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Friday, June 15, 2012

Nature Journaling: A Conduit to God


“From the flower in the crannied wall to the glorious firmament on high, all the things of Nature proclaim without ceasing, ‘Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty.’ ” Vol 4 CM

Why should a child draw nature in a journal when today, we can just take photographs of nature? Wouldn’t Miss Mason agree with us if she lived during our century? 

One of the reasons a child should draw what he sees in the natural world is because we want to develop the habit of attention within him. The habit of attention simply means the child has learned to observe his surroundings very carefully whether it be the intricacy of a leaf, the patterns in a flower, the habits of a scurrying ant or the changing cloudy canvas in the sky. When a person develops these skills of observation while young, they begin to see the world in a heavenly light. Charlotte Mason spoke about this. She encouraged mothers to gently steer children to the Maker of this beautiful world by observing nature with delight in the presence her children. When a mother exclaims, “Oh, look at the clouds today! They look like foaming waves rolling in from the sea. God painted that picture with his mighty hand for us to enjoy today! Isn’t He good to us?”, she is teaching her child to worship Him in his creation. This is a precious teaching moment that can draw your child higher up and further into His presence.

Each of my four children are at different stages in this process of learning to attend. My oldest daughter considers nature journaling to be her primary mode of communication with the Spirit of God. If I can’t find her around the house, she is out wandering the fields or hidden in a tree recording a precious nature find and journaling out her thanks to the Creator. This did not come naturally. I purposefully taught her to do this, modeling it myself. Now after years of nature journaling, this habit is as natural to her as breathing. It fills her life with truth and beauty and order, nourishing her soul. Nature study has a purpose that is deeper than some of us may realize. I encourage you to take advantage of nature study and use it as a tool to teach children to behold the face of their Creator.

"Nature study as a subject is one which should be approached with great reverence, for in dealing with birds, animals, flower and all other forms of natural life, we are perhaps, nearer to the Creator than in any other branch of science; for the natural world is the expression of God's personality in a form that is within the reach of all of us to comprehend in some measure. And is not the natural world one of the greatest proofs that there is a God?" PNEU article, Dowton

In my next post, I hope to discuss the various stages of nature journaling.

one step at a time...

6 comments:

  1. I look forward to reading about the stages of nature journaling. We are working to establish the pattern/habit right now, and though I know we need to find our own rhythm, I'd enjoy reading about your experiences and the development of your children as nature journalers.

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  2. Does this mean that you're blogging again? That would be so wonderful! And I'm especially happy to hear about nature journals.

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  3. How neat! I am still learning how to go out WITH my children and do these things...that is a really important part. Look forward to more.... :)

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  4. I am SO glad you are back. I discovered you four years ago, and you were the very first blog I ever read!! Looking forward to gleaning from your wisdom again!!

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  5. Anonymous20.6.12

    Just wanted to add my "thank you!" for your thoughtful posts. This nature study post echos my thoughts on it and my prayer for myself and our children.

    Joy in Nepal

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  6. So glad you're back to blogging. I've enjoyed CMH too, but your blog was one of the first I read as a new homeschooler 6 years ago, and still my favorite. :)

    Christie

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