“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” Robert Frost
This year we have started nature journaling to chronicle our adventures exploring the outdoors! In an earlier post, I wrote about the benefits of studying nature. This has been an excellent and easily embraced part of our homeschool journey. The natural curiosity of my children transfers to beautiful illustrations of the treasures they observe on our nature outings. We are still fairly new to nature journaling and I can see how over time these journals will continue to evolve into beautiful memories that we can reflect on in the years to come.
How do you start nature journaling? That was a question I asked myself. There are a lot of sites out there that discuss nature journaling, but I wasn’t exactly sure where to start! The nature journal is popular amongst Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. For more information about the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education, click here.
How To Start A Nature Journal!
What You Need:
- A Nature Journal (a blank sketching book will do!)
- Sketching Pencils and Journaling Pens (We use these pencils and these journaling pens.)
- Crayons, Markers, and Oil Pastels (all of these are great options to make your nature journal come alive!)
- Books of Poetry about Nature (This is a good one!)
- Optional: Small Adventures Journal and One Small Square: Woods, One Small Square: Seashore, and One Small Square: Backyard.
How to Start:
- Plan out various nature trips (tide pools, woods, nature centers, local park, etc!)
- Bring along your nature journal and sketching pencils
- Check out a book from the library, or purchase a book that helps children identify leaves, trees, flowers, animals, and more found in nature. (We like this one)
- Take time to linger and discover the beauty in even the simplest leaves or flowers. Turn over rocks, explore the area, and record your findings!
- After sketching out in nature, bring your nature journal home and continue adding to it by using water colors, oil pastels, quotes from poems, or identify the parts of the plant that you discovered!
- Be Creative! There is no right way to nature journal, it’s an individual process that will reflect what the child is interested in and what the child found captivating during their nature exploration.
- Participate in nature journaling with your children! What a beautiful way to engage with your children by recording in your own nature journal!
Tips and Additional Suggestions:
- Ambleside Online has a Nature Study suggestion that is helpful. You can find the link here. They break down the nature study by season. This helps create a focus of study for your nature journal.
- Bring your nature journal on all outings, even to the local park! When embarking on a nature journal study, you will start to notice things that you hadn’t before! Maybe you will start seeing the different variety of birds in your area, or the different wild flowers growing on the hillsides. Your eyes will be drawn to nature in a new way once you start intentionally embracing a nature study.
- Allow even your youngest children to participate too! Give them crayons and a nature journal to create their own memories. You can encourage them to use colors to describe what they observed, or you can get an easy preschool drawing book (we love this one) that can help them learn to draw.
- Enjoy the memories created through nature walks, nature journaling, and time spent outside in Creation!
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