Recently I watched an excellent John Muir Laws (read my introduction to him) YouTube video ~
John Muir Law encourages folk to keep a nature journal so that they develop sustained, compassionate attention, and as they sketch and make notes, which helps one to really be there, they form deep connections with nature.
He believes that the key to developing a closer connection with nature is by deliberately enhancing your powers of observation and wonder. He says,
“Attention is what the fabric of love is made from”
In the YouTube video above, he explains how the methods of a field naturalist help you notice more, remember what you discovered, and be actively curious.
In essence, his 3 keys to cultivating curiosity in nature journaling is ~
- NOTICE = Verbalize, talk to yourself as you look carefully as a way of being attentive; “I see the flowers stem …” “That bird has a ….” It may feel strange at first, but it is a great tool for forming detailed observations. Young kids do this all the time!
- WONDER = Ask yourself questions, enquire and wonder about the hows, whys and whats of what you see. Don’t young children ask questions all the time?
- This REMINDS ME of = Connect what you notice with other similarities, link this new information or experiences to what you already know. This is a powerful learning method!
The fourth element in cultivating curiosity nature study is to share with others. We learn from other’s thoughts, questions, similarities and knowledge, making our experience even richer. Discussions with others and sharing nature journals brings greater understanding and one’s concrete observations stand out even more.
Encourage these 3 simple methods in your homeschool nature study lessons and enjoy the benefits of curiosity and creativity to form connections in nature.
Go ahead and be child-like in your nature study!
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