Saturday, October 27, 2012

Outdoor Hour Nature Study - Tree Study Grid

This year for the first time I've really started to implement nature study and nature walks into our week. Nature Study is definitely an important part of a Charlotte Mason education. I have a great ebook from Simply Charlotte Mason titled "Hours in the Out-of-Doors: A Charlotte Mason Nature Study Handbook" that has been really helpful, but what has helped me most to get outside and really dive into nature study has been the Handbook of Nature Study Blog.

Many homeschoolers are familiar with Anna Comstock's classic Handbook of Nature Study (in fact, the copy I'm using is the same my mother used to teach me and my siblings!) but because it's such a large, comprehensive book, it can be a little overwhelming to use. Enter the Handbook of Nature Study blog and the monthly Outdoor Hour Challenges! When you sign up for her newsletter, you'll get 4 "challenges" a month, along with page references for HNS, extra printables, and ideas to implement your nature study. Super awesome helpful!

We've done a few of the Outdoor Hour Challenges through September and October, but this is the first one I've managed to blog about. I'm adding a link to the Outdoor Hour Challenge carnival as well so you can check out how other homeschoolers have used this great resource.

On this day we were using the Tree Study Grid on our walk to the park. (You can see a picture or the Tree Study Grid here. It has a bunch of different fun things to do when you're out on your nature walks that all have to do with trees. You can get your own by signing up for the newsletter.)

One of the activities was to find a tree with needles. Here Judah (age 4 1/2) is making a sketch in his nature notebook.
Most of the trees around here are already pretty bare.
"Measure the distance around three trees." Check!

Judah sketching. We were supposed to compare the front & back of a leaf.
Grace's sketch.
Moses' sketch.
Benjamin doesn't sketch - he gets to swing.

The kids were also supposed to take pictures of the different parts of a tree. Here's some roots!
Trunk & Branches

Grace & Lucy
A few of the remaining trees with leaves
When we got home, a jump in the leaf pile was in order!
Miss C in the leaves

This was a fun Outdoor Hour Challenge - there were some other things on the grid as well that I didn't get pictures of, like reading a library book on trees, learning about a tree close to your house, and observing birds in trees. The grid is easy to bring with you on walks and check off throughout the week! 

Linking to the Outdoor Hour Challenge


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I am so glad you are joining the carnival! It is always fun to get to know new families and it looks you all had an excellent tree grid study!

I can't believe all your leaves are almost on the ground, we have barely started here. We had a small pile yesterday after raking but I know soon we will have more leaves than we know what to do with!

Thanks for sharing all your tree activities with the carnival.

dstb said...

Great job on using the grid. I love how the grid makes nature study so easy and gives us focus.


Jamie {See Jamie blog} said...

Great photos to accompany your study! Looks like a wonderful nature study with your family, so thanks for sharing.

Virginia Lee said...

What fun! Our family too has multiple ages doing nature study (and 1 more due in 2 weeks). I'm so glad you also included the pictures of swinging and your 4 1/2 year old's sketches. I have a 4 year old daughter who loves to draw in her nature journal and her sketches always amaze me.

Looking forward to seeing more of your family's nature study.

Shirley Ann said...

What fun jumping in the leaves! We cannot resist scuffing through the fallen leaves. I just love your great pictures of the yellow leaves. Beautiful.