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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review- Exploring Nature with Children (a homeschooling curriculum)

Lynn Seddon’s Exploring Nature with children is more than a book nature study- rather it is a full year’s worth of nature curriculum from September to August, with a plethora of crafts, projects and poetry, interwoven with scientific facts and nature journaling as well as the weekly nature walk. It’s all so well planned out, focused and... incredible. The things that homeschooling moms dreams are made of.
Broken down in weeks, it covers everything from Harvest Moon to Summer Pond Studies as well as the Solistices, the Equinoxes and Christmas and Candlemas.
This is a beautiful course of study and suitable for any age (I personally can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.) With weekly themed poetry and art woven in seamlessly to the focus of the week along with age appropriate crafts and a selection of projects to chose from, the course is well thought out and easy to offer to your children.
Seddon suggests picking a special spot to visit each week to observe changes through the year and record them in a nature journal. She also suggests having a nature table back home to bring small findings and treasures. I had used a nature table with our daughters when they were younger and I am really looking forward to offering the experience to our son. We used to decorate and brainstorm around topics, creating pieces of art inspired by the nature table itself. I think with the addition of the classical poem and suggested work of art within the curriculum, the nature table could be an endless form of entertainment and education.
The Curriculum is written with the Charlotte Mason philosophy of homeschooling, which I have to claim a little bit of ignorance on, but I know it is classically minded with a focus on literature and art. This is sewn seamlessly through the curriculum and from what I can see the study of it will open many doors for children over years to come.
Homeschooling or not I feel it would provide a lovely and educated family experience. I am intending this to be a weekend form of study for us. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Now, just as a warning the curriculum is in a PDF format as a book, so marking it and keeping your place takes some planning. (but everything else is planned out for the user, so that’s really nothing compared to other curriculum... she even has a list of supplies before each term. )But there’s always printing it out and putting it in a binder. I think I’ll probably just keep notes of my own on page numbers etc , you really can’t go wrong for a fantastic year long curriculum.

One note, Lynn is from the UK which has a slightly different climate than our Nova Scotia. I somehow doubt studying earthworms anytime before May and with our current climate change I don’t even know if winter will be fully here in December, but one never knows. It might take some shuffling projects about, but that’s alright. It all provides more learning curves and lessons in natural adaptation!
Grab the book here 
And I’d love to hear your experiences after you’ve tried it. I’ll be sharing mine!

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