Getting Started (Again) With Nature Notebooks

I made a delightful discovery a week or so ago while riffling through some boxes in the basement – a tote bag stocked with three pretty notebooks and several pencils. These notebooks were our nature journals from two years ago! I have some sweet memories of walking along trails with  my girls, examining wildflowers and pinecones, sketching, and searching field guides to determine what our treasures were. A year and a half ago these books were packed up for our move, and then put into storage while we spent a year in our (quite small) temporary home. I’ve had some fun finding things I had been searching for or things forgotten, but these were the most exciting yet!

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What a perfect time to find these journals too – I had recently purchased Anna Botsford Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study and have been gearing up to put it to use while enjoying the beautiful spring weather.

Nature Journaling - The Handbook of Nature Study

It’s so lovely to look back on Big Sister’s drawings and notes, written two years ago – she’s come a long way! Little Sister had a journal as well, but at two years of age she had filled hers with scribbles. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with now at the age of four!

Mama has a notebook too! My drawings aren’t skilled, but my printing is neat 😉

So far this week we have made journal entries for dandelions (which have invaded our backyard) and the American robin. We have been watching the robins in our neighbourhood and looking up at the trees for their nests (we haven’t spotted any). I’m sure we will be seeing the young robins soon!

Big Sister's dandelion entry
Big Sister’s dandelion entry
How do you include nature studies in your homeschool? Do you keep a nature journal?


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  1. deborah May 12, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    I’m an entirely new novice with the Nature Study thing, even though I’ve tried to implement it several times over the years. I am attempting it again afresh, just started again last week. I do hope that I can pull it off this time. :o) I bought an Australian Nature Study book to help guide me for the present. Additionally, I also have Botsfords book on the shelf to use at some point. ha ha ha, and the ever so many animal and flower books to boot. :o) Totally don’t know what I’m doing, and I struggle immensely with getting outside on a regular basis – so while I think it is best to do it all in real life, I am sure I will relying on books more often than not.

    1. Learning Mama May 13, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Yes, it really is a struggle isn’t it? I figure if we can’t make a descent excursion out of it, we can at least see what we can find in our own backyard if we take a few minutes to have a look. We’ve even been watching the birds and bunnies through the window! I totally don’t know what I’m doing either, and I will be saying “I don’t know what that is, let’s see if we can find out” an awful lot 🙂

  2. Nelleke from P.E.I. May 15, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Wonderful! Spring has arrived here as of today and I’m eager to do nature study. So are the boys, actually. We went to a playground today that had a couple of trails through the woods, and they were thrilled to go on a nature walk again.

    1. Learning Mama May 16, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      You’ve been waiting for spring for a long time! Enjoy!

  3. 100 Things to do Outside with Your Kids This Summer - Learning Mama May 9, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    […] be intimidated by all the beautiful and complicated nature journals you see out there! Getting started with nature notebooks can be as simple as grabbing a notebook and a pencil and recording your own observations about what […]

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    […] also love to add art to our nature notebooks using these great online […]

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