outdoor hour challenge #3

August 24, 2011

“Too much have we emphasized drawing as an art; it may be an art, if the one who draws is an artist; but if he is not an artist, he still has a right to draw if it pleases him to do so.”~Anna Botsford Comstock, Handbook of Nature StudyThis week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge from the Handbook of Nature Study blog is, “Now is the Time to Draw.”   

This week’s OHC has made me stop to think about the power drawing holds.  L draws everything, and in these drawings I can see her feelings, her attention to detail, her colorful imagination–they show how she takes in her world.

This week our OHC took place while we were away on vacation near a lake nestled in among lush forests and rolling hills. We were in the really big woods.

One morning we went fishing with my dad. Actually, he did most of fishing–I took pictures, and she hunted for shells and rocks.

Becasue of the quietness and beauty of the lake at that early hour, I told L it would be her nature study time and asked her  to take the time to check out her surrondings. While we were each doing our own thing, a great blue heron swept into view and landed nearby.  The moment inspired us both.

I am thankful for our time outdoors–it is a time for us to be still and to really look at, listen to, and feel our surroundings. Not only do I see how she is benefiting from this time–I see it sharpening her sense of observation and self-expression–but I have also had a chance to take in little moments and details that I normally pass by. 





outdoor hour challenge #2

August 18, 2011

“No two animals or plants are just alike, and no two people see things exactly the same way.”~Anna Botsford Comstock, Handbook of Nature Study

This week’s Outdoor Hour Challengefrom the Handbook of Nature Study blog is about “Using Your Words.” We went for a walk in our own backyard, and as usual our main stop was the creek.

I heard lots of splashing and giggling, saw crawdads and tadpoles flitting around in the water, and felt the cool water, a welcome respite that warm summer evening. After our walk, I asked her what she heard, saw, and felt.

Her words–


swimming tadpoles

warm, soggy moss

 She chose to make her journal entry about the moss (a topic we just briefly covered in our study of plants for science earlier this week).

Our topic to study–

  • river moss

outdoor hour challenge #1

August 11, 2011

“She should say frankly, ‘I do not know; let us see if we cannot together find out this mysterious thing. Maybe no one knows it as yet, and I wonder if you will discover it before I do.'” ~Anna Botsford Comstock, Handbook of Nature Study

I have held onto the idea of nature study and now, hope to finally make it a regular part of our little school, thanks to Anna Botsford Comstock’s Handbook of Nautre Study and the Outdoor Hour Challenges from the Handbook of Nature Study blog. For our first official nature study under the Outdoor Hour Challenge, we went on a hike at our favorite nature park. We had a lovely quite walk through the woods. While we rested, I asked her what caught her interest, and she made this journal entry of a snag.

On our hike back to the car she seemed to notice much more, inlcuding lots of little lizards warming themselves on sun-splashed rocks.

Our topics to study–

  • spiny lizards
  • snags

nature journal

October 7, 2010

We found a fuzzy friend, and she started on her first nature journal entry.

I have been interested in homeschooling the Bug for awhile and in my research of techniques, schools of thought, etc. I came across Charlotte Mason’s nature journal idea. It’s all about observing and asking questions and over time developing these skills.  

Today, after she discovered the catepillar and settled down to drawing him, I asked her questions about color and texture. She made a point of giving him legs, a face, and a name.  I am looking forward to seeing how she grows with this project and having a record of her sweet little eye for detail.