The last ten weeks have brought me to a new understanding of the Handbook of Nature Study. Pulling together and organizing the Outdoor Hour Challenges every Friday on my blog has pushed me to really get to know how to use and benefit from this rather large book.
Here are the some benefits so far:
1. I have read the introductory pages of the book about ten times, highlighted and underlined the parts that spoke to me, and found many gems to share with others. These pages teach *me* to help my children better with their nature study.
2. Our family picked a focus area in the book and used that focus area to learn more about garden flowers. There were about ten flowers listed in the book that we have access to and we have used the observation suggestions from the book to help us better know about the flowers we have in our local area. Even when a flower isn't specifically covered, the garden flower introductory pages helped us learn the basic structure of the flower and so much more.
3. I know now that I won't find every item we want to study in the book and have gathered a few local field guides to supplement our study.
4. We are regularly working in our nature journals and keeping up with making field guide cards for our focus area.
5. I am no longer trying to fit our nature study to the book but rather the book to our nature study.
Are there things I don't like about the book? Yes. Do I think that this is the only book we need for nature study? No. Is this book a positive influence on our family? YES!
If you decide to try the book, go through the first few Outdoor Hour Challenges and read the suggested pages to get you started. You don't need to follow the activities but just reading the assigned pages in the book will give you a better idea of how you can use this book in your family.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom