We are all living in a strange time of forced lock-downs and controlled movement. You may be feeling like nature study is harder than ever.
Or it may not be the lock-down that is preventing you from getting out and about. It could be sickness or the logistics of getting many little ones ready to go on a walk. I couldn’t manage to organize myself enough to get my family out the door for a long time. It was a constant battle of finding shoes, changing nappies, and feeding babies. I felt like nature study was just one more ‘thing’ on my list of things I didn’t have time for.
As I write this, it is not my lack of organization that is preventing us from going out on a nature walk. It is another forced lock-down. Thankfully, we live in a beautiful spot, so I can enjoy nature at my backdoor. But I know this is not the case for all of you. I want to help by bringing a little bit of nature to you. Perhaps, I can help you enjoy nature with your children this week, even if it is from your living room table.
Come with me and explore the beauty of MOSS. There’s no need to go out! No need to find everyone’s shoes, hats, and drink bottles. Just take time to breathe and admire God’s amazing world from your home.
There are many ways to do nature study from your home. Reading a good book, listening to nature music soundtracks, watching a video, looking at field guides, drawing or painting, perhaps even making a model. Your nature study can cover English (reading, writing, copy-work), Math (measuring, weighing, counting, graphing), Science (Botany, Biology, Chemistry, Physics), Art, Literature, Music, and Poetry. It doesn’t have to be another ‘thing’ on your huge list. It can be incorporated into everyday life.
Where would you like to start? Do you love poetry? Here is a poem you might like to read and talk about as you come and study MOSS with us.
If your children love to write, they could write their own poem about Moss, or copy this one into their Copy-work books. While they are writing, do you think they might enjoy listening to the sounds of nature? There are some lovely soundtracks on YouTube. As they listen, you could ask them what they hear; water, frogs, perhaps birds? Can they imagine moss growing on the logs and rocks?
Do they enjoy drawing or painting? I love these pictures by Ernst Haeckel, from His book, Art Forms in Nature.
I was inspired by Ernst’s work to create my own moss art. As I took out my pencils and paints, the children all found their own nature journals. An afternoon of drawing and painting helps us all enjoy our time indoors.
Listening to a story is also a fun activity. Here is one called Little Moss Big Tree, written by M. Yap-Stewart. At the end of this video, the children are encouraged to create their own Moss Terrarium. You may be able to find some Moss growing in your backyard or between the concrete on the footpath in front of your home. If not, and you would like to create a terrarium, you can purchase kits from here. What a lovely way to bring a bit of nature into your home!
If you would like to add a bit of science to your moss study, why not research the Moss life cycle or learn about Tardigrades. National Geographic has an article HERE. There is a colouring page HERE. Or you can watch the Wild Kratts video.
We were SUPER excited to actually see a Tardigrade when we studied Moss through our Microscope!
Remember, nature study doesn’t have to be super involved. You can sit on your back porch, or look out your living room window. We have even spent time watching birds through a window, while one of the children was in the hospital. You can enjoy nature, even when you can’t get out of the house.
If you would like to study moss further, there are more ideas and lots of information in Volume 2, lesson 7.