Charlotte Mason’s encourages the wonderful practice of nature study and keeping records of nature observations in a child’s own nature journal. In addition to this wonderful outdoor activity, Charlotte Mason encouraged her students to keep what she called a ‘Calendar of Firsts’.
This was a calendar where a child would record the day that they saw any ‘first’ observations seen on their walks to monthly pages, adding to the same page each year. This way of journaling encourages a child to naturally learn what happens in nature that time of the year. This calendar of firsts would build up year after year, with the child adding their new firsts as they found them. This is similar to keeping a perpetual nature journal or adding a sketch to a Phenology Wheel.
Lynn of Raising Little Shoots has kept amazing Calendar of Firsts diaries and she shares her beautiful pages, and she gives tips and examples to set up a diary for this purpose. Watch her flip-through video to see how creative, colourful, simple and do-able this practice can be!
What I really love about Lynn’s blog is that you can see how her children have followed her example and how they all create messy, colourful, “non-perfect” diary entries. If you feel that it is impossible to draw or paint in your nature journal like Lara Gastiger’s, then Lynn and her family’s Calendar of First diaries are a breath of fresh air!
How to use a Calendar of Firsts ~
- Add a small sketch or writes a few notes on the date they found it.
- Note the first day of the four seasons and colour or sketch a picture that symbolizes that season.
How to create your own Calendar of Firsts ~
- I created a Calendar of Firsts download with monthly calendar pages with blocks. To make it a perpetual calendar you do not need to include the dates or days of the week. Print the pages of the calendar, double-sided (first print all the odd pages and then the even pages on the back of the months) on cardstock, punch holes so that one side faces the next in the binder. A simple ring-binder will serve to hold the calendar pages. Here is my free download ~ Calendar of Firsts Month Calendar Practical Pages
- Look at Joyous Lessons.blogspot.co.za simple Calendar of Firsts and Setting up your Calendar of Firsts. Use 2 facing blank pages with month headers for each month.
- Simply Charlotte Mason.com – Calendar of firsts – What do you use
- Sageparnassus.blogspot.co.za – My Calendar of Firsts
- Click the link “A Calendar of Firsts” on Joy in the home.com’s post – How to Study the 4 Seasons for a free Calendar of Firsts download.