Monday, December 07, 2009

The Threads of Nature Study

"But if the child chooses the material, the subject will lack continuity: what then?
Nature is not consecutive except in her periods. She puts things together in a mosaic. She has a brook and plants and toads and insects and the weather all together. Because we have put the plants in one book, the brooks in another, and the bugs in another, we have come to think that this divorce is the logical and necessary order.

If all the things mentioned above are taught, then the life of the brook will be the thread that ties them all together. It is well to introduce the pupil to a wide range of material, in order to increase his points of contact with the world."

I think there is a lot of wisdom in the above words written by Liberty H. Bailey in The Nature-Study Idea (1903) . He gives us two illustrations in order to understand the connective idea of nature study led by our children. The first is a mosaic where the pieces are fit together to make a beautiful image. The second is a thread, weaving our study together within some focus area.What a wonderful way to remind ourselves of the way our children will build a love for the natural world and its Creator. - Barbara McCoy
Read Barbara's wonderful Blog, " Handbook of Nature Study." It is filled with extensive Nature Study activities and links. Thanks Barb!

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