This week I’m featuring some Nature Journal/Nature Notebooks done by the Feldman family.
The page below is from a 6 year old boy’s nature notebook. Lucila writes,
‘Not much to show here yet! I added the black pen line to show him how it would stand out, and to demonstrate that the veins didn’t actually go in perpendicular, straight lines. I don’t know if you’re supposed to do that, but I do know that every time I get involved, either by making minor suggestions for improvements or by doing my own notebooking, they seem more engaged. It’s a fine line though, between inspiring courage and defeat (i.e. They can either say “You’re so good at it, I’ll never be able to do that” or “Oh, is that what you can do if you take a little trouble!”)’
I think Lucila’s comment is really important. Our children pick up on what is important to us. Sometimes I’d rather be doing other things, but when our children are younger it helps them to see us modelling what we are requiring of them. As they get older, It’s important to see us showing an interest, not necessarily in the same things that they are required to study, but in our own interests. I might not understand some elements of the science or maths that my children are learning but they can see that I’m investing in my own intellectual culture – or in Elizabeth Goudge’s words, adding to my ‘Interior Riches.’
An 8 year old boy’s notebook:
‘This boy loves collecting. He collects shells, feathers and gemstones/rocks. He usually rushes his notebooking work if he can’t avoid it altogether. But when he has something he wants to record (like these lists of birthstones and rocks – above) he becomes quite absorbed.’
An example of a John Muir Laws Nature Journal Collection idea – a cross section of a Moorabool River scene.
‘They watch John Muir Laws Nature Journal Connection videos and try to implement his suggestions.’
‘Here’s an early page (the unpainted tree) compared with a few later pages in my 12yr old daughter’s book… the unlabelled one is a drawing of a crayfish shell we found on the beach.
I am fighting the urge to apologise for their messy handwriting, but I gotta keep it real. It has not been my forte to teach this… although this one is a left-hander and will always find it harder I think.’
Lucila’s 14 year old daughter’s notebook:
‘I feel that each of my children’s notebooks are a story of progress in the journey towards “caring”. None of them have taken instantly to the dedication required to create something they enjoy looking at later. But gradually, they seem to take more pride in their work… it seems to take one or two pleasing results to make them realise it can be rewarding to invest some effort.’
Thanks to Lucila & family for sharing their lovely notebooks!