This book is perfect for those looking for a way to implement Nature Studies into your school day, but may be unsure how to start.
Mike and Deb have created a wonderful notebook designed as a first nature sketchbook/ lesson book/ creative journal, all in one! The first third of the book is a primer detailing the "how-tos" of nature note-booking. I love the definition of nature study in the introduction. "Simple, truthful observations of the world around us. Leading ultimately to a better understanding of who we are and who God is." They then go on to remind us that, of course, we can't do this through nature alone, but with God's word and a goal in mind, we can enrich our lives and expand our world. The Flewellings also speak of creating a goal that will "cultivate in our children the skill of accurate observation and help them understand all that they observe."
This notebook is all you need to guide you in to Nature Study with your children. The primer in the front begins with a chapter detailing the exploits of a student studying under one of the most renowned naturalists of the early 19th century. This delightful narrative and the few questions that follow set the tone for the book. Inquiry, notes, pictures, and lots of fun are certain to follow as you progress through the program. No set time frame, no "must-dos," just excellent instruction and plenty of actual drawing pages so the kids can sketch right in the book. You will be creating a valuable keepsake that will be enjoyed for years to come.
A very helpful section on setting goals, examples of some goals, and some sample lessons are additional perks of this very neat volume. The Flewellings have also included quick and easy field references with mini lessons that will help your kids learn to identify the animals, plants, and trees that they will be encountering on their walks. Suggested poetry selections for copy work are included for the child who loves to embellish their notebooks and really personalize them. This is the most complete and comprehensive introduction to Nature Studies that I have seen. Everything is in one place and it is so easy to work with. Thorough lists of supplemental books you may enjoy and awesome listings of useful websites are more features you are sure to enjoy. The student's pages have lots of room for their work and there are many of them. There are even some fun extended activity ideas if your kids just can't get enough! Look no further for that all in one nature sketchbook of which you have been dreaming. Tree of Life has given us an absolute winner with this publication. It should be included on every home school family's science shelf and taken out to be used - often! My one hope for future editions is that the cover will be laminated to give it a wee bit of extra strength. We love this book and I guarantee you that your family will start actually having Nature Studies, rather than just dreaming about them. Especially good news for you Americans is the fact that this is from Tree of Life Canada and the value is superb! Have FUN!