see a deer or other animals(not people),just being out walking will be nice.

On those super cold days,that I am sure we will get since it has been a very strange summer, we will take creative nature walks in our heads, I will start by saying we are at such and such and I see a cat,...then let my dd add where the cat is and go from there. I plan on keeping the area where we are visiting at that time.
Shari,
wife to John since "88"
mom to:
Heather 27,married to Mike(U.S. Army)
Nyssa 15,future Artist
Michaela 10, future Lawyer
Grandma to:
Mikey 9/99
Brandon 1/01
Ryan 5/03
Savannah 7/04

Teach with Love,Patience and Kindness

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Re: We live in a city neighborhood

Unread post by Lucy » Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:58 am

Hi there,

We also live in the city, although since we live in a warm area (S. CA) we have lots of blooming year round even in the neighborhood. We have several garden's and arbors around that have days which are free each month to the public so we try to do this at least once a month. If you also have a membership to some place like a zoo they usually have lots of great plants and of course animals. There are zoos in our area that also have free days (usually their founders day) . For the younger ones they will just like the neighborhood or even finding a cool bug in the backyard to look at and then draw. I hope this has given you a least one idea you can use.

Oh and if you can not do it every week try at least once or twice a month.

Have a great day!

Lucy

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: We live in a city

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:51 pm

I'm going to have a focus or back-up idea
Hi Lisa,
After a while, I expect my son will become a pro at finding things to explore. But at first I picture him totally blank! So my plan is to have ideas in mind to "suggest" he focus on (ds will be 9 this fall but thinks he's going to be 20 like his brother :o)

The first thing I thought I'd suggest during nature walks (IF needed) is things we have learned about in MFW. For instance, in week 1 the 3rd grade PLL lesson is about moths. Or in week 2, ECC brings up trees and apples.

If I don't find something in the lesson to focus on, I have also found many topics online that we could study if I need to "lead him to discover."

Focus on the backyard:
1. http://charlottemason.tripod.com/backyard_nature.htm
2. http://www.hhmi.org/coolscience/forkids/inchsquare/
3. http://www.christianity.com/11547625/

Focus on a tree:
1. http://www.agriscience.msu.edu/specialp ... vities.doc
2. http://www.creativity-portal.com/howto/ ... ompts.html
3. http://www.oplin.lib.oh.us/tree/leaf/byleaf.html
4. http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/ce/eek/veg/t ... estart.htm
5. http://www.lessonplanspage.com/ScienceL ... ations.htm (see "8. procedure" )


Other ideas over the year:
Bird watching
Garden planting & journaling
Study the course of the sun by shadow measuring over the year,
or follow star constellations through the sky if we walk in the evenings.

There are more good ideas on this thread:
Ideas: Nature Walks in ECC are all around us!
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?t=2166

Update Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:50 pm
We did nature walks during ECC with a 3rd grader. Also, this was a boy who did not like to write, so take that into consideration.

Most of his identification at his age had to do with things actually in our yard. What kinds of trees do we have in the front yard? What kinds of bushes in the back? Which bloomed first, and which dropped its leaves first? No advanced horticulture or anything. Easy to look up from inside the house. Just sitting in the yard & realizing all of God's creation made for a special study of science. We finally figured out what kinds of trees we have. We noticed plants we hadn't ever paid attention to. We felt the breeze & heard the birds.

When we went to the nature center or to other places where we enjoyed nature walks, ds would draw interesting things, or draw the same scene at different times of year for comparison. The things he was noticing were things like how many animals were around, whether the acorns were empty because they had been eaten, and when the plants released their seeds. He also gradually noticed that some trees were gnarly while others were smooth (and gnarly is better for climbing!), and drew them more accurately. We collected leaves a couple of times, and either glued them on a page or rubbed their pattern onto paper, noticing the wide variety of leaf shapes.

I was all prepared with reference books and laminated charts (our local arboretum was a great source of local references), but I found ds just needed to learn to observe and appreciate at his age. I think when he does ECC again in 8th, after he has done the Animal and Botany studies, he may be ready for more depth.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Karen TX
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:18 am

Re: We live in a city neighborhood

Unread post by Karen TX » Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:49 pm

We live in the city too. We went on our first nature walk in our back yard last Wednesday and we were surprised what we found!

We found an orange insect (I think it was malting or shedding its skin), it was small so we observed it under a magnifying glass. We later looked it up in an insect book, and found out it was an assassin bug. We also found some tiny eggs on the bottom of a leaf, hanging from threads. My son wanted to keep them in a container to see if anything would hatch. I was so surprised, this morning the baby bugs were crawling all over with the pieces of eggs stuck to their backs! I was totally shocked! All we did was walk around our garage and looked in the bushes and trees.

Next week we are going to walk down to a small creek down the street to find things. If you live near any streams or ponds, you are bound to find some creepy crawly things that might be of interest. We live in Houston, where bugs and lizards thrive due to the humidity. But unfortunately the mosquitoes are here too! Good luck on your nature walks! Karen

MichelleD
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:37 am

Re: We live in a city neighborhood

Unread post by MichelleD » Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:38 am

Nature walks are my very favorite part of homeschool, although I let pressures of "getting everything done" prevent us from doing this much last year. :( I am so grateful for the reminders and scheduling-in of time for nature study that MFW provides!

I live in a town, not a city, but I do understand the difficulties. There are so many things you can still do! I think Cindy Rushton has fun ideas in her book Nature Study the Easy Way, including going to look for icky bugs in your basement drains! LOL I haven't done that because I don't even want to know they are there!

You've gotten a few good ideas that you can do even in your own yard. Plant something. Set up a bird feeding area, and then go watch it. Just go in your own yard, even if it's small. Lay out a blanket, and just sit for a while. After a bit, ask the children to notice something--perhaps it'll be a bird song, or a bug, or even how a tree looks in the wind. Pick a tree and observe it each week. Anything different? When do the leaves start to change? Take some string and sticks and mark out a square yard in the grass, and challenge the children to look for something. How many types of grass? Any weeds? Bugs? How many? What types? Draw them!
When you are able, go farther afield. Look at neighbors' trees or yards (be sure to ask before you go poking about in their bushes LOL) Compare a tree down the block to the one you are watching.

Do try to get to a nicer place once in a while--maybe every month, like you said. Try a park, nature preserve, even a cemetery! Yes, I said cemetery! LOL We've had some TERRIFIC nature walks in the local cemetery. It's lovely, many trees, well-kept gardens. When you go to these farther-afield places, see if you can collect many things (please check, as many nature preserves will not want you to remove specimens from the grounds) Take bags, bug boxes, and jars of water to set flowers in. Take home as much as you can, and then when weather or other pressures prevent you from going outside as much as you want, draw, categorize, and arrange those items. Make a seasonal table that the children "decorate" with their finds. Dry and press the roadside wildflowers you found. Take photos of the butterflies you see and then next week, when you can't go out to the park, identify them all. Gather leaves and press them after you get home, and then try to identify them the next week. (hint--take some notes about size, shape, bark of tree if you are not used to tree identification--it'll help)

Anyway, go out to parks, etc. when you can, and when you can't, don't let "thinking big" deter you from nature study. Think small. Watching the birds at a feeder is nature study. Watching the ants cross the sidewalk is nature study. Going outside to "smell October" is nature study. :-) Giggling at squirrels dashing about the yard is nature study. Relax and let God draw you and your children into the world He created for you and just enjoy it!
Michele D.

Julie - Staff
Moderator
Posts: 1037
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:52 am

Ideas for nature walks in bad weather

Unread post by Julie - Staff » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:58 pm

We have been unable to do nature walks due to 100+ degree weather but that should be ending soon. Then I guess we can just walk our neighborhood.
Posted Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:15 pm by Cyndi (WA)
I understand what you're doing through. How about taking him outside right before bedtime and looking for critters? Which in AZ, you don't really want to see, but you KWIM. Maybe an easy chart once a week on what's blooming, what's dormant, and the weather?

Posted Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:25 pm by cbollin
One idea for a longer term nature journal for those extended seasons when you can't get outside

*make a drawing and/or chart of where the sun rises and sets, as well as where the moon rises and sets and include the times and dates on them too.

We would stand in the same place at the kitchen window in the morning and just make a chart as simple as
the sun looks like it came up just above the top of Miss Debbie's rose bush.
(then a week or two later) --- it came up to the right of Miss Debbie's rose bush. And then eventually Wow! it came up over the swing set.

And then we'd do the same thing in the afternoon from a west view window with sunset.

It was a much longer term project over many months to observe the relative change. But fun. It works well with the moon as well --- again it's a long term ongoing journal project.

-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Nature Walks During Cold Winters

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:13 am

Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:09 pm

When we did ECC, we did the nature walks and enjoyed them. In Minnesota, the weather is none too nice, so we of course took advantage of spring & fall. During the winter, we didn't do them as often but we did a few fun things:

-- watch out our window
-- our local nature center purposely has winter birdfeeders outside a child-sized window
-- visit a favorite area over different seasons & draw the changing scene
-- take photos of beautiful snow scenes
-- encourage nature walks when visiting grandparents
-- focus on our indoor plant experiments in ECC (the desert scene was most successful -- who knew?!)

Julie

Heidi
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:23 pm

Nature Walks During Hot Summers

Unread post by Heidi » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:14 am

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:16 am

We are in FL and have the opposite but same problem. Between Jan. - mid-April is when we do our nature walks.

Like Julie, when the weather does not permit us going out - we do alternative things. We started by painting the orange tree in our backyard in fall (when all the oranges are on it - but then it died that winter - so could not follow it through all the seasons).

We watched our bird feeders, until they broke.

The one that has stuck and works with my kids is this: Last year we did Adventures and so my kids got really interested in birds. I let them choose and draw one bird from all our nature books on birds. This way they got to know the birds in detail even if it was too hot to go out. The first time we did it, I found online a simple out line of a bird labeling all it's parts - and I had them draw it and label the bird. After this, once a week, they drew one bird each week of their own choosing. Funny, they almost always chose one of the one's we were reading about in the book on birds we were doing in Science.

This year, I let them choose what they wished to study - my daughter chose butterflies and my son chose insects. We started with ABC books on the subjects, and now they are drawing one each week.

Hmschooling
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:56 am

Nature Walk Blogging

Unread post by Hmschooling » Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:52 pm

We did our first nature walk and posted pics on our new nature notebook blog! Links are below :o)
Threelittleangels wrote:How do you do the leaf rubbings?
We put the leaves under the paper then layed the crayon on it side and rubbed it on the paper above the leave. It worked wonderfully!
Currently using HOD
Planning our future return to MFW for the high school years

BrendaM
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:58 pm

Nature walks - Don't skip them!

Unread post by BrendaM » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:47 pm

Julie in MN wrote:
BrendaM wrote:We have covered habitats before
Are you also taking time to do nature walks in ECC? I think it's a golden opportunity to learn via Charlotte Mason style.
We did our first nature walk today and it was a big hit! Even my 4 year old got in on it! We did it first thing this morning, as it still gets pretty hot here in TX later in the day! Big thumbs up!
Brenda

Sheena IA
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:38 pm

Re: Nature walks - Don't skip them!

Unread post by Sheena IA » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:08 pm

BrendaM wrote:I am doing the work in 4 days because of other activities and so have been skipping the Nature Walk.
Hi Brenda, just want to add in that I wasn't exactly excited about nature walks. But it ended up being a great time. I think sometimes we just have to step out in faith and get out of our comfort zones. It was sort of a rainy cold day when we did our first walk, but we ende up seeing a huge flock of gold finches, many monarch caterpillars and an array of plants and flowers. All we had to do was walk up to the library and walk around in their butterfly garden. I tend to think things are more complicated than they really are.
Sheena Mom to Sabrina-10, Sara-9, Ashlyn-7
Creation to Greeks

John 10:10

cdavis762
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:12 pm

Nature journal: How do you adhere dried leaves to paper?

Unread post by cdavis762 » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:07 am

TammyB wrote:My kids are using a sketch book for their nature journals this year, so each page won't be placed in a page protector as we have done with previous nature notebooks.

What is the best way to adhere dried leaves to paper that won't have a protective covering? I thought about using contact paper but would love to hear some alternative solutions.
We did ours in contact paper and then trimmed. We had family from all over the country send leaves as we only have palm trees and pine trees here. The ones that were put in plastic baggies before mailing were brown
& moldy a few wks later when we did ours. The ones sent in folded paper were still green. Behold, another science experiment to investigate!

I am also looking forward to the ideas!
Be blessed,
Carol

God is in control!
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/coveredbygrace

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Nature journal: How do you adhere dried leaves to paper

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:31 am

I would think you could put them in contact paper or something sticky, and tape that to the nature journal? Or even just stick a patch of contact paper over the leaves right onto the page (so they'd have the paper on the back side & the plastic covering on the other side)?
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

lyntley
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:31 am

Unread post by lyntley » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:12 pm

We press them in phone books till they're dry and pressed and glue onto card stock. We do the same with Flowers. You can then use contact paper, laminate or even put in a page protector. If they are dried flat before glued, they wont get all crackly and break as easily.
Lynnette: Wife and Mother by the will of God.
ECC 07/08 with 9,7, and 2
CTG 08/09 with 10,8, and 3
www.homeschoolblogger.com/lyntley

Andrea
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:04 am
Contact:

Nature Walk/Exploration Day - Exploring

Unread post by Andrea » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:37 pm

Hi Everyone! I haven't posted in a while -- been SO busy with First and ECC! We are beginning Canada this week and have enjoyed the first few weeks very much. First grade is put together so well. Just enough of everything!

Today was our nature walk day and we went exploring at a new nature trail in the woods by a river. We started out collecting leaves and acorns and various seeds, but ended up splashing around in the river for a couple of hours! My ds found a huge empty clam shell and some neat rocks -- all fitting in to our study of lakes and rivers in both First and ECC now. What a nice way to spend our morning! We are truly thankful every day for MFW!
Andrea
wife to Dave (1994)
Jacob (10)
Grace (7)
Kayla (5)
using K and RTR this year
http://crownedwithkindness.blogspot.com/

courthart246
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:45 pm

A fun afternoon

Unread post by courthart246 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:27 pm

It sounds like you had a wonderful day in nature. We are doing K this year, and we also enjoyed a fun afternoon in nature.

We originally went outside to read "A Tree is Nice" under a tree, which we did, but we also got to enjoy observing a caterpillar. It is so nice to be able to enjoy God's creation as a part of our curriculum. And it is only going to be nice outside for a little while longer for us here in Indiana. We aren't much for nature walks in the snow and 20 degree weather! But ah, beautiful Fall! God is so good to give us the seasons. Anyway, thanks for sharing.
Courtney
Married 20 Years to Jamie
Loving MFW along with my three kids:
ds - 16 (World History and Literature)
ds - 13 (Exploration to 1850)
dd - 10 (Exploration to 1850)

lyntley
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:31 am

Charlotte Mason nature studies

Unread post by lyntley » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:03 am

MercyMamma wrote:I'm just reading more about Charlotte Mason recently and am enjoying it all. I love the emphasis on nature studies! How does MFW incorporate this? I saw in the sample K lesson the note to go outside - are there assignments or ideas for a journal? Is there a supplement book you use?


Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 7:15 am

I'm sure you will get wonderful responses from K and 1st users. But here's what we did (and do). Donna Young's site has free nature printables So we take a walk at least once weekly. Each kiddo gets a clip board with a nature page, pencil, and zip lock or paper bag. We just go to a cozy spot or even find a rock to sit on. I let the kiddies sit quietly. And tell them to use their senses. listen, look, smell, feel something around them. They draw a picture on their page and then write about it or narrate to me and I write. I three hole punch their pages and keep them in their "Nature Notebook" Sometimes we collect feathers or leaves. We have collected nesting items for the birds and put them in a suet feeder and later watched the birds gather from it. We find a creek and watch sometimes I'll ask questions or make comments," look how the....." Often times I don't say a word and let them just naturally observe. They now make these comments on their own. Sometimes we have a purpose to identify trees or flowers other times just to play and observe God's creation together. We have small identification books to look up information. But mostly for the little ones, nature walks are a wonderful time of exploration and observation. My kiddies LOVE them.

GoodCat
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:00 am

Re: Charlotte Mason nature studies

Unread post by GoodCat » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:04 am

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 7:47 am

When we first started doing nature walks, my dd was in k then 1st. We would go into our backyard and I told everyone they would observe what ever they liked. So the older ones would go and find something that interested them and would start drawing or collecting samples. So I would sit with my little one and help her to find something that interested her and then I would talk to her about it. We would feel it or smell it or just observe it(like a bug). Then I would help her to draw a picture the best she could of it. Sometimes she got frustrated if the picture didn't turn out the way she wanted, but I would just encourage her to continue and then everyone praised what a good job she did trying. That usually made her feel better. By the end of the year it wasn't a problem anymore.
Those are just a few things we did :>)

Have fun learning with you little ones!!
Cathy

MJ in IL
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:23 pm

Re: Charlotte Mason nature studies

Unread post by MJ in IL » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:04 am

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 8:19 am

I love the idea of nature studies and walks but don't get these in on a consistent basis. When I do, we will typically go in the yard and find something of interest like the other moms have shared. A few ideas that helped give me a framework:

-I wanted my children to name all the trees, then shrubs and flowers in our yard (there aren't that many...yet)

-In naming things, we started with "oak" then "pin oak" then write the scientific name; talked about the shape of the leaf and tree.

-My children have liked to do bark and leaf rubbings.

-We set up bird feeder and are watching for birds now. We try to identify the birds we see at home and when we are out.

-I love the book A Pocketful of Pinecones which helped me see that I didn't need a meadow or forest next door to be able to implement this.

-Jim Arnosky has some fun books about Crinkleroot that my children have enjoyed. He also has a series we checked out from the library along the lines of 25 birds (trees, animals...) every child should know...or something like that.

-If my children didn't want to draw, we pressed a leaf or flower or wrote about what we saw. We took a few pictures too.

-At our co-op, the art teacher had the kids cut a photo in 1/2 and they drew/colored the other 1/2. They thought that was fun!

-Make or do a search for nature scavenger hunts. We have done several at home and at local trails. We look for colors, specific items or one particular hunt had things you could see, hear, smell...

OK, all that said...I tend to be much better in theory than in practice and we don't go out to do this nearly as much as we should. However, I was so excited yesterday to go on a nature drive (in our cattle pasture...its big) with our family. We were looking for tree seedlings and found flowers we had never seen before. We had a great time when we got home looking up what there could be (mayapple and prairie trillium) We are going back this afternoon - if the weather cooperates - to try and do a bit more with this...armed with our field guides.

Mom2MnS
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:05 pm

Re: Charlotte Mason nature studies

Unread post by Mom2MnS » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:05 am

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 3:11 pm

Hi :) We have LOVED this part of our weekly learning adventures!

Last year in K, we made nature pictures and added them to our K notebook (one that we made with all of M's work in it). We drew whatever she found outside during our walks or any other time, we made bark and leaf rubbings, we took pictures with the camera, we did a "mushroom expedition" (mapping the mushrooms in the yard, and making a collection drawing of her favorites), etc...

This year in 1st grade, we began a Nature Notebook in January. I bought sketch books - one for M and one for me - and we began recording the blooming things in our yard as they have arrived since Jan. Of course we included the nandina and things already blooming for the earliest drawings. As we have planted our vegetable garden, she has been recording its weekly progress in her NN as well :)

Some excellent books that I keep on the shelf (to keep me motivated - lol) are Pocketful of Pinecones, Handbook of Nature Study, Keeping a Nature Journal, and field guides for what my sweeties particularly enjoy (like wildflowers, trees, butterflies, etc).

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Charlotte Mason nature studies

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:06 am

MercyMamma wrote:Wonderful ideas, thanks! As far as what is directly IN the MFW curriculum, is it just that they remind you to do nature walks, no guidance given?
Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:36 pm

We started MFW with ECC. That year, mostly the nature walks were just scheduled. And actual time was set aside in the weekly schedule for them. However, on occasion there was a nature-related activity such as identifying trees. It usually fit more with the ECC study of forests and other biomes, rather than being designed for nature walks.

This year in EX1850, there is a 6-week segment of time for studying your state and doing nature walks. There is some guidance in there based on the Botany study that you would have just completed.

Other than that, I think nature walks are just in the schedule and -- this is very important -- real time is allowed for them during your week!

Here are some nature walk ideas from past threads, and the boards are a great place to get more ideas: [above]
And ideas for book guides, if you like those: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 378#p50378
Julie

cbollin

What kinds of things do your families do on nature walks?

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:20 pm

Laura D. wrote:What kinds of things do your families do on nature walks? Do you take field guides? How about journaling? How do you manage taking toddlers with you? Just looking for ideas, comments, thoughts.
Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:51 pm

Well.... if it only could be like this every time we did a nature walk...... Here's our nature walk from just a couple of days ago. It was a fun time.

I was pulling weeds from the flower bed while Oldest and Middle were pushing Youngest around the yard in a wheelbarrow.

I noticed a turtle in my flower bed and told all of them to come look so we can call it science time! (oh come on... we're homeschoolers) So we stopped everything and just watched this turtle for a while. We didn't sketch it, we didn't grab the digital camera (should have). We just watched. Later in the day -- we did a quick search trying to decide if it was an out of the brackish water diamond back terrapin or not. But not at the moment it was happening -- it was later in the day. I kept trying to insist that it was a tortoise because its colors were the same as our cat, which is a Torti colored cat. I don't know!!!!! We'll figure it out someday when we see it again.

Then Youngest had enough of "turtle" and decided to climb our neighbor's tree. We all went chasing after her. We already knew it was a maple tree, but we took time to look at the branches and the fact that no one had cut off the hose from when it was planted and how that was affecting the growth of the tree. We examined how the other trees in the "tree lawn" (the section between the side walk and the road) were growing or not growing. I still need to call someone to chop down the dead one. and we tested many of them for climbing preferences.

We went to a different neighbor's yard and looked at her new water plants and the Koi fish (big goldfish). And then we had the chance to talk with our neighbor a bit. Middle played with the dogs. I watched Youngest point to and count the fish (over and over and over again.....) Oldest talked with our neighbor about the different kinds of plants. And then --- we watched the bees. A few birds came near by too. Oldest and middle argued whether it was a robin or a female cardinal.

and we went back to make sure the turtle was ok.

Sure --- Oldest could have been taking picture and looking up stuff and even writing about it. But I'm so glad we didn't on that one day. It was one of the best school times we've had in a while. oh, and when we came back inside --- Oldest and Middle got out a bird book together for a few minutes.

Even though my Youngest is 6, she is very delayed with her special needs and many times it is like having a toddler. Just go outside and if your toddler wants to lead the way after swinging in the tree, you're in good company.

Or our nature walk about 3 days after that --- Oldest and my mother in law planted flowers together. And then a bunch of us spread some mulch.

I'm sure that many others who are really good at nature walks and all of that will have lots of practical helps. But I had to share about our fun days. Thanks

-crystal

Poohbee
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: What kinds of things do your families do on nature walks

Unread post by Poohbee » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:22 pm

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:05 pm

Crystal,
I'm so glad you shared about your nature experiences. I have felt kind of guilty about not taking nature walks each week, but until you shared, it didn't occur to me how much our family enjoys and observes nature around us. No, we don't take time to sketch it, but we do observe and enjoy and discuss, so that's a start.

My husband finds a toad when he's mowing the lawn, and he picks it up and brings it to the girls and I so we can observe it for awhile before he sets it free. My 3yo dd finds a caterpillar in her sandbox and we observe it together for awhile. When I am watering my flowers one day, I find some of our maple tree seeds that have taken root in my flower pot, and I pull them out and show them to my daughters and we talk about how God made those particular seeds with "wings" so that they can fly to someplace new and take root. We spend time watching a squirrel in our tree or a rabbit eating grass under our picnic table.

Your post, Crystal, was a good reminder to me that a nature walk doesn't necessarily have to be a walk, but perhaps it can be an awareness of how awesome God is by taking time to observe and enjoy the amazing things He's given us in nature.

byhisgrace
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:26 pm

Re: What kinds of things do your families do on nature walks

Unread post by byhisgrace » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:24 pm

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:11 pm

One thing I ordered for this year from http://www.millerpadsandpaper.com is a sketching notebook. On the upper half you can draw a picture and on the bottom you can write something about what you saw.

The other day we went to the park and saw many things. We saw a mother mockingbird feed her little babies, saw a crow trying to chase the mockingbird, saw some squirrels fighting and somehow we saw a parakeet flying around. We think he must have escaped from somewhere.

Anyway, I have decided to go to the same park a couple of times a month in addition to walking around our property.

We do things alot like Crystal. It's like the Lord provides opportunities all the time. Just on our land we have seen 4 birds nest with different colored eggs, one was destroyed by a raccoon, a couple of turtles, we watched some tadpoles turn into some frogs, ect... It's really neat how it has just happened!!! Hope you have a blessed day!!!
Susan

Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: What kinds of things do your families do on nature walks

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:26 pm

Poohbee wrote:Your post, Crystal, was a good reminder to me that a nature walk doesn't necessarily have to be a walk, but perhaps it can be an awareness of how awesome God is by taking time to observe and enjoy the amazing things He's given us in nature.
Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:40 pm

Ditto! And the lessons come out later at the oddest times. I find my dd teaching her stuffed animals about what we did, or she asks her daddy the most specific question in the car and he'll look at me like, "What in the world is she talking about?" If I forced her to sketch it would never happen, but if we just have fun outside I'm bound to find a picture of it on her desk later in the week. I figure I've got years ahead of us to do nature walks "the right way."

Know what we did the other day? We had a massive spring rain, and my dd had been begging to try out her new princess umbrella and boots. (Six year old toddler.) So, we donned our rain gear and went in search of puddles to stomp in. My neighbor hollered out the door, "What are you DOING?" and I answered, "One of us is having a blast!" :-) Then, of course, we found a good dirt pile and made mud pies and got soaked. Lots of talk about how water changes dirt to mud and how plants need water to grow. I never thought of it as a nature walk, but now I'm thinking I'm a pretty cool teacher! LOL!


Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:56 am

We don't go out in the cold much, but we get fresh air when we can. If you're not going out, is there a particular item that you can look at out your window? That's a lot of snow, but is there a tall tree that you can see? Where is the sun? What time does it rise/set? Is it setting in a different spot this month? Of course in the fall, you can ask what color are the leaves? When did the tree lose leaves? There's all kinds of things that you can jot down in a nature journal -- think simple. You write down ds's answers and he draws a little picture or something. If that's too much drawing for him, skip that part - just do what you're comfortable with.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests