It started in February of 2010. We answered a challenge to take part in the Handbook of Nature Outdoor Hour Challenge. Feeling pretty proud and puffed up, the boys and I set out to study Pine Trees in Winter. Ya, I know. Anytime you have Proud and Puffed up in a sentence, you know that only embarrassment and pain will follow. We spent the greater part of the afternoon observing and drawing Sitka Spruce Trees.
What we learned that afternoon – more than to never mistake a Sitka for a Pine – was how much we didn’t know about the world that we saw – but did not observe every day.
A visit from a friend in February sparked the love for Nature Sketching when she shared a book by Clare Walker Leslie – which was timely – as the next challenge we took part of was on Sketch Books. The sketching brought our focus to the details that we could observe, small sketches, not dependent on Art or Talent, but Desire and Joy.
By March we had moved into the Spring Series and had been encouraged to start our Notebooking Journey – a move from Lapbooking for our family. We purchased the inexpensive booklet to guide us through the Spring. We were hooked. Each week we discovered more and more of what we had not been Seeing.
This evening, a neighbor passed down a large three ring binder to our family – and I knew exactly what I wanted to use it for. Our Nature Notebooking Pages – that we have collected – since that Spring Series. Each folder was created per season – little by little.
What a joy to look through the notes!
A few tabs to mark the Seasons.
These early drawing sketches made me tear up a little.
Amazing how far their sketch work has come.
Maybe this week I‘ll post some current drawings.
So I encourage you. To start with ONE CHALLENGE. See if you don’t learn something. See if you don’t enjoy time with your family outside. See if you don’t meet great folks on the blog link ups. I bet you will. I know I did.
Maybe by the end of the year
your son will spot a mammal on the side of the road
and insist that you back up so he can roll down his window
and take a zoomed photo for the Mammal Study.
(Taken Sunday by the 10 year old boy after the Mammal Study was ‘turned in’. )
And maybe, at the end of the year (more likely before) you will have a special spot in your heart – for one Harmony Art Mom named Barb, and for her family for allowing her to spend her time encouraging others, from the words that have inspired her own family.
Thank you Barb, and your whole family, for the time you have given to us this year.
May you continue to be a blessing to so many more families – as well as to ours.
(I asked the boys at almost 10pm on the fly what they would like to add)
It’s really fun to do, and sometimes a challenge. I like to go to the gardens and look for the colors. It is the part of school that I really like. “The nature studies are easy and fun.” I learned that there are a lot of colors in plants that I never noticed. I got up close to the plants. I never knew how many creatures and bugs live in the ground when you dig just one shovel of dirt. – Jon
Thank you for the nature study. It is a really fun thing to do on sunny days! I have learned to observe nature more. – Nate
Go on. Click on over. Find a challenge. You can do it! (I searched my WordPress by Category and came up with 45 Challenge Posts. Woot! Not even sure I tagged them all!)http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com