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Bored in Nature

“Some children are born naturalists, but even those who aren’t were born with natural curiosity about the world and should be encouraged to observe nature.”
Charlotte Mason, vol 2 page 58

“They get so used to reading about marvels of nature and never seeing it for themselves that nothing interests them. The way to cure this is to let them alone for awhile and then start something totally different. It’s not the children’s fault that nature bores them; they are naturally curious and eager to explore the world and everything in it. There’s a poem that says that the person who can best appreciate God is the one who is familiar with the natural world He made.”
Charlotte Mason, vol 2 page 6

Sometimes, despite all my efforts, my boys just are not as interested in nature study as I am. I can take them to the most fascinating places to explore and they just want to sit and talk or take a walk by themselves. The setting is perfect and the subjects abound but they are more interested in throwing rocks or digging a hole.

I can’t force them to be interested when this happens.

How have we learned to handle this? I allow them the space and time to experience nature on their own terms.

It may look like they are not taking much interest but later on when we are driving in the car or talking at the dinner table, they relate things that they noticed as they had a little freedom.

They learned a lot about the properties of bullwhip seaweed as they tried to use it to tie the driftwood together for this beach structure.

They experienced the redwood forest on their own terms as they searched out Big Foot beyond every bend in the trail.

On every beach they made circles in the sand. It became a tradition.

Nature study does not always go according to my plan. I have learned to keep my options open and let things happen as the day unfolds. Honestly, I learn more as well because they most likely will find something that I wouldn’t because they have their own eyes. My eyes see one thing and they see something completely different if I allow them the space and time to find what interests them in our nature study.

More Nature Study Book 3 Cover image

7 thoughts on “Bored in Nature

  1. I love that type of “nature boredom”; it produces just as valuable a lesson as structured time for us. It’s been on some of those days that my kids have learned the most about nature. I just have to remember to get out of the way and let God do the teaching!

    Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing.

    Blessings, Melissa

  2. This is great!
    The quickest way to discourage my kids from observing, is to use the words ‘school’, ‘study’, and ‘lesson’. It is great to see what kids can learn on their own, without a plan.

  3. I’ve got an award for you at my blog. Thanks for sharing your talents and ideas with the rest of us!

  4. I love your attitude – your photos – your boys’ creativity. I just loved this post! Thanks for reminding us that our kids don’t have to enjoy nature on our terms! Just let them enjoy it!

  5. This is the way I’ve had to approach many aspects of homeschooling with one sweet little son of mine. Funny thing is, he usually learns way more than I would have ever imagined doing things on his terms. Typically, his imagination and creativity far succeed anything I could dream up!

  6. I just found your blog a few weeks back when I googled for the Handbook of Nature Study. What a rich resource you offer us! Thank you!

    I especially appreciate the honesty and wisdom of this post. So often blogs can inadvertently make us feel that we’re not living up to them somehow. This post is reassuring and so very insightful.

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