Nature Study

I was browsing in a shop the other day and came upon a picture of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet kneeling down and looking closely at a group of little ducklings on a pond. The caption below read "I've discovered a tiny sort of something."

There is something about being outdoors and taking time to see the "little things", kneeling down and really taking the time to observe what is happening right under our noses! To sit still a while, and listen, to observe, to appreciate.

So often we overlook the simple things!

Discovering "tiny sorts of somethings" is one of the wonderful aspects of nature studies! It is not a formal science, but a wonderful opportunity to observe, learn and grow.

"Nature study, as a process, is seeing the things that one looks at, and the drawing of proper conclusions from what one sees. Its purpose is to educate the child in terms of his environment, to the end that his life may be fuller and richer.

It is not the study of a science, as of botany, entomology, geology, and the like. That is, it takes the things at hand and endeavors to understand them, without reference primarily to the systematic order or relationships of objects. It is informal, as are the objects which one sees. It is entirely divorced from mere definitions, or from formal explanations in books.It is therefore supremely natural.

It trains the eye and the mind to see and to comprehend the common things of life; and the result is not directly the acquiring of science but the establishing of a living sympathy with everything that is."

Liberty Hyde Bailey

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When we take time out to spend observing the things around us with our children, we will find so many opportunities to learn in fun, hands on ways, and train our children to see! There are precious teaching moments waiting to unfold.

I truly believe that when we carve out time to let them explore their environment, we cultivate a love for learning and give them a richer and fuller education.

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