Monday 2 April 2012

CMC - Nature Journaling

Charlotte Mason: "Children should be encouraged to watch, patiently and quietly, until they learn something of the habits and history of bee, ant, wasp, spider, hairy caterpillar, dragon-fly, and whatever of larger growth comes in their way." (Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.57 )

Welcome to the first Charlotte Mason Companion blog hop. I hope you can join in and share your wisdom with us.

Why this Chapter First ?
Good question since it's Autumn here and I leave for an overseas trip in six days! I feel inspired and encouraged by Sir N's enthusiasm to Journal and since I am going to the beautiful African Continent I wanted to make a journal.   

A little bit of my history with journaling
I first read about Nature Journaling in my CM Companion years ago when my two oldest were young.
  • Did we make a Journal ?  No. 
  • Did I want to do one ? Yes 
  • Why didn't we ? I think the biggest issue is I felt intimidated.
    I can't draw perfectly what I see and to be honest I get impatient and would rather read a good book lying under the shade of a beautiful tree whilst my children play in the sun. 
    Another reason is I felt as though I needed to have all this knowledge about the types of flowers, trees, grasses, birds & wildlife first otherwise I would fail.  I know this is not true and I can learn with my children but I simply felt overwhelmed with what I thought I needed in place to do Nature Journaling.
  • Why do I want to do one now ?  A new season in life. As I grow and experience life and see how dramatically life changes over the seasons of living I feel encouraged to do something new. I also saw this beautiful easy journal on Pinterest that inspired me to journal more than just nature.
My gleanings
Chapter Thirty-Three 
Nature Study
  • Karen starts off with: IF we give our children regular opportunities....  This is so true.  I realised the power is within each of us to give our children not some opportunity but rather regular opportunities.  This takes time and effort on my part but will produce the good fruit of a healthy habit that will be a source of delight for their whole lives.
  • I love how Karen said that while her children were drawing at the table she had The Handbook of Nature Study open on her lap under the table glancing down for information which she then casually shared with her children appearing as an uncommonly knowledgeable mother!  (CMC Page 253 Karen Andreola)
  • I was both inspired and encouraged by: Knowledge in one "subject" helps us to understand another. All the information your children are gathering in their nature study lessons, and the habits of observation they are acquiring, will form an excellent foundation for their future education. (CMC Page 259 Karen Andreola)
Nature is important to God and through it He reveals Himself to us. We are it's guardians and we can not look after what we do not have a relationship with.

Chapter Thirty-Four
Nature for City Children
  • I have used living in a city as an excuse for not doing Nature Journaling.  After all it is a concrete jungle ? Right ? No - wrong!! Karen shares how they lived in London and how she used visiting the green grocer as an opportunity for Nature Study.  They learned the American and English names for fruit and vegetables and different types of fish at the Fish monger. (CMC Page 263 Karen Andreola)  There is so much around us IF only we take the time to slow down look and learn.
  • City Children can have windowsill gardens, use natural history museums that display stuffed creatures, eggs, shells, fossils and rocks of various kinds. (CMC Page 265 Karen Andreola) Karen goes on to list heaps of different ideas for Nature study with in a city.  All you need is a little imagination and the public library or go to the local zoo and befriend a Zoo Keeper.
  • Read beautiful living books by authors such as: Holling Clancy Holling and Sterling North
Chapter Thirty-Five
Neighborhood Nature Study
  • Karen helped me realise that I can think in terms of hours instead of whole days. (CMC Page 269 Karen Andreola)
  • Upon reading this chapter I realised there is so much more available in our own neighbourhoods than we realise and all we need to do is slow down stop and take a proper look around us.
  • She encourages us to look at flowers, birds, insects and life.
Overall I have really enjoyed reading these three chapters they have inspired and encouraged me to slow down and really look at the life around me and allow Sir N to do the same.

Tuesday's Treasures
In my explorations of this topic I have discovered some excellent resources and will be posting them on Tuesdays.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


Next months Blog Hop theme will be Chapter 6 {The Atmosphere of Home}  &
Chapter 7 {Bickerings} and hosted on the 30 April.

**Remember, be sure to link directly to your Charlotte Mason Companion  post so that others can find it easily when they visit your blog and be sure to post a link back here so that your readers can find the Blog Hop and join us.
(If possible, please take a moment to visit & comment on the journal post linked up before you.)


  1. First post for this blog hop done!
    I enjoyed working on this .. although it took a little longer than I anticipated (and I should be in bed!)

    A great few chapters to get the ball rolling, Chareen. :)

    1. :) I enjoyed it too! Your post is so encouraging. Thank you for joining in.

  2. Chareen,
    We've enjoyed doing nature journals, over the years - although, I think the girls enjoyed it a bit more. They haven't journaled much, lately, but I think it did teach them to observe and enjoy nature.

    This is inspiring me to get out our notebooks, again!

    Your posts have taught me a lot, Chareen. I have really appreciated your generosity - thank you:)
    God bless:)

    1. Pleased you are inspired. I bought some water colour paints today .... think I will start with a little bit of colour on each page and just practice drawing though.

      I look forward to reading about your nature journals and what you do with them. I have found some great ideas on Pinterest.



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