Implementing a Nature Study: Getting Kids to Buy In
One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter. – Henry David Thoreau
Today I’m sharing just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting kids to “buy into” nature study.
Let’s face it. We read a lot of blogs and there are some fantastic bloggers out there sharing details and encouraging us to do nature study with our kids.
What do you do if your kids aren’t super enthusiastic about joining in on nature study?
Start Early– Nature Study is something you have to start building into your family culture when your kids are young! They may not be so resistant to it when they get older if they know it as part of your family’s experience from when they are little.
Starting early in the day isn’t a bad idea either! Get outdoors before the day gets away from you.
Capitalize on Curiosity- Be ready when your kids ask questions about the things related to nature. Answer their questions and build on the answer with research- either in books you have on hand or on the internet.
When you take a child’s question and answer it thoroughly and with great enthusiasm, he’ll know that asking means he’ll get to find out a whole lot more. And it’s fun!
Make These Activities Non-negotiable- at first a protesting child will not enjoy your request, but once you get going with the day’s investigations, I find most of the time that the poor attitude will slip away.
If you let kids opt out OR you allow the bad attitude to change your plan, then chances are your plans will get changed often unless you just say, “We’re doing this.”
Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect! Just because it doesn’t look like an A+ homeschooling moment, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value and it doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort.
In the end, the time as a whole will have been productive even if I have to ask the 14yo to quit bugging his brothers and remind the 11yo, he gets to pick his next activity (after he’s given me a hard time about going on our jaunt).
So be encouraged homeschool moms! The biggest hurdle is just committing to the task of Nature Study. Remember to lead on despite bad weather, poor attitudes, and less than perfect results. As a whole, you’ll find it was time well spent and I know your kids will have something positive to show for your efforts!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more details on How to Implement Nature Study in Your Homeschool. The following posts on this topic will give you specific strategies in building up the culture of Nature Study in your home. I hope you’ll join me!
Thanks for this, Heather. I truly have a hard time COMMITTING to nature study but this fall– We’re doing this!! Needed the encouragement.
Great job Ruthie! Hopefully you’ll find some tips in this series to make it easier!
Start early, that is so very true.
Yup…establish it early and it’s so much easier.
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