I wrote in a post earlier this week about our initial plans for our Home Ed journey and one of the things that I touched upon was a desire to do a nature curriculum with the children.
I really want the children to have a great understanding and appreciation of the nature around us. We are lucky to live in a country that has clear seasons and times of the year, and I want them to be able to name the things around us. I want them to be able to name the birds and the trees and be confident around insects and bugs.
We are going to follow the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum and I have, this week, purchased the new guided journal. We won’t use all of this, and might not even use it week to week, but I think it will act as a good prompt and I know that Mr D in particular likes having something to work through. Both he and Miss E are endlessly fascinated by the weather so I think it will be good to do something around that with them. Simple things like measuring rainfall and plotting it on a chart so we can see when the months are getting wetter as we move into the autumn.
I am keen to encouarge the children to be creative, and with that in mind I have purchased some A4 notebooks for us all. I am going to keep my own nature journal. I think it will be good to be doing this alongside the children and I am sure I will learn a thing or two as well plus the benefit of them seeing that I am also learning is no bad thing.
I’ve not got many things ready yet for this study, although there are plenty of things I’d like! I do have a number of books that we will draw on including the beautiful A First Book of Nature (which we really don’t use enough at the moment) and the wonderful British Wildlife which is one I refer to often with the children. This is stunning and is one I think we will use a lot as we embark on this curriculum next month.
As well as these books I have another one that covers birds that I picked up in a charity shop a couple of years back that we have used a couple of times and the fabulous Nature’s Day will be one we refer to as the seasons change I am sure. It’s a wonderful book and one that we have used a lot in the past so I will be happy to see it come out again.
I have printed off the first two months of the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum and they’re in a ring binder for us to refer to. I also have some plastic tubs ready for the children to collect things in, as well as a magnifying glass for them to use. We have plenty of paper and a new pack of pencil crayons as well as clipboards so we are always prepared if they spot something they want to draw or make a note of whilst we are out. We will of course have the camera to hand, ready to snap any of the creatures and things that we see. I think our first year may take more of a scrap book approach. It’ll be exciting to see how they build on it month by month and year by year.
Have you ever completed a nature journal? If so, what are you must haves and do you have any top tips?