Homeschooling

A Homeschool Moms Nature Journal

A homeschool mom’s nature journal…

… there seems to be a lot of interest in nature journaling lately. I think it is because thanks to the likes of Instagram people are becoming more aware of the wonderful ways of mindfully observing nature. I want to talk about the importance of the homeschool moms nature journal and the keeping of it.

A Homeschool Moms Nature Journal

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A Homeschool Mom’s Nature Journal – An Evolution Over Time

I fell in love with Charlotte Mason’s gentle art of learning in our first year of homeschooling. One of the very first things we implemented was nature study and keeping a nature journal.

In my ‘school’ mindset the journaling was for my students. However, I soon discovered that young children much prefer to work alongside their mothers and are encouraged in their own efforts as she works in her own journal with them.

Our initial efforts were crude when I look back now. I was far more accepting and encouraging of my children’s efforts than I was of my own!

A Homeschool Moms Nature Journal
My very first nature journal pages – 2009

I wonder if our own insecurities surrounding our drawing and painting skills prevent many of us from jumping right in alongside our children in keeping our own nature journals?

I would suggest that they do. I want to encourage you to set these insecurities aside and make 2022 the year where you throw yourself into the gentle art of nature journaling alongside your children.

Here’s why a homeschool moms nature journal is so beneficial…

Benefits of The Homeschool Mom Keeping a Nature Journal

In this 20th century, to stop rushing around, to sit quietly on the grass, to switch off the world and come back to the earth, to allow the eye to see a willow, a bush, a cloud, a leaf… I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen.

Frederick Franck, The Zen of Seeing
  • Nature journaling opens up a world of exploration of the natural world around you. It makes that connection with nature a personal one.
  • You gain an intimate understanding of what makes your own life tick
  • You connect better with nature, learn its rhythems and patterns which brings a sense of familiar calm year after year
  • You are in good company as you are joining explorers, adventurists and naturalists through history in this age-old pastime.
  • Its fantastic for your mental health as it focuses your mind on God’s creation, slows you down and allows your mind and heart to rest in just being in the present moment. You will find yourself refreshed, refocused and better able to approach life’s daily pressures.
  • You will find that your artistic skills improve. Did you know that drawing and painting is a practiced art rather than all raw talent? The more you do it the better you get!
  • Each nature journal you fill becomes a treasure to be kept forever and passed down the generations. I get great joy in paging through past journals!
  • You are recording memories! Yes, when I page through my journals I remember the day, who I was with, what we did and the things we spoke about. Precious, precious memories!
A Homeschool Moms Nature Journal
Entry from 2015

Becoming A Naturalist

Perhaps lack of knowledge is keeping you from including nature study in your homeschool altogether let alone keeping a nature journal! Well, I want to share a few posts from our early nature study days so that you can see we certainly didn’t know much and give you a few tips on becoming a naturalist.

  • The overwhelming majority of people who become great naturalists certainly dont become so through formal schooling. They gain their knowledge in the field, by devoting themselves to spending time outdoors, observing. I’ll say it again because this is the key…OBSERVING. This fosters a deep interest, love and eventually knowledge about our natural world.
  • Naturalists study nature outdoors, everywhere and every part of it. Rocks, clouds, birds, tides, soils, worms you name it. We used the Handbook of Nature Study and the Outdoor Hour Challenges throughout our homeschooling which guides you through becoming a naturalist beautifully!

Early Nature Study Posts

Exploring Different Forms of Expression

Journaling opens up opportunities for you to explore your own creativity and express your own observations of the world more fully. You may feel that you are not creative at all but I want to say this to you… no one is judging your journal!

Did you notice in my 2009 how small my drawings were? Just simple (and small) pen sketches with more words than anything else. My first attempts at watercolour were tentative. Here’s the proof:

A Homeschool Moms Nature Journal
My very first attempt at using watercolour

This is your nature journal and can be as intensely private as you wish it to be. Make small sketches, draw and write. The more you write in your nature journal the more skilled you will become at developing word pictures. The more you practice drawing and painting the more skilled your eye and hand will become at capturing what you are observing.

Lovely homeschool mom, I hope that this post is an encouragement to begin a lifelong habit of becoming a naturalist, of keeping a nature journal. I promise that you will not come away from this past-time untouched. May 2022 be a beautiful year of being immersed in nature and seeing you reap the multitude of benefits from improved mental health to a growth of knowledge and skill.

Below are links to my favourite nature study essentials and some of my favourite books that have been an inspiration to my own nature learning and journaling adventure. Follow me on Instagram @buildingahouseholdoffaith

Homeschool Nature Study and the Outdoor Hour Challenges

As some of you may know I have recently been appointed as editor/hostess of the Handbook of Nature Study’s Outdoor Hour Challenge and will be continuing the fantastic work that Barb started many years ago. Please do consider using the challenges in your homeschool nature studies – they are fabulous! Our own family used them all through our homeschooling years and I attribute our deep love for nature to those challenges. You may follow us on Instagram @outdoorhourchallenge and would love to have you tag us in the photographs of your own nature adventures.

My Nature Study Essentials

Here’s a Flip-Through one of my Nature Journals

A small caveat – my video editing skills are horrendous so I’m afraid it’s a rather basic video – an area I can definitely improve on!

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My Favourite Nature Journaling Books