My kids attend homeschool art classes throughout the school year, but they go on hiatus for the summer months. This gives us an even greater opportunity to pull out our drawing supplies and head outside and practice the art skills they’ve learned as we await fall classes to begin again.
We love to spend time observing all the wonderful (wonder-full) creatures, plants, and weather right in our own backyard. I already incorporate a lot of nature study in our science studies, but as my kids get older, it is often difficult to set aside time for it.
Nature Journal Resources
Two resources I use that make it really easy to record our observations are Keeping a Nature Journal and Nature Journal, both by Clare Walker Leslie. These books, along with a field guide, are our go-to resources for nature study.
Keeping a Nature Journal takes you step-by-step through creating a nature journal and recording what you see. It provides practical information for beginners and progresses with detailed drawings and ideas for journaling all through the different seasons. It is also a reminder that nature study doesn’t have to be complicated — even drawing a stick or an acorn is acceptable.
One step beyond Keeping a Nature Journal is Clare Walker Leslie’s Nature Journal. This book serves as a guide for getting started and provides a place to write and draw among its pages. It isn’t just a blank book, however. There are instructions for drawing birds, trees, insects, plants, weather, and landscapes, as well as specifics on what to include on your journal pages and how to set them up. Although any notebook can be used for a nature journal, this is a nice starting point for beginners, and it is full of inspiration for more experienced naturalists.
“I go to nature to rest my eyes. I go to nature to connect with everything broader than I can understand.”