Lots of Nature Study going on!

I’m not sure where to start! Let’s see…. I’m on homeschool journey year 12? Yes, I think that’s right.  I'm a homeschool mom and boy do I love my job!

My two oldest have graduated. They got the NEW homeschool Mom (new to homeschooling) who thought homeschool had to look like public school at home and worried too much about proving the ‘naysayers’ wrong… poor them. But I did the best I could under the circumstances I had and no one can say I did a bad job.

This one, the youngest, has the wiser more experienced Mom who doesn’t much care what the homeschooling looks like to others (I could stand to make improvement on this in other aspects of my life) and really does not want it to look like ANYTHING the public school does 😉

So what do we do? Well, the only term I can come up with that might apply would be ‘relaxed Charlotte Mason’ homeschooling. I love most of Charlotte’s ideas. I love the use of living books, building habits, narration, and I love , love , LOVE nature study!

But I’m also realizing a strict schedule and making a child do something or learn something they don’t feel like doing that day, or isn’t ready for developmentally or has a total lack of interest in, really isn’t education.  It isn’t going to work. Neither is driving myself crazy trying to ‘do it all’. That doesn’t make a good mom. Well, it doesn’t make me a bad mom. But it’s not the best I can be or remembering that my child is a person the way Charlotte intended us to keep in mind either.

This doesn’t mean I don’t use a schedule. I do. I just don’t flip anymore (too much) if it doesn’t go as planned. For example, we haven’t sat down to our ‘scheduled academic time’ for two weeks. Does it bother me? A little…   But does that mean that school hasn’t happened? No. Not at all. School happens every day- whether it’s the ‘scheduled’ stuff or not.

That’s my thoughts today. I’ll be writing more about our love of the Charlotte Mason method. In the meantime, here’s a little ‘picture study’ of the places we’ve been, the things we’ve done and the great time we’ve had.

Our trip to the New England states began with a few days in Greenville Maine and Acadia looking for moose and completing his first Junior Ranger badge for a state park. Sadly, I can not find the photos on my computer... but here's a shot of Plymouth which we also thoroughly enjoyed.....though we enjoyed the nature in Maine a little more. The people at the plantation really played their parts. Here my son asks, "What did you eat for snacks?" "Snacks? What is snacks?" was the response!



Marshal Point Lighthouse
Our trip along the coast included watching boats in the water, Acadia National Park, the little one's first lobster meal and lighthouses.




We've caught on to the hide a rock (kindness) project. It was fun hiding rocks in all the states we visited on our way home from Maine!
We went tagging Monarch Butterflies at Sinnemahoning State Park in PA!
YAY! We finally got to hear the bugle of a bull elk during the rut season.


You Know You're a Homeschool Mom When....

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You spend your Saturday morning drinking coffee and reading about earthworms....

Yeah-  I'm really wanting to get down and dirty....well, not really dirty, but....

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THIS kid is so worth it!

My library shelves are overflowing with nature books, but I was thrilled to be able to buy one more sources this year at the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschool Conference...


I've been eyeing this product by Barbara Shukin for  a couple of years!  So yesterday I finally started browsing through it and saw that one of the things to study in Spring is the earthworm! So....

.... today I sit reading up on earthworms in Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study and looking up earthworm farms on Amazon.

Yep, I'm going to do this!  Has anyone here done this before?  I'd love to hear about your experiences and any tips you have to offer!



What are you doing for nature study this season?

We took a walk today...finally.

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One of the biggest things of the CM method I wanted to implement this year was nature walks and nature study.  And if I grade myself according to the quantity of time we actually spent doing any of those things... I failed miserably.  At least, the way I would grade it.


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My son LOVES nature.

So I must be doing something right.

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We have read a lot of nature books.  In the winter, when I was a sissy- yes, despite the very mild winter we had- we stayed indoors a lot.  We watched the birds and we read books.  He does love the nature books.  Though he did NOT seem to appreciate the Burgess book on birds....everyone on Ambleside raves about it.  But my boy?  He was bored out of his mind.  I finally put it down for awhile.  I got the Burgess chapter books instead.  Much less valuable information is inside these little gems, but he loves them. And we still read his nature magazines and other books.  And since the kid recognized , all on his own the other day, a red breasted grosbeak... the first I've ever seen and have never pointed one out to him in a book (in other words, he looks at the bird book himself quite often), I'd say we are doing okay.  🙂

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I'm still using Ambleside as a guide for next year...but I am going to use a lot of my learning I absorbed from Teaching From Rest to tame things down and simplify quite a bit.  There's no need for me to be stressing.  This kid is a sponge.  He's soaking up knowledge everywhere we go.

I'm continuing things through the summer but at a much much slower pace and with time to enjoy life and , well, especially nature!  At least, that's the plan! 😉

While you are waiting for me to post more on homeschooling, I thought I'd give you an overview of what the little guy is doing.....

So I took a picture of my planning area today where I spent time writing in plans for next week (using plans from the Ambleside Week 8 to guide me)

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and  my lesson plan book.

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Here are the materials we will be using next week if all goes well!

Bible, Religious Studies and Habit Training
Bible, Religious Studies and Habit Training
Nature Study
Nature Study
Language: Reading and Writing
Language: Reading and Writing
Artist/Picture Study
Artist/Picture Study


There it is! Most of the materials we will be using during week 8 of Year One using Ambleside as a guide.  If you have any questions from the photos as you wait for more homeschooling posts to come, drop by and let me know in the comment section!  Have a great week!