Friday, February 5, 2016

40 Journal Entry Ideas for Nature Study Notebooks ~ Free Printable


"There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error. First, the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of creation, which expresses His power."
~ Frances Bacon (1561-1626)

If you haven't tried doing nature study journals because you weren't sure on where to start and how to do them, I wanted to share 40 journal entry ideas with you. There really are no rules to a nature study and yet your children will learn so much from just a little observation and a few moments of time!


What is neat about nature study is that it also encompasses many of the school subjects during one sitting! If you spent an entire day outside with God's creation, you need not have the "homeschooling-mother-blues" (though 20 minutes a day is quite beneficial)! You have art covered as your children sketch and/or color in their entries. You have covered science and nature as they observe God's creation and learn more about the plant or animal life they come across. You have included language arts as you do copy work of nature inspired poetry or favorite quotes from nature books.  You can spend time with the Scriptures when you include Bible verses pertaining to the objects of nature you are studying. And if you have taken a vigorous nature walk, you have included physical education into your nature study time as well! I think you can see how nature study is more than nature. It is a lifestyle of learning through various subjects that the Almighty has prepared for us to enjoy and learn from (remember "Go to the Ant"?)!



You needn't be outside to do a nature study (though you should definitely make time to do so when convenient). Rainy days, chilly days and the hottest of days could still provide nature study time! There are always indoor plants to draw, identify and learn about, the occasional insect and/or spider you may find indoors to study, you can grow your own butterfly kits, maintain ant farms, study any indoor pets you may have, sketch still life such as pinecones and leafs, read books on nature that can be studied and used for copying drawings and recording information. The possibilities are endless.



And in the end, as your children begin to observe nature, our prayer is that they will be intrigued by the One who created it, the Master Artist. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." (Romans 1:20).


You can view and/or print our 40 Journal Entry Ideas for a Nature Study HERE. Should you like further ideas on how to conduct a nature study, visit HERE. To view a sample of our nature notebook pages, visit HERE.

                       

For books to inspire mother in the art of nature study, I recommend a Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola (written in a sweet novel form that gently teaches), Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock (an old fashioned thick volume of interesting nature information and concepts), the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden (a romantic look at the natural world) and Nature Study the Easy Way (a casual conversational how-to-guide) by Cindy Rushton. For it is often that the teacher's love must first be ignited in order to pass the flame down to the student!

"With nature study in this easy way, there is a completely different focus. There is no undue focus on facts, trivia, and a sampling of information to learn off for a test. Rather, the focus is on recognition of nature ALL throughout the year and in every season, learning the life cycles of plants and animals informally as they go along, and growing in appreciation and attentiveness to the tiny details of God's creation! Amazingly, the children come to KNOW and UNDERSTAND God's Creation!"
~ Cindy Rushton, A Charlotte Mason Primer

40 comments:

  1. What a beautiful idea Jes. Even my 16 year old daughter would adore this. Thankyou. Mimi xxx

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    1. There really is no age to enjoying nature study! That is evidenced by the beauty of the book "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady". Thank you for sharing here today! :)

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  2. JES, your posts exude such love for home and family and all things lovely, that it is a delight indeed to rest a while here and be inspired and blessed! These nature journal ideas are wonderful, I will be showing my mother...they could be fun to do with some of the girls!
    With much love and thanks for all your time and effort...
    Kelly-Anne

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    1. They would be fun! And I would love to see your creative entries too! :)

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  3. This is wonderful. I love nature studies, and I've seen a few posts at other blogs where the mom keeps a nature journal, too, and they are really gorgeous. This is one thing I wish I'd done when our girls were being schooled.

    I hope lots of homeschooling families will take advantage of the points you mention as to individual studies that cover several subjects at once. It's such a brilliant concept and leaves more time for other pursuits.

    Wishing you a great weekend!
    Toni

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    1. It is fun! Especially if you are artistic. That isn't a strong point around here but YES, I have seen some amazing nature journals!

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  4. That is such a wonderful idea for a girl, Nature is such a blessed part of our life, one of the most beautiful God's Gift !
    Thank you my darling JES, you're truly unique !
    May your weekend be blessed with joy and wonder
    sending dear love to you,
    with gratitude
    Dany

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    1. Yes, it is a beautiful hobby for a girl! Remember our dear Beatrix Potter? She really shows us the beauty of observing nature in her early journals. Thank you for visiting. Have a wonderful week!

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    2. And boys, my son is going to school for a Wildlife Biologist and Nature study is the best hands-on experience he can get. God's beautiful earth is for us all to enjoy and study :)

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    3. Absolutely! Look what beauty and insight John James Audubon brought to us because of his love of birds and nature! :) As well as many others!

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  5. Perfect timing! I'm just now reassessing our homeschool as we're about halfway through, and I'm really wanting to include nature journaling a bit more. I recently acquired a copy of A Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady through paperback swap and it has really inspired me. Thanks for the additional suggestions!

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    1. Oh it is perfectly timing! Hope this does help! Nice hearing from you Ashley :)

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  6. We just watched The Adventures of Milo and Otis today for the first time per your movie recommendations. The song they play at the beginning and end of the movie would make for a fine tune to sing on a nature walk "We're gonna take a walk outside today. Gonna see what we can find today."

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    1. Oh, that is perfect! I am going to have to replay that! Thanks for sharing Robin! :)

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    2. Oh, and I hope your littles ones enjoyed it! I may be a bit partial since we own a pug and I just love those little solemn-faced creatures to pieces.

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  7. Jes, I grew up on the A country diary of an Edwardian Lady. That book was just me! I still have it and I have found old copies in op shops and made them into cards and decor.
    When at school the best thing was the nature table. We all could bring in things for the nature table so there were birds nests, snake skins, cocoons, all kinds of things and this was something i LOVED. I still do. My home is kind of like this. I would prefer a birds nest to an expensive ornament any day!
    Also I love the seasons and just being outside... it all agrees with me and makes me so happy!
    What a gorgeous post thank you! Love Annabel.xxx

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    1. Great idea on creating cards and decor with your excess books! Everything she drew was just lovely. Thank you for sharing here today Annabel :)

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  8. JES, thank you so much for sharing this free printable- I have been needing some extra encouragement to go out for nature walks with the children in the wet and stormy winter weather :-)

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    1. Now is the perfect time to dig into nature books with a cup of hot chocolate and sketch out some of the pictures, diagram the parts or add some artistic touches... Also some nature chapter books for read alouds! :)

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  9. I LOVE Nature Study Journals Jes and I LOVE your ideas. Pocketful of Pinecones is one of the books we used when we did Nature Studies, back in the day of our homeschooling. Fun! Have a blessed week!

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  10. It's really beautiful design and useful tips. Thank you for your creative idea ;)

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  11. I enjoy nature walks and journals -- thanks for sharing these creative ideas!

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    1. You are most welcome. Thank you for the kind visit! :)

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  12. JESUS IS LORD!!! All creation shouts it; some people just work at being deaf. Your blog is beautiful. The printable is great and makes me almost wish my kids were young again. We homeschooled for 21 years. Blessings on you.

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    1. Yes, He is! :) Thank you for the kind comment. I love hearing from veteran homeschooling mothers!

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  13. JES...I love journaling and used it for different ideas when we schooled. Nature journals are fun and creative. We actually used two of the books you shared. Thank you for sharing the journal entry ideas at Monday's Musings. And I loved looking at the journals you all have made. Beautiful.

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    1. Excellent! Thank you for sharing Naomi! :)

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  14. JES...one more thing...I love the new look of your blog. Lovely. :-)

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    1. Ah, thank you! I was in need of some sprucing up. It had been awhile! :)

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  15. One of my fond memories of homeschooling-nature studies.
    Thank you for sharing your post our Our Simple Homestead Hop today :)

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  16. We LOVE doing nature journals with the kids. Not only does getting them outside regularly help them get energy out, but it helps them to really understand God's beautiful creation too. This list of ideas to include in nature journals is simply an amazing resource, thank you so much for sharing. Have a blessed week!!

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  17. What a wonderful idea and what a nice printable! I think a nature journal like this would be a lovely project for adults as well. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Can I share your photo and link on my post on middle and high school birdwatching? It will go live in a few days, so let me know, please. I love this! Betsy @ BJ's Homeschoool.

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    1. Absolutely! Thank you for sharing! :)

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    2. I entered my first post on birdwatching today, to your linkup. My second birdwatching post, for middle and high schoolers, with your wonderful link to your nature study pages, will be published later this week. Thank you!

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    3. Wonderful! Glad you linked up with us also! :)

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    4. Here is the link to my post on nature study for teens, with your beautiful printable included! Thanks so much, JES! http://betsyhomeschoolconsulting.blogspot.com/2016/02/nature-study-activities-for-teens-and.html Would you like to share it around?

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