Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nature Study Using Calendars Ideas

Calendars: It's a great idea to have children keep a calendar to record when and where they saw the first oak leaf, the first tadpole, the first primrose, the first ripe blackberries. Then next year they can pull out the calendar and know when to anticipate seeing these things again, and they can note new discoveries. Imagine how this will add enthusiasm for daily walks and nature hikes! A day won't go by when something isn't seen to excite them.

From Charlotte Mason Volume One, page 54

There are so many ways you can incorporate calendars in your nature study in your homeschool. Here are just a few I came up with.
  • Record an observation about "firsts" like Charlotte Mason suggests. (This time of year it could be first red leaf, first yellow leaf or first acorn on the ground, etc.)
  • Record the weather. (Is it sunny? Cloudy? Rainy? How much has it rained? What's the temperature?)
  • Record the animals you see in your backyard.
  • Record how many birds you can spot on your nature walk.
  • Record a new plant or animal you identified.
  • Record your favorite thing you saw on your nature walk.
  • A young child could draw a picture in the square for the day to record something he saw.
This might help you to stay motivated if it is your goal to do something nature study related every day- because you have a space to fill for each day. It also may help children to be more observant if they start looking every day for something to record on their calendar.

In my blog sidebar I have had a Blank Nature Study Calendar for you to download. If you haven't already taken a look at it and used it in your nature study, feel free to do so now. Or you can easily print blank calendar pages using your word processor or by searching for them online.

(PLEASE NOTE: I have changed the link to the calendar to dropbox, and now everyone should be able to get it free with no problems. Thanks!)

Do you use calendars in your nature study?
Do you find this idea helpful?
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hearts and Trees Now on Facebook!

I have set up a Facebook page for Hearts and Trees. Feel free to like me so that you can stay up to date on what's happening with Hearts and Trees. I will be offering some discounts and freebies only through Facebook.

In other news, I am putting together a Fall 2011 kit. I'll have it up for sale mid/late October. I am also working on something totally new and exciting for January 2012. I am really looking forward to sharing it with everyone.

And I still have some Spring Kits available so be sure to check that out if you haven't already. (Even though this is called my SPRING kit, it does not mean the activities are specifically spring-related.)