Do your children have a nature journal?
I’ll admit that I’ve tried them.
But first let me just tell you a little story….
So sit back……grab your coffee,
and enjoy my failure for a moment.
A few years ago when I first decided to homeschool,
I was introduced to the idea of Nature Journals.
There were so many amazing examples online of what
could be included, so many beautiful watercolors paintings
amid pressed flowers and texture rubbings of important things.
It was overwhelming.
But I like a good challenge
I decided that I would create (see the problem here)
lasting memories of a happy, outdoorsy childhood, spent
among wildflowers, babbling creeks, white tail deer that stood
still for hours.
So I set out with my then 2 children
I packed up our watercolor pencils, sketchbooks,
apple juice boxes and peanut butter crackers.
I drove for a half hour, to a scenic viewpoint,
one I was sure would inspire my children to create magic.
We hiked for 20 minutes and finally sat down in the Summer
heat to begin our journaling.
So, I’m sure you can imagine,
(or at least infer by the tone of this post)
How it all went down.
And it went Down. Hill. Fast.
Think sticky juice box fingers mixed with expensive sketchbooks
Colored pencils with ever breaking tips. Not a sharpener in sight.
Peanut butter cracker crumbs.
And only ONE green pencil, in a field of green trees and flowers.
682 feet above sea level, Snickering onlookers, and two children coming down
from an Apple Juice high.
(Ooooh I could have just….)
MY DREAMS of inspiring, keepsake worthy nature journals
I loaded the children back up in the car.
And drove home.
I haven’t attempted Nature Journals since.
Because I had the privilege of hearing This Funny Lady,
speak at a Homeschool Conference last month.
And I was again inspired to try Nature Journaling.
And this is a big However.
HOW – EV – ER
(are you catching my tone here?)
This time I’m going in with little to NO EXPECTATIONS.
This time I understand that I can’t expect a child to draw a bird
while it’s flitting around everywhere.
That it’s OKAY to just sit back and enjoy the creature, and then LATER
look up images and facts about the animal.
So, as you check out the following photos,
DO NOT BE DECIEVED.
There was no magic peaceful moment as we drew them.
It was actually an instructional time for us, sitting around the table
and working hard at where to put little eyes, and beaks, and toes.
But we do spend peaceful mornings together watching these little birds
fly around our yard. We talk about what kind of birds they are, and each time they visit we look for new things to learn about them.
And then later we looked up images and poetry online,
and added them to our nature journals.
And here’s how that all translates:
Didn’t they turn out cute?
Now those are keepsakes!
I was so
jealous inspired with how easy things went
that I went out and got myself a sketchbook.
Oh. And colored pencils too.
The good ones.
I just can’t resist an opportunity for new pencils.
And you know what?
I forgot how therapeutic drawing was.
And I love that I can use my journal to document the “real life”
that causes us to add something to our journals in the first place.
I’m feeling pretty good about nature journals,
And this time around
I think we’re off to a great start!