Simply Charlotte Mason Homeschooling - Help Your Child Learn to Observe More Closely

Has it ever happened to you that you ask your child, “What did you see outside today?” and that child says, “A bird,” and you try to get more information, but the child just says, “Well, I think it was red, or I think it was … it might have had some blue,” and that […] Help Your Child Learn to Observe More Closely originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

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Welcome to the simply Charlotte Mason podcast. I'm Sonia Shaffer. Has it ever happened to you that you ask your child? What did you see outside today? And that child says a bird.

And you try to get more information but the child just well, I think it was red or I think it was my dad had some blue and that was about all you get. How do we train our children? So they can look more closely and get in touch with nature more precisely Charlotte Mason had some very simple exercises that she did with children to equip them and prepare them for looking closely during nature study. We want to share those with you today and here to help me with that is my friend and co-worker Karen Smith Terrence good to have you with us again and to be back we want to talk today about object lessons. I've learned a lot about them from you and I'm eager to share it with everybody else too. So let's start out with what are object lessons exercises are activities that Charlotte Mason used with her students.

To help them gain the habit of using their senses as many as possible when examining an object and to make comparison so bad with other objects so that they would have those relative scales when they were comparing other new objects. So give me an example of what you mean by comparison. Let's say you have a pen.

Is the pen light or is it heavy but you can't really tell if it's light or heavy unless you compare it to something else. That's true. I mean compared to a brick it's light. Yes, but compared to maybe a piece of paper. It's heavier. Yes. So we want to do we do this with nature objects or just like you said a pen a piece of paper a piece of bread. I mean, where do we do these types of things? We do it with common everyday objects.

Around the house Rum House and Charlotte Mason said to do them every day is this they're all ages of children all ages. Wow. So when you say do them every day is this like we're drilling this like 5 times a day with 20 different objects, or I assume not cuz it wasn't like that Charlotte do two different types one was just as you came across something maybe at the dinner table. Maybe your child noticed that bread was absorbent.

And so they could compare that to other things and she go see example of the mother saying let's set a piece of bread of side so that we are when we are finished with a meal we can go and test how absorbent. It is against other objects, like maybe a sponge.

So the child was have the opportunity to give that comparative quality, but also would be observing the bread. I don't know about your children, but mine probably would not have used the term absorbent.

Mine might have depending on the age. How do you get them to use those types of terms?

You give them to them when they need them. Maybe it's when they are in the course of that casual object lesson where they are observing something and they can't quite think of a name but then there is the direct object lessons that Charlotte Mason used to do also where you had a group of children who had to examine an object with $0.01 and they could give one fact of it and they passed that object around to every child.

Then had to give a different fact than what had already been stated so you can see that if you were not one of the first children. Yeah to give a fact about that object that you're going to be reaching for some other way to describe an object and it was her name that the teacher could give them a word so they might try to describe it as best. They can. Then the teacher wood supplier the parent would Supply the term for what they're trying to describe. It seems like that would really stick in the child's head just because they needed it then. Yeah, they're searching for something and suddenly it's given to them by God. That's it. So let me get this straight there was in those sensory games the set object lessons you would have liked.

Let's say a flower and you would pass it around to each person in the group and they would just say anything. Are you you limited to $0.01 limited to $0.01 so light time. Okay. So so the first time around we're all going to say something about how the flower feels try to describe. It can be described it with more than one word. Are we trying to just do one word Charlotte Mason's writings about it? She says one fat so I'm not sure if it was they could give one word or if it could be maybe a phrase that makes sense because you don't want to frustrate the child you want them to tell what they know what they observe. So, of course, they only want one thing OK that way everybody has a chance to talk about how it feels and then you'll go around again the same object and talk about how it smell.

Or maybe how it looks.

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everytime you go around to use a different scents and uses many of the senses as possible for that given object safely. We're not going to eat the flower unless it's another one really know.

So any of the five senses or as many as possible of the five senses one each time around that is so simple, but so brilliant it makes you look so closely at the object and all parts of an object. Yes. So, you know when you say look at the flower most people will look at the actual Bloom of the flower flower is more than just the bloom. And as you said usually we say look at the flower, we don't usually include the other senses the nature study is so much about all the senses. Wow. Now I know in a recent Workshop that you gave on object lessons, you shared many different characteristics that we can look for.

As we are comparing and in those casual object lessons and as we are doing those set sensory games like we talked about you so we can look for the color of something now. Are these the color that heat the hardness are these all comparison? Yes. Okay. So these are back to the Casual comparing relative scale color heat hardness texture size weight length odor taste and sound.

So many things that you don't think about sometimes but they're not hard. It's not limited to just those that you listed the only thing you can think of to compare parent. Yes.

What types of objects I mean we talked about bread. We've talked about a flower. Obviously, you can't pass around a bird unless it's in a cage what other just give us some other objects to help get our wheels turning here. It might be early in the morning, you know, and and we haven't had our coffee yet. We just need a little bump what other objects can you mention sponge a piece of charcoal a picture frame bowl a clock face really anything any common object that falls naturally under the child observation. It could be a salt shaker to dinner table.

Maybe a napkin so these object lessons and the sensory games do not have to happen with a nature object itself. No infect many times they did not so how does looking at a salt shaker?

Help equip a child for nature study because it helps give the child to habit of using as many senses as possible to observe that object and also comparing that object with other things that the child knows.

And so when they take that out into nature all the sudden the child is using those habits.

As they are observing nature that makes sense because you said this is a little daily exercise you can do so you are setting up a habit of using all those senses and comparing and I remember in our Workshop you shared an amazing quote about a child doing that very thing. Can you share that with our listeners today?

Charlotte Mason Road about a boy who is observing a beetle does not consciously apply his several senses to the beetle. But let's the beetle take the initiative which the boy reverently follows but the boy who is in the habit of sensory daily gymnastics will learn a great deal more about the beetle than he who is not so trained.

And so that Daley Centre gymnastics were the object lessons. That's what she called them since we exercises gymnastics about when we are sequencing our lessons and we're looking for little things to break up the heavier lessons, you know, you think gymnastics you think movement and this might not necessarily be physical movement but it is a totally different part of the brain of a mental movement. Yes. Yeah, so you can't touch this little object lesson in between any of your other lessons as well as at the dinner table or any time. That's a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

I hope you've enjoyed learning about object lessons and I hope you try them out try one today. If you can and just see how it will help your child start to develop a habit of looking more closely at the things around him. If you enjoyed this podcast subscribe through iTunes Google Play for your favorite podcast app. So you don't miss an episode. You can also subscribe to the video version of this podcast or reads the blog post on our website at simply Charlotte Mason. Com. All of those links will be the notes along with links to any resources that I mentioned. By the way. Did you know that you can tell Siri or your echo or Google device to play the simply Charlotte Mason podcast. Give it a try.

Thanks for joining me. I'll see you next time.
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