Doing A Nature Calendar With Your Kids

Our nature journals are really nature calendar examples of events we did over the years. We did nature journaling regularly as a homeschool family and I can see the benefits. All of my children have become aware of their surroundings and this brings delight to them and me. Nature appreciation can also be counted as a science and a geography lesson.

We began our nature journaling drawing pictures, making observations and reading.

wolly butt small

Over the years we read Australian nature stories and I made a book list of some of my favourites.
Here are some nature calendar examples from when they were younger.

August Nature Calendar

“ACCORDING to the official calendar it is still winter, but out in the bush all the world knows it is spring.” Amy Mack

I love reading Amy Mack’s observations. We were inspired to get out and see what we could find.

Amy’s quote from A Bush Calendar August is so true. We have just had a run of lovely warm weather this month. The bush knows its spring. Here is what we found on our bush hunt.

My lovely daughter found some wattle – Acacia Buxfolia, there is lots of this around at the moment.

A Bush Calendar August callistemon-red-bottle-brush

Pink and Red Callistemon (Bottle Brush)

A Bush Calendar August

Egg and Bacon Pea Flower

A Bush Calendar August

More wattle – Acacia floribunda this time. A cutting of that made it home to a vase.

September Nature Calendar

“Nature’s book will find no better season for opening the cover than sweet September.” Amy Mack A Bush Calendar September

Bush Calendar Walk September

Spring Is For the Birds

Springtime bush walking is full of little surprises and we found a few today.

Eastern Rosella and a Crimson Rosella.

 

Crimson rosella -A bush calendar september

Eastern Rosella - A bush calendar september

However the best was yet to come on our walk for September.

We found a well looked after bower belonging to a Satin Bower Bird. He was peering down on us as we took some photos.

Bower of A Satin Bower Bird
Bower of A Satin Bower Bird

And here is his collection.

Bower Bird Collection

My lovely walking companion made the comment, “What did they collect before plastic?”.

Nature Calendar For October

This was my daughter’s nature calendar entry for October when she was 12. We didn’t go on a nature walk for this one she just popped outside and looked in our garden. We also stayed up for an exciting lunar eclipse.

My daughter is enjoying nature photography and this is a feature of lots of her nature journal entries at the moment. We use a log book as a guide to direct some of her studies. She also makes her own entries.

nature-calendar-octoberer

Our Backyard Astronomy October 8

We were very excited to be able to see the lunar eclipse last night.

Here are our blood moon shots.

Nature Calendar October - Blood Moon

Nature Calendar October -Blood Moon[/caption]This one was taken with them slowly moving the camera.

Lunar eclipse.

Natural learning! I love it.

Nature Calendar November

For the different ages of our family nature appreciation looks different. Our oldest boy (Master 13) just likes to listen to the reading.

Writing Observations

Miss 12 prefers to write her observation. Here is her entry from yesterday.

“The warm soft days of spring have past early this year. November, has exchanged its gentleness for a scorching heat not fitting to its normal soft warmth. Even in the morning hours the heat starts to build. The wind, usually refreshing brings no comfort today as it blows hot air on my face. The pavement burns my feet. If this is spring—what will summer be like?

The house is cool, the blinds and curtains are shut, keeping out the heat. Under the big tree in our yard it’s cooler. Leaves shade the ferns and other plants that prefer the cooler weather. The plants are all green thanks to all the October rains.

The gum tree sways in the wind, our rose, once without bloom is the queen of the garden, and its soft pink flowers climb the side fence.”

Nature Drawing

Master 9 still prefers to draw what he sees.

Nature Journal Master 9

I think nature observation is often not thought of as “real science”; I do not agree.

Taking Photos

My other daughter at age 12 prefers to take photos and make her Nature Calendar Notebook.

Bush Calendar Pages

December Nature Calendar

I wrote this after a nature walk in December 2010. We visited Blackbutt Reserve, an old coal mine turned into a nature park. It was only a short drive from our home but I nearly gave up and went home in disgust.

A Real Life Drama – The Nature Walk to the Lily Pond

‘Hey kids, after lunch we’re going on a nature walk.’ I announce with enthusiasm.

The kids reply in monotone, ‘Great!’

Not the response I was hoping for.

After lunch I bark out orders. ‘Get hats, get water, get sketch books, get pencils, not those shoes. No! you can’t take Beary. No! you can’t take your scooter. Ok! Beary can come but he has to stay in the car.’ Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

We are finally on our way. As we drive, I hear all the different reasons why my kids think a nature walk is a bad idea.

We park the car, lather ourselves with ‘mossi-stuff’ and off we go.

We walk, talk and absorb our surroundings.

One child has a headache and is complaining about the heat, another hates big ants.

I dash to rescue a tree that is having all its fruits pulled off, I then give a short lecture on preserving the native flora.

We plod on until we turn a corner and our spirits soar. The kids run madly towards the pond.

I feel like we have found Monet’s garden. The Giant Water Lilys are in full bloom, bees sip their nectar and dragonflies hover about. The willows dangle lazily into the water. Willy wagtails hop nearby. The kids are exhilarated.

We set up our watercolour pencils and sketch books and begin to draw in this peaceful place.

After an hour, we climb back into the car, happy and refreshed, wanting to bring some friends next time.

Nature Journal watercolour Miss 9’s made that day.

Science and Nature Living Books

Nature Study Book List

This list is organised into picture books stories and particular chapters used in The Handbook of Nature Study.

Living Books For Science

This is mostly primary aged science books but it also includes a topic guide on various science subjects.

Science Books for High School

Science biographies, stories of inventors and living books that help children put science in its context. These suggestions can be read aloud or used independently for the more confident reader. We have also made some suggestions for some literature based high school homeschool curriculum.

My Homeschool Curriculum

If you are looking for a curriculum that has already worked out all the planning for you then My Homeschool Graded Courses are based on the Australian Curriculum content and outcome statements.

In short, it follows follows state and territory syllabus requirements while using a literature rich approach inspired by Charlotte Mason.