I love making goals and then seeing them achieved…but honestly, I love the journey as much as the achievement. Especially when it comes to nature study, always having a goal or focus helps make things happen. The Outdoor Hour Challenge is really just a way of breaking nature study goals down into weekly steps. Each challenge gives us a way to focus for a few minutes with our children on something that could easily be skipped if we aren’t careful.
This year I feel a shift is coming in our family’s nature study. I am for the first time making my own personal nature study goals and inviting any of my family members along with me when they have time and an interest. I find that as I become involved in a particular area of nature study that my family naturally falls in line with that interest and in the process of supporting my nature study, they learn something as well. (Sneaky but it works.)
Would you like to see my personal nature study goals for 2013? Some are related to the Outdoor Hour Challenges we will be completing together here on the blog and some are more specialized to my area of the world. Feel free to make your own list and you might like to do what I am doing, print out a copy of the goals and insert them in the front of your nature journal. I am also taking each goal and actually scheduling in some dates in my planner, in pencil of course just so I be flexible as the opportunities arise.
Barb’s Nature Study Goals for 2013
- Learn about ten new birds, including nature journal entries and learning their calls.
- Learn about five new trees in my local area.
- Learn about five scrubs that I see along my walking trail or our favorite hiking trail.
- Take four new hikes. (These are tentatively planned in my planner along with maps.)
|1. Leopard Lily, 2. 7 09 Deer at Yosemite, 3. Sequoia, 4. Steller’s Jay at Yosemite National park|
Visit Yosemite in all four seasons and focus on some aspect of nature each time:
- Spring – trees/birds
- Summer – wildflowers/waterfalls
- Autumn – mammals
- Winter – rocks
I am not sure if I will stick to the topics listed above or allow each trip to unfold some aspect of nature to learn about. I am also going to invite some friends along with me, sharing my love for this awesome place with people who have never been there even though we live just a few hours away.
Now for the big goal that I will need help from my family in achieving. I am challenging myself to take on a rock related nature study project which will hopefully teach me new skills and lead to some adventures. My husband and I are going to try to collect all fifteen rocks discussed in the Rocks, Fossils and Arrowheads (Take-Along Guides). After going over each rock in the book, we searched online for places that we could realistically find each specimen. It will mean taking a few trips to new places and finding ways that we can legally collect each one. Several of the rocks we have access to on a daily basis like granite and slate but even for these specimens I want to make a proper display and journal entry. We just came up with this idea a few days ago and already our wheels are turning, plans are being made and our hopes are high that we can achieve our goal.
I am going to be taking the year of 2013 and trying to use far less plastic than we have been as a family. I am slowly going to be adding new routines and habits that will support a lifestyle that will use less disposable plastic. I will be sharing my journey.
I am looking forward to what we will experience and learn this year as we continue our journey learning about the wonderful awe-inspiring creations we have all around us.
Leave me a comment with your goal and perhaps I can work some of your ideas into up-coming Outdoor Hour Challenges or write posts with suggestions on how to achieve your goals.