I have been trying to think of ways that we can include nature study in our family without me taking on any more subjects.  I have been re-reading Cindy Rushton’s Nature Journal book and have been inspired.  A friend who sees nature without even thinking about it also has been very encouraging and has written a long list of ideas for me to do while I drive to town with the kids.  I will post those when I get them typed up and you may be able to adjust some of them to your location.

 

Sometimes I really doubt that nature is a part of our natural life – I am a  book person – we go camping I take books!  I must admit Peter shakes his head over this one, as he is outdoors to be outdoors when we go camping!   

 

I look back at what we saw and talked about today and I am amazed.  Sure it was no great science lesson, actually my head buzzes with the teaching opportunities, but it wasn’t about teaching my kids anything it was all about observing and asking questions.

 

Today was cricket for the boys.  I sat under a big boab tree talking to another homeschool mum.  Our children played behind us – I must admit we stretched them to their limits we were so enjoying our conversation.  There is nature point number one.  A big boab tree – how did it get its knobs and scars?  Why is this the only boab tree on the lawn?  Wonder how old it is?

 

While we were talking there was a jet stream straight above us.  Caroline noticed that it took a big dogleg for no apparent reason – the crooked cloud was there for all to see.  She asked Daniel why or how did that happen.  There is a question I would never have thought to ask.  We discussed pilot error – and the fact that his error (should it have been an error) was there for all to see.  Then within the next 5 minutes the whole jet stream had totally moved to the left.  Interesting.

 

Later on while we were driving over to friends to pick up our Jess we were noticing the bush fires that are around the mountains in the distance.  The kids asked if the clouds meant it was going to rain.  Pete made the observation that though it looked like it was raining over yonder it was really hot air from the fires rising and getting colder, condensing etc etc on the way up.  We were watching clouds being made!  How cool is that. 

 

Driving home the kids asked why the sky was yellow – the light was reflecting and bouncing through the hazy, smoke and was appearing yellow.

 

The trees down our drive way have recently been killed, accidentally, by chemical and we are watching which ones will come back and which ones we have lost.

 

We stopped on our way home to talk to the grader man who was working on our channels.  The kids jumped out and picked me a big bunch of wild flowers (maybe they are weeds but they are pretty!)

 

Earlier this morning our bird died.  I say “our” rather reservedly as it wasn’t really ours we were just helping a little bird who didn’t seem to have a nest and wasn’t ready to fly.   When Nomi told Caroline, instead of focusing on how did the bird die, her comment was, “But I’m sure you learnt a lot about birds?”  And they did. 

 

As the night-time came Daniel noticed all the fires around the mountains.  Little orange fires in the black mountains.  The girls have a wonderful view as they look out their bedroom windows – looks like fairy lights strung out across the sky.

 

Today was a full day – full of sport, friends, shopping, and other Saturday chores.  But we really did have an amazing Science / Nature day.  Then I start to think “schooool” – “But they didn’t put one thing in their Nature Journal, they didn’t notebook one such observation,”  I say to myself.  I have to shake myself out of that kind of thinking – it isn’t about the amount of paper work they produce – it is about them being aware of the world around them, it is about them recognising God’s hand in His creation, it is about them caring enough to stop and think about it.

 

That is what we did well today!

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