So Many Leaves- Outdoor Challenge #17

Nasturtiums just starting to sprout in the flower garden

We had fun looking for different shaped leaves in our yard this week during our Outdoor Hour time. Once you get started you begin to see so many varieties of shapes and sizes. This entry is sort of my photo nature journal entry for this week. My son worked on drawing his leaves in his journal and you can find it below.

Hydrangea leaves have a fantastic vein pattern.

The fig leaves are really big this year.

Mimosa leaves are feathery and soft.
This is the catalpa tree leaves that are really big and so colorful in the fall.

I have about twenty more photos but I will stop there. I tend to get a little enthusiastic when we are in the middle of nature study. :)

Here is my son’s journal entry for you to enjoy.

He came up with his own way of drawing the leaves which I will share with you. He takes the leaf and traces the outline and then he fills in the details with his pencils. It is a compromise between free-hand drawing and rubbing and it really gives great results.

Another great week and challenge.

Why Use the Handbook of Nature Study?

“A mother should read these kinds of books to herself, not just to collect little bits of knowledge to pass on to her children as they come across things she’s read about, but so that she can learn enough to answer their questions and help the children with their observations….Children will love a person who knows the things they want to find out about and such a person may influence a young mind to have a passion for nature that will be retained for life…”
Charlotte Mason, Volume 1 page 64

That is a clear reason that the Handbook of Nature Study should have a solid standing in our science and nature study materials. This book makes it so easy to look up something we observed outdoors and flip to those pages and read a little to ourselves. I know some families enjoy reading the selection together but it is not necessary. The meat of each section is the section for observations. I love to read through those questions and learn how I can better guide my child to their own understanding of the subject.

Our goal:

“And this is exactly what a child should be doing for the first few years. He should be getting familiar with the real things in his own environment.”
Charlotte Mason, Volume 1 page 66

If you need help getting started with the Handbook of Nature Study, please join us for the Outdoor Hour Challenges posted every Friday. Or if you want an example of how our family uses this book, read through our responses to each of the challenges and you will see how easy it is to use once you get the correct idea about what it is for.

So even though you might look at the copyright date of this book and wonder how it could still be relevant today, you have your answer: It helps you to your goal. Your goal of helping your child become more acquainted with nature close to their own home.

Hummingbird and Bleeding Hearts

What a treat! This hummingbird was having a meal right next to me when we were at the nursery this afternoon. He didn’t seem to care that I pulled out my camera to capture his pretty green feathers and his long black beak. He came back several times as I was browsing but he always came back to this particular plant, the bleeding heart. (make sure to click the photos to enlarge them)

“The hummingbird’s beak is exactly fitted to probe those flowers where the bird finds its food. The tongue has the outer edges curved over, making a tube on each side.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 115

The Handbook of Nature Study has a whole section on hummingbirds, pages 115-117.

There is also section on the bleeding heart, pages 558-560.

We had a very enjoyable afternoon picking out a few new plants for our garden. I will have to share about those after I get them planted in the ground. :)