My heart is in love with nature study, but my hands and feet are slow to action.
How true is this in so many areas of life?
Inspired by the Handbook of Nature Study blog and her sharing her goals for 2017, I thought I’d share some goals of my own, and I encourage you to make nature study goals for yourself as well.
Just a reminder, goals of any sort will be more ambitious or less so based on your personal circumstance. This last year I’ve been beating myself up about not accomplishing more, and then I remembered that in terms of nature study, I only do a little bit, but I have lots of other projects I’m working on, both with the kids and independently.
So, with that said, here are some of my personal nature study goals:
Get out at least once a week
Since we started joining a Forest School for All Forest Explorers group in the fall, I’ve realized how much my kids do actually enjoy going to parks that do not have playgrounds. They enjoy exploring in nature, and I want to make that happen more often, even in the winter and wet seasons. In Minnesota’s deep freeze, it’s easy to just send the kids in the yard while I stay in our nice, warm home. Instead, I will look for opportunities for us to venture out to nature reserves in our area and explore.
Additionally, exploring nature reserves in our area is not just for me and the kids. We will be going out more as a family on the weekends rather than camping out at home and watching TV, in sha Allah.
Get the right gear
Up until this month, I’ve never in my adult life had real winter boots. I still don’t have snow pants, and my winter jackets are not waterproof. It’s not cheap to gear up a family of 6, but in sha Allah with time and patience, we’ll get each of us ready to play, both when it’s cold and wet. This year I want to at least get a pair of snow pants and rain boots for myself. The kids are pretty much set already, so it’s just a matter of continuing to buy the next size up for Aamina and handing down everything to her younger sisters.
Nature read alouds
We’ll see how interested the kids are in listening to The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs, but we’ll give it a go, in sha Allah. Realistically, unless it’s a homeschooling routine, it probably won’t get added to my personal reading list with all the assigned reading I have in a typical week.
Start my own nature journal
Both for my own personal growth in connecting with creation (therefore nourishing an appreciation of the Creator), and to be a good example to my young children of how to keep a nature journal, it’s about time for me to start my own nature journal. I am severely artistically stunted, but it’s not about the art. It’s about the process and being observant.
As you can see, it all comes down to being prepared, and being more intentional with making progress.
It’s not about reading a giant stack of books, but rather about creating that connection to nature for the benefit in this life, and in sha Allah for us to feel a connection to the creator, for our benefit in the Hereafter.
I love this idea for making goals for nature study. I have been struggling with coming up with goals for 2017, but this I can do.
I have a few friends with the goal of 1000 hours outside. We will effort in this direction, but I will be pleased if we make it to 500.
I would love to start a nature journal myself. I love to “art” and it feeds my soul. The hard part for me is to do it with my daughter around, which I think would go along way with encouraging nature study for her. I would really love to do nature study out in the wild.
When the weather and bugs cooperate I want to spend as much time as possible outside, reading, learning, exploring, playing, all of it.
Shannen Espelien says
I think 500 would be adventurous for us as well, but it’s not a bad idea to count the hours!