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.


genamayo said...

The site wouldn't let me download your wonderful calendar without paying. Is there a different way you could share it?

Emily said...

I can't download the calendar either!

Kim said...

Stopping over from the facebook page to check out the notes about using calendars. Thanks!

Melody said...

I like the idea of using a calendar, but we haven't done that yet. I'm thinking about starting a nature study journal where we write about the things we saw that day that interested us, and maybe that would prompt us to remember to make a note on our calendar of the "firsts" that we notice.

Nadene said...

Thanks for these suggestions and the calendar download. We have just re-started nature study and I'm sure we'll make good use of this!

Bose said...

Thanks for revealing this super valuable resource!

Cv template

amy in peru said...

We've used calendars a little in the past... I LOVE the idea of calendar of firsts which we've never done on account of not having seasons here. so sad.

thanks for submitting this to the CM blog Carnvial!

amy in peru