Nature study and the exploration/appreciation of God’s creations are such a huge part of our daily life that science just flows right into our lessons without much trying on my part. We do use a “science curriculum
” if you want to call it that. However, aside from doing the lessons/experiments that are in that book twice a week, if you were to ask my kids what they are learning in “science” they would have no idea. They live it. They experience science in so many ways daily that they don’t even know they are learning. They are soaking it in, listening to it, playing with it, exploring it, discovering it, figuring it out, just plain enjoying it, and I am thrilled for them. I wish I had learned “science” this way. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it and learned more than I did.
The 106 Day of Creation Studies
, which is our curriculum, “incorporates Bible study, living books, hands-on experiments, nature study, and narration” and “covers the seven days of Creation in order, with scientific topics related to each day.” It is very laid back and easy to do, using materials we have on hand. It is also very easy to add to with other supplementary materials if we don’t have the suggested materials or books. We have made parachutes, rainbows, clouds in mason jars, cloud charts and so much more.
Aside from that book, we have a fond love for the Thornton Burgess Books
. No matter what other books we are reading at any given time, we usually always have a Burgess book going as well. We also thoroughly enjoyed Outdoor Secrets
and will possibly reread it in the future.
Often times though, the kids just figure things out on their own. Like how cold it’s going to have to get to freeze their water in misc. containers, and how to best get the ice cubes out of said containers without breaking them.
Their awe and wonder carries over into all areas of their lives and we are able to go with their interests whenever possible. At the beginning of the year both of the kids were very interested in the solar system for some reason. So, we made several trips to the library for books and videos, made planet models, chalk drawings, and anything we could to satisfy the craving for information. Just for fun, Toby drew this picture which will soon be framed and on our wall for many years to come!
There are always field guides, books and binoculars on hand for curious minds. These are kept by our large picture window outside of which we have our bird feeders. We are all constantly looking to see what birds and animals are stopping by to pay us a visit and keeping our bird identifying skills fresh. Hardly a day goes by that one of them doesn’t say something like, “Mom, we need to find out more about that, where is that one book?”
Both kids also have a “Nature Notebook” that we made a year or so ago. When we take nature hikes they often take them and some colored pencils along to sit and draw something that they see. We always try to make time to be still, look, listen and really be in nature.
Our garden window in the kitchen has been transformed into our “Nature Window” since it was too temperamental to actually grow anything in anyway. Rarely do we go on a nature hike or do the kids come in from playing outside that they don’t come back in with a “treasure” for the window. A new rock, leaf, feather, intersting seed, stick, nut, you name it. We figure out what it is and if it will be able to stay without attracting bugs or a stench! 🙂 If it’s too big or may smell it stays in the outdoor nature box with the other nests, bones, and large walking sticks.
That is pretty much it for science here. The kids will be getting a Snap Circuts Jr. game for Christmas so that should be fun to start getting their hands on electronics!
As you can see, at this age(1st grade and preschool) and for a few more years to come, we will be sticking mainly with the “nature study” and building up to more involved science. Nature study is simply laying the foundation for the more complex. I leave you for now with a couple of thoughts from Miss Charlotte Mason on this topic(the bold text is quoted from Simply Charlotte Mason site:
Nature study enriches your child’s life. “A love of Nature, implanted so early that it will seem to them hereafter to have been born in them, will enrich their lives with pure interests, absorbing pursuits, health, and good humour” (Vol. 1, p. 71).
Nature study increases your child’s intellect and makes him a more interesting person. “Consider, too, what an unequalled mental training the child-naturalist is getting for any study or calling under the sun — the powers of attention, of discrimination, of patient pursuit, growing with his growth, what will they not fit him for?” (Vol. 1, p. 61).