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Nature Study

Between global warming, holes in the ozone, and the pollution of our seas and rivers, maybe it is best to keep kids indoors and pacified in front of the television....but probably not. If these aren't real threats then there's nothing to protect our children (or ourselves) from, and if they are real threats—all the more reason to instill a love of nature in the younger generations.

Kids have an inclination toward exploration and learning. Allowing them to do so encourages not only active bodies and active minds, it fosters a healthy imagination and love of beauty. Charlotte Mason understood this over a century ago, and developed a system of education in which nature study played a prominent role. It is in nature, more than in the classroom or the rec room or even the library, that children best learn by observation, and this habit once formed will never disappear.

The often-referenced "childlike wonder" inherent in all of us from a young age (though modern society seems to be stamping it out quicker and more efficiently) isn't just some esoteric feeling of awe. It's literal wonder—kids wonder how birds fly, why their pet dog's fur falls out in summer, where ants go in the winter, why it gets colder and harder to breathe the higher you get. The less contact they have with the natural world, the less wonder they'll have; but the reverse is also true, and kids allowed to roam and explore the outdoors will develop a sense of inquisitiveness that can only help them in the so-called "real world."

Preparation for the Real World of modern myth often takes on peculiar guises. Children are snatched from the fields and streams and placed in front of computer screens or television sets. They are crowded into classrooms and made to feel good about the fact that they are learning nothing at the same rate as everyone around them. They are given plastic toys with supposed educational properties and made to "play" with them under close adult supervision.

Meanwhile, the real real world waits outside the walls and doors and windows with its fresh smells, its colors brighter and more unique than anything on HDTV or Blu-Ray, its real wind, and its endless mysteries. If you don't like answering questions, don't want your kids to grow or exercise, prefer fat and lazy to fit and intelligent offspring, by all means somberly prepare them for a life without questions, and consequently without answers. If you want children who will grown into thoughtful adults with a sense of the loveliness of Earth and their place in it, keeping them inside is possibly the most dangerous choice you can make on their behalf.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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871 Items found Print
100 Birds and How They Got Their Names
1st edition from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
for 4th-12th grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
1001 Bugs to Spot
by Emma Helbrough
from Usborne
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Picture Riddles & Search (Location: A01-01D)
101 Nature Experiments
by David Burnie
from DK Publishing
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in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
44 Animals of the Bible
by Nancy Johnson
from Master Books
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in Bible Study & Reference for Kids (Location: CPB-08B)
$9.99
7 Continents: Antarctica
by Jo Ellen Moore
from Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
for 3rd-6th grade
in Evan-Moor Geography (Location: B04-04D)
$21.99
Across the Top of the World
by James P. Delgado
from Checkmark Books
for 7th-12th grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Bob White
Famous Bedtime Story Books #19
by Thornton W. Burgess
Illustrated from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
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Africa's Vanishing Wildlife
by Chris & Tilde Stuart
1st edition from Smithsonian Books
for 5th-10th grade
in Africa (Location: B02-05E)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
African Animals - Sticker Activity Book
from Dover Publications
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Dover Little Activity Books (Location: A02-DLA)
$1.99
African Critters
by Robert Haas
from National Geographic
for 3rd-6th grade
in Zoology (Location: BSR-09B)
Akiak: A Tale From the Iditarod
by Robert J. Blake
Reprint from Puffin Books
for 1st-3rd grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Alaskan Wildlife - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by Jan Sovak
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: A01-DOV)
$3.99
All About Strange Beasts of the Present
All About Books #19
by Robert S. Lemmon
from Random House
for 3rd-8th grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
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Amazing Animal Babies
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
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in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Amazing Bats
by Seymour Simon
from Scholastic Inc.
for 1st-3rd grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$1.00 (1 in stock)
Amazing Beetles
by John Still
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
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in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Amazing Bugs
DK Inside Guides
by Miranda MacQuitty
from DK Publishing
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in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
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Amazing Butterflies & Moths
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 3rd-5th grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Amazing Crocodiles and Reptiles
by Mary Ling
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Amazing Poisonous Animals
by Alexandra Parsons
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for Preschool-3rd Grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$2.00 (2 in stock)
Amazing Sharks!
I Can Read Level 2
by Sarah L. Thomson
Reprint from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in I Can Read Books (Location: CPB-04B)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
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by Melissa Stewart
from Children's Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
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by Karen Stephenson, Margaret Anderson, Nancy Field
from Dog-Eared Publications
for 4th-6th grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
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Animal Atlas
by Barbara Taylor
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 3rd-7th grade
in Zoology (Location: BSR-09B)
$8.50 (1 in stock)
Animal Encyclopedia
from DK Publishing
for 4th-6th grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$10.00 (2 in stock)
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by Angela Wilkes
from Kingfisher
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Zoology (Location: BSR-09B)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
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by Ben Hoare
from University of California Press
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in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
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Animal Tracks
by Arthur Dorros
from Scholastic Inc.
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Nature Study (Location: B18-18C)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
Animals by Design
by David Burnie
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 4th-6th grade
in Zoology (Location: BSR-09B)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
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Come Learn with Me
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in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Arctic and Antarctic Life - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
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Backyard Books
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from Kingfisher
for 1st-4th grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
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in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
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by Susan Appel
from Walch Publishing
for 4th-7th grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
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from Stratton House
for 1st-7th grade
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
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by Cathy Beylon
from Dover Publications
for Preschool-1st grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: A01-DOV)
$3.99
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by Peter & Linda Spizzirri
from Spizzirri Press
for 2nd-5th grade
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for 8th-Adult
in Clearance: Science & Health (Location: ACL)
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Dover Coloring Books
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in Dover Coloring Books (Location: A01-DOV)
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