Nature Calendar Journal
Teaching children to observe nature through journaling.
Our Nature Calendar Journal will help your children develop the habit of observing the environment, recording and interpreting what they see and feel.
Your children are encouraged to make their own nature journal.
• Monthly calendar pages to kick-start to nature journaling each month. Sample Calendar Page – January
• Bird list page: For your child to begin recording the birds they have seen
• Flower list: As your child identifies flowers they can add them to the list
• Temperature Chart: This is a good project to teach them about weather and seasonal changes
• Rainfall Chart: Some suggestions are given for this also
“It is a capital plan for the children to keep a calendar––the first oak-leaf, the first tadpole, the first cowslip, the first catkin, the first ripe blackberries, where seen, and when. The next year they will know when and where to look out for their favourites, and will, every year, be in a condition to add new observations. Think of the zest and interest, the object, which such a practice will give to daily walks and little excursions.” Charlotte Mason, Vol. 1 p. 54
The Scaffolding For Your Nature Journaling
Whilst Charlotte Mason expected nature notebooks to be something a child made on their own there is evidence to suggest that it was quite acceptable for a teacher or parent to provide the scaffolding, or framework, for a child’s nature journaling. Various examples have been found outlining some of these forms used by Charlotte Mason teachers.
“Charlotte Mason, under her usual banner, takes what is set aside for the enlightened and scholarly and offers it to children, ‘the least of these,’ saying, in effect, ‘no child should be without one.’ “ L Bestvater p.14
You can use these pages as part of your Calendar of Firsts – a Charlotte Mason idea about recording nature’s events when you first see them. It’s about noticing – what birds are around, what you see flowering and for some making lists of what you find – like bird lists and flower lists.
We used this as part of a case study of our local area. It included monthly field trips to examine places.
“To know a plant by its gesture and habitat, its time and its way of flowering and fruiting; a bird by its flight and song and its times of coming and going; to know when, year after year, you may come upon the redstart and the pied fly-catcher, means a good deal of interested observation, and of, at any rate, the material for science.” Charlotte Mason, Vol. 3 p. 236
On our trip we would take pictures and record what we saw. Going back to the same places we could see the changes as they were recorded.
A Bush Calendar Journal
This resource also works well with A Bush Calendar by Amy Mack as you work through each month in her book.