Notebook Showcase #3

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.’

An Ellis Rowan art study

‘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!

3 thoughts on “Notebook Showcase #3

  1. I would like to say a huge thank you to Lucila and family for sharing these with us, as that takes courage. None of us are judging. In fact, I am surprised and simply delighted by the different stages of notebooks and drawings – it inspires and encourages me for doing this with my young granddaughter. She is nearly 4 and cannot draw much, but we hunt for things all the time. I could perhaps journal them with/for her? Any ideas or suggestions would be great, please. I am reading “The Dean’s Watch” by Elizabeth Goudge right now, a re read, and loving it all over again. Many of the characters in this novel have a beautiful store of interior riches. I will share one sweet detail of our afternoon at the playground with you. Iris was on the swings and a tiny male blue wren hopped up so close to us, pecking at things on the ground. It showed no fear of us at all, and she said he was telling her to swing higher. I love moments like this. Cheers, Cate

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    • That is so sweet, Cate. An A4 blank notebook (visual diary with a hard cover – costs about $4) from Kmart would do well for your granddaughter if she wants to ‘draw’ her nature findings. We did things like bark rubbing, tracing around leaves, getting to know the different types of clouds & drawing their shapes…
      You could keep one yourself & if she sees you using it she’ll probably want to copy you. Charlotte Mason said that as soon as a child shows an interest just begin.
      Just observing is fine, though. Even with my older children we often would just concentrate on enjoying being outdoors & observing & then later on recording in their nature journals. It’s difficult to draw a bird that’s flying around, anyway.
      The Dean’s Watch is a lovely book. I have two new Goudge books I’m planning to read – The Heart of the Family & A Child From the Sea. I really liked the historical aspect of The White Witch, set in the days of Oliver Cromwell.
      Enjoy your weekend 🙂

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  2. Yes thank you Lucila for sharing! Your children are all doing so well. I feel like we go through stages of enjoying nature journaling, and then stages where we all feel a bit discouraged with it and ‘forget’ to pull them out. I think my problem is that I can sometimes over complicate things and make it stressful. But I am feeling re-inspired now to keep it simple and have fun with it, thanks to all these beautiful examples 🥰

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