Nature journaling and I have struck up a friendship lately.Maybe it’s the new buds bursting, or the fresh green shoots sprouting, or the birds nesting. The atmosphere around me speaks of new, abundant life. . . begging to be captured. I want to take the time to observe and wonder at the world around me. And even more than that I want my children to experience this.
I want them to feel the peace that envelops me when I am quiet and still observing the wonders of the created world. May their eyes be keen enough to observe the detail of that fat blade of grass shimmering with rolling dew drops. I want them to notice how the bumble bee collects his pollen. And I want them to ask questions. Curiosity awakened!
The grass is green and the sun shines beckoning you out of your schoolroom, don’t you just wish you could pack it all up and spend the day outdoors?
Nature Journaling gives us the chance to do just that!
Nature Journaling for Real Life:
In my life nature journaling comes in fits and spurts. When it’s -30 degrees and snowing outside I’m not particularly inclined to go out and enjoy the great outdoors. Come spring time, I’m super inspired to start again.
Last week, we had the opportunity to go visit family In beautiful B.C. While there I took advantage of our belated spring break and began to sketch some of the plant and wildlife that we saw. It was such a relaxing experience inspiring me to do more.
Since coming back, I’ve been in the garden daily weeding and uncovering my strawberry beds. I noticed my crabapple tree yesterday ready to burst into bloom and I want to get out there today and record it in my nature journal.
This book is my greatest inspiration for nature journaling.
Some of you may have seen my contest to win a beautiful copy of The country diary of an Edwardian Lady. If you haven’t signed up already go ahead and check it out. It’s seriously one if not my very favorite resource for nature journaling. Edith Holden’s work is so beautiful. Her book is full of her own personal entries and observations, as well as gorgeous artwork and seasonal poetry. It’s the book I aspire to model my nature journaling after:)
Hurry and enter to win the contest only runs until June 09, 2017.
Nature Journaling Supplies:
So what do you need to get started? Well, that depends on how you want to record your nature journaling. What sort of artwork do you want to include? If you’re just planning to do pencil sketches then a simple sketchbook will do. If you want to try your hand at watercolors then you’ll need a notebook with heavier paper.
I had such a hard time finding a reasonably priced good quality notebook that I decided I would bind my own this year. I’m using a cheap pad of 90lb watercolor paper, letter sized. Fold the paper in half. These become the inserts or paper for your notebook. For now, I am just journaling on these folded sheets of paper. I will bind them into a notebook later and probably post a tutorial on how to do that soon. It would be very similar to this process, just be sure to use watercolor paper instead.
- a good quality art notebook or sketchbook
- watercolor pencils
- small paintbrush or brushes
- a small portable case of watercolors
- a small portable container for water
You may also want:
- a backpack to carry supplies in
- nature or wildlife guides
I hope you’re as inspired as I am to take up this richly fulfilling habit:) Don’t be discouraged if your kids aren’t as enthusiastic as you are. Just model the habit and encourage them in their journaling.
A word of caution. Perfection and the pursuit of perfection will stop you and your kids in their tracks. That’s not what nature journaling’s about. The more we do it the better we will get at it but it’s really about being out in nature and recording what we learn and see. Just enjoy the process. Everything takes practice and practice is simply repetition.
Enjoy and Happy Homeschooling!
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