Autumn Series #10
“Yet, with all my familiarity with this brook, I did not know it in the winter. Its pathway up into the winter woods was as unexplored as the arctic regions. Somehow, it was not a brook in the winter time. It was merely a dreary waste, as cold and as forbidding as death. The winter was only a season of waiting, and spring was always late.”
The Nature Study Idea, L.H. Bailey, contemporary of Anna Botsford Comstock.
Inside Preparation Work:
Read pages 1-2 of the Handbook of Nature Study as a refresher. Mark and highlights points that you want to keep in mind before you embark on this last of the Autumn Series Challenges. How have these challenges awakened a love of nature study in your heart? What changes have you seen in your children as they have participated in a regular course of nature study? What practical and useful knowledge has your family gleaned from the “comprehension of the individual life of the bird, insect, or plant that is nearest at hand”?
Outdoor Hour Time:
Sometimes it is fun and interesting to revisit a familiar place in a different season. Perhaps you have a certain park you go to in the summer but you have not explored there in the autumn or winter months. There may be a trail or creek you explored as part of a previous Outdoor Hour Challenge and it might be interesting to go there now that the seasons have changed. If you are just starting out with the challenges, choose a place to visit this week that you can go back to in a future season.
Spend 15 minutes outdoors in your chosen spot and enjoy the November world. Use all your senses and let your children find something to show you. Remember not to talk too much or lead them but rather try to see what your children see. Sometimes it is nice to just to let something interesting come your way without a particular focus.
“The author can think of nothing she would so gladly do as to spend days and months with the birds, bees, and flowers with no obligation to tell what she should see. There is more than mere information in hours thus spent.” Handbook of Nature Study, page 7
So this challenge is really for the parents. Let the nature study unfold and then enjoy the time with your children. Be refreshed.
For this challenge, leave the nature journal or notebook page as an option. If you child is inclined to complete a follow-up entry, make an opportunity for one but if they are content with just having spent time outdoors, there is no obligation to complete an entry. There is a printable notebook page in this entry: November World. You might like to use my free Signs of Autumn notebook page.
As always see if they have any questions about their nature study time. Follow their lead by looking up the answers in the Handbook of Nature Study. Skim down the table of contents to see if there is a lesson covering what you child found interesting. If not, check your local library for a book to use as a resource. Last year we made a list of things to research during the winter. You can find a notebook page on which to list your things in this set of free notebook pages that I put together last month: Autumn Series 2009 Notebook Pages.