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Mondays with Miss Mason–On Nature

January 10, 2011

Note: this post is part of an ongoing series. For more information on Charlotte Mason and Mondays with Miss Mason, please read the first post.

Nature Knowledge the most important for Young Children.––It would be well if we all persons in authority, parents and all who act for parents, could make up our minds that there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world they live in. Let them once get touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.

from Home Education, Part II (read more at Ambleside Online)

A walk in the woods.

An hour in the backyard.

A few minutes in the flowerbed.

Before the past year, I never thought much about spending time in nature. Sure I loved a good hike on occasion and maybe a pretty picnic on a spring day, but I was little “No-Eyes” seeing nothing of the wonder all around me.

This year we have gone on a number of nature walks, and I am never disappointed at the discoveries we can make when we simply look.  My “nature knowledge” is pretty slim, and it makes me sad that I don’t know more to point out to my children. I am learning, though, thanks to resources like the Handbook of Nature Study and this wonderful blog by Harmony Art Mom on the same topic.

If you are like me, and relatively new to the idea of nature study, take heart, start small and just get out there!

Here are some scenes from a nature walk we took just this week.

This tree was growing in a spiral because a honeysuckle vine had wrapped itself around the branch and was now being encapsulated by the tree.


This is a seed pod from a plant growing by the trail. It sticks to passing animals (or people) with all its prickles to be carried away and plant itself elsewhere.


This seed pod is from a sycamore tree.


Sticks. Sticks are always fun!

More Charlotte Mason Nature Study resources here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 11, 2011 9:46 am

    This steady, consistent look at nature was not only exciting and interesting, but also the basis for all the sciences to follow. Its importance really is monumental in our students’ education. Thanks for sharing your walk with us! Love the honeysuckle vine/tree! I wrote about narration and how important it is here:

    Ring true,

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