05 August 2010

Charlotte Mason and nature study

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Our children love it mostly when we go someplace out of the ordinary to do our nature studies. Yesterday we went to the lake and beach in our little town and enjoyed some time outdoors. Here is what Charlotte Mason said about nature study.
  1. Nature study lays the foundation for formal science studies (Vol. 3, p. 281). The child lays in a store, as it were, of images and ideas to access and use in making personal connections when he reads about them in a science book later.
  2. Nature study makes science interesting. Charlotte lamented, “For the most part science as she is taught leaves us cold” (Vol. 6, p. 318). But a child who has the advantage of nature study, an “appreciative knowledge of things to begin with,” can easily reach the “living science” level (Vol. 3, p. 77).
  3. Nature study increases your child’s capacity to understand the unknown. “By-and-by he will have to conceive of things he has never seen: how can he do it except by comparison with things he has seen and knows?” (Vol. 1, p. 66).
  4. Nature study cultivates a love of investigation. And Charlotte encouraged mothers to “infuse into” our children, “or rather, to cherish in them, the love of investigation” (Vol. 1, p. 71).
  5. Nature study gives your child a sense of ownership and stewardship of the Earth. “Here is a duty that lies upon us all; for we all enter on the inheritance of the heavens and the earth, the flowers of the field and the birds of the air. These are things to which we have right, no one can take them from us; but, until we get as much as a nodding and naming acquaintance with the things of Nature, they are a cause rather of irritation and depression than of joy” (Vol. 4, Book 2, p. 97).
  6. Nature study prepares your child’s heart to worship God. “From the flower in the crannied wall to the glorious firmament on high, all the things of Nature proclaim without ceasing, ‘Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty’ ” (Vol. 4, Book 2, p. 100).
  7. Nature study enriches your child’s life. “A love of Nature, implanted so early that it will seem to them hereafter to have been born in them, will enrich their lives with pure interests, absorbing pursuits, health, and good humour” (Vol. 1, p. 71).
  8. Nature study increases your child’s intellect and makes him a more interesting person. “Consider, too, what an unequalled mental training the child-naturalist is getting for any study or calling under the sun — the powers of attention, of discrimination, of patient pursuit, growing with his growth, what will they not fit him for?” (Vol. 1, p. 61).

2 comments:

Hollinger Family said...

Love your photos! We love nature studies, and I feel it closes in the age gaps and brings us closer together as a family also. =) Great post!
~Sheri

Cinnamon said...

Soo fun!! I love all your new pictures and your header!

~Cinnamon

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