Bush Calendar & Nature Calendar Journal
“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
This resource includes:
- These twelve nature calendar pages give you a kick-start to nature journaling each month. It highlights special events to look out for and has information on what is happening around Australia. You can start whenever you want in the year. Sample Calendar Page – January
- Bird list page
- Flower list
- Temperature Chart
- Rainfall Chart
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.