Spring Nature Study

Spring Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home

“Why be indoors when you can rightly be without.” – Charlotte Mason

Although autumn is my absolute favourite season, spring has proved to be one of my favourite seasons for nature study.

This term we’ve done lots of walking and climbing and stepping out of our comfort zones to get up close with nature. We took a closer look at snails and caterpillars, watched nesting birds, identified wild flowers along the cliffs of Guernsey, learnt about plant life cycles and the differences between frogs and toads.

And without even realising it we’ve now added in a weekly mother-daughter nature journaling session to our homeschool week. Its something we both enjoy doing together and I love that Blossom gets to see me learning right alongside her.

Here are some of the snap shots:

Spring Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
April showers and petal gathering at our regular nature spot.
Spring Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
The big spring tidy up.
Spring Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Wild flower cliff walk with our Nature Explorers group.
Spring Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Identifying and drawing our finds.
Spring Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Our spring/summer nature walks tend to lead us to the sea.
Spring Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Bird watching, duckling spotting and tree climbing at our favourite park.
Spring Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Grey days are still great days for exploring!
Spring Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Mother-daughter nature journaling.
Spring Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Rock pooling starts in the Spring in our family.

What do you enjoy most about nature in the Spring?

{Winter Nature Study}

Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home

“Why be indoors when you can rightly be without.” – Charlotte Mason

Each week we kickstart our homeschool week with Nature Explorers on a Monday morning and it’s always one of the highlights of our week. As a group we’re using Exploring Nature with Children as a guide and I also use this curriculum at home to inspire my library withdrawals and craft activities.

This term we’ve braved the cold winds on our nature walks, we’ve got our hands dirty as we dug for worms and we’ve got technical as we measured the age of trees. We took a closer look at the winter sky and moon and also revisited the tree we chose back in autumn.

We even started a Calendar of Firsts and a Phenology Wheel in our nature journals and ended the season with a rare Guernsey snow day!

Here are some of the snap shots:

Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Watching the sea foam frolic in the wild winter wind!
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Rock pooling in the winter is a favourite nature activity of ours.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Dramatic winter skies are best observed down on the beach.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Winter pond study with early daffodils at Silbe Nature Reserve.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Trudging through the beautifully muddy St. Peters countryside.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Mother-Daughter nature journaling in action.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
The first sign of Spring, Candlemas Bells, more commonly known as Snowdrops.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
First snow day!

What do you enjoy most about nature in the Winter?

Our Flexible Learning Lifestyle

Our Flexible Learning Lifestyle | The Open Home

Well if you hadn’t quite clued on to the fact that we are home educating our girls then this post will hopefully say it loud and clear.

WE ARE HOME EDUCATING!

Have been since October 2017 and I’m pleased to say that so far, so good we all seem to be enjoying our new flexible learning lifestyle (as I like to call it).

You may or may not be surprised to hear that home educating is becoming more and more popular in Britain as families for various different reasons decide to educate their children outside of the traditional school system. Living on a small island the home ed community here is of course small, but very much alive and growing.

Our Flexible Learning Lifestyle | The Open Home

I am aware though, that for many of my friends and readers on the island we are in fact the first home educating family that you actually know so many of you of course, have questions about what we do, what’s allowed and whether or not we are crazy. The latter of which is still open to debate.

Snippets of our home educating lifestyle have and will continue to creep into my Daughter Diaries and Gratitude Journal posts from time to time, but I thought I would occasionally do some home ed specific posts to help you understand it all a little more.

I’ve actually been really surprised by the genuine interest and encouragement that has been coming my way. I guess I was mainly expecting blank and confused expressions, tinged with a side of judgement, which I admit I do get from time to time, but I’m pleased to report that the response has been mostly positive.

Our Flexible Learning Lifestyle | The Open Home

Before I share more posts about our home ed lifestyle let me first disclose that I am by no means an expert and this is not a homeschool “how-to” blog. There are many veteran homeschoolers out there with a wealth of information and flashy websites with affiliate links to go with it. I’m not planning to go too deep and wide with my blog posts here, but rather just give you a glimpse into what “school” looks like for us on this tiny island and what led us to home educate in the first place.

My hope is that by sharing a little about our learning lifestyle here that my readers will come to understand two things about home education. Firstly, that it can be a wonderfully enriching educational choice for many families and secondly, that not all homeschoolers are unsociable, tree-hugging, school-hating weirdos – although I’m sure some of us are!

If you have any questions in regard to home educating, particularly on a small island like Guernsey then please leave your questions in the comments and I’ll try my best to answer them in future posts.

What would you like to know about home educating on a small island?

{Autumn Nature Study}

Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home

“Why be indoors when you can rightly be without.” – Charlotte Mason

A big part of my girls education involves time outdoors and nature study. We love this aspect of our learning lifestyle as it’s something that all the family gets involved with.

We use Exploring Nature with Children as a guide both at home and with our weekly Nature Explorers group.

This term we’ve taken a closer look at autumn leaves, fungus, moss and lichen and we even picked out our very own tree to study throughout the academic year.

Here are some of the snap shots:

Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
Conkering is still our favourite autumn activity.
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
Mild autumns call for lunch outdoors.
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
One of favourite parks for nature walks.
Autumn Homeschool 2017 | The Open Home
A Japanese Maple fairy inspired by the wonderful works of Cecily Mary Barker.
The Open Home 893
Autumn Tree Study. Blossom picked this beauty…
Autumn Homeschool 2017 | The Open Home
… and mama picked this one.
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
Collecting leaves to paint and print.
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
This moss and lichen covered tree kept us enthralled for a while.
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
The girls are now very apt and spotting even the tiniest of mushrooms!
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
Impressive fungi we discovered on a recent nature walk.
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
PE the homeschool way with wellies on our feet and the wind in our hair.
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
Leaf confetti never gets old.
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
Our favourite nature treasures remain on display for further exploration.
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
Nature journaling goes hand-in-hand with nature study.
Autumn Nature Study 2017 | The Open Home
Getting creative with nature.

What do you enjoy most about nature in the Autumn?