Simply Charlotte Mason Homeschooling - Nature Study: Not Just a Checklist

Today we want to discuss a mind-set that could be robbing you of some of the richness involved in nature study the Charlotte Mason way. We want to talk about whether your mind-set is a checklist (“Yep, just do that.”) or a relationship in nature study. And here to join me is my friend and […] Nature Study: Not Just a Checklist originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

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Welcome to the simply Charlotte Mason podcast. I'm Sonya Shafer today. We want to discuss a mindset that could be robbing you of some of the richness involved in nature study the Charlotte Mason way. We want to talk about your mindset of either a checklist. Yep. Just do that or is it a relationship in nature study and here to join me is my friend and co-worker Terrance Smith Karen. I know this is a subject near and dear to your heart. Yes. In fact, sometimes you share it with me as your pet peeve. Do you want to explain what that TV is?

Mini mums treat nature study assistant checklist. We saw a robin or some other creature out in nature and they check it off the list as if that is fun with we don't have to do that ever again. They don't find something happen. We don't ever have to write instead of getting to know the habits and characteristics of that Robin or whatever else they've been looking at which is what nature study is all about getting to know the characteristics and the habits of things in nature. That's the relationship art. How do you get to know? How do you form a relationship with nature friends? I mean, it's more than just a cursory identification. Oh, I recognize this bird and I found out its name. I'm done. That's not a relationship. You need to get to know.

Take the time to watch it and to notice what you can about it. What colors are on that object. How are those colors on that object? What's the size of an object? How does it move? How does it what does it eat? How does it with fist a bird? How does it fly? So many things that we can learn about an object and nature if we take the time to notice you've mentioned before some of your favorite naturalist authors and how they have taken time to meet an extraordinary amount of time to study just one thing you want just to share some of that with our listeners one of my favorite nature authors Rd Lawrence once spent four months Camp next to a beaver pond.

To learn all he could about the habits of beaver in their natural habitat.

Another gentleman, he said professor at it at a college has spent decades. Dr. Rolf Peterson. He spent decades studying the relationship between wolves and moose on an isolated island Isle Royale in Lake Superior, and I'm in decades just said, I don't understand the words in the moose and the relationship between predator and prey between those two species in my schooling at large. I I I want to have a list of what to do and check it off that I'm done.

So I guess in nature study would I need to do is make that mental shift between yes. I need to schedule that. We're going to do nature study and I can check it off that we did do it as scheduled but not check off. I'm done with this nature friend. Yes, cuz those nature friends are going to come up again and again and again and you learn something new almost every time you watch them if you take the time to watch Jazz. Yeah, I can give you an example from my own personal experience.

Everybody knows that the robins eat worms. Yes sweet berries, which actually make up more of their diet than the worms and the insects.

But I have a robin that comes to my feeder Every Spring when the Robin's return to our area who eat sunflower seeds.

No, I would never have discovered that Robbins do that on occasion. If I had not continued watching the robins after I had spotted my first one and after you'd seen it eat a worm like okay robins eat worms. The end but it's not the end so much more to experience and to discover about these friends know I do know that Charlotte Mason did keep lists of like a master bird. Listen to master flower list with we saw this and here is when and where how does that reconcile to this building a relationship and continuing to observe something that you're building the list of what you have seen, but that does not mean that you won't see that again and observed it at a later time.

So just having the list is a record of what you had seen but does not.

It's not like they can't I repost on the characteristics that you've noticed. My daughter Becca has a a list of birds that she has seen from our yard. She has a list of birds that she has seen in a year weather from our yard from some other location and then she has a list of birds that she has seen over her lifetime. So she has three at least three birds list and it's amazing how many birds are on that list, but when she is out in nature, she still observing no same bird and he's become friends to her. She can recognize their cause and their characteristics and you know, they're the markings on their their coloring and that sort of sort of thing. And so when she's out there she can say, oh, that's a Tennessee Warbler.

Because she's gotten to know them outside of just keeping List It kind of reminds me of we have certain friends that we invite to the house to have dinner ready to go out to dinner with them. And so maybe on my calendar I could look and see. Okay. Here's the last time we saw that friend but that's not the whole of our relationship. Right? We talked about many things. We got to know each other much better when we were together and maybe we've texted or had a phone conversation since then. So the relationship is ongoing and developing even if we track when we actually we're face-to-face new last and that's a good comparison because you don't check your friends off the list because you because you're with them when I saw them, okay, never have to see them again. You continue that relationship and when you're with them,

You probably learned something new about the met you didn't know before cuz you're in a different circumstance a different situation than talk about different things that you didn't know before and answer that Robin might be in a different situation than last time you saw the robin. So now you have an opportunity to learn something new. It seems like it all boils down to

not being in a hurry.

When you're watching yes, because you never know when something is going to occur. That will be oh I just learned something. You cannot dictate what your nature friend is going to do and when it's going to happen, that's true. And I think that when you when you work so hard to identify something immediately whether you're using an app or you have your Field Guide right there because you want to know what it is. That's a good thing, but don't let it be the end.

make sure that you learned something about it to

Besides name? Yes. Yes and continue to go back and learn more about it. Maybe next time you'll recognize it right away, hopefully, but you can learn more about it. Yes during that entire encounter. Thanks.

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