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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523 Items found Print
100 Backyard Activities
by Colleen Kessler
for 1st-6th grade
in Nature Study (Location: NAT-GEN)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
1001 Bugs to Spot
by Emma Helbrough
from Usborne
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Insects & Arachnids (Location: SCI-BUG)
$9.99
44 Animals of the Bible
by Nancy Johnson
from Master Books
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Bible Study & Reference for Kids (Location: BIB-STU)
$9.99
7 Continents: Antarctica
by Jo Ellen Moore
from Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
for 3rd-6th grade
in Evan-Moor Geography (Location: GEOG-EVAN)
$21.99 $12.00 (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: FIC-ANI)
$2.55
Africa's Vanishing Wildlife
by Chris & Tilde Stuart
1st edition from Smithsonian Books
for 5th-10th grade
in Africa (Location: HISREG-AFR)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
African Critters
by Robert Haas
from National Geographic
for 3rd-6th grade
in Zoology (Location: SCI-ZOOL)
Akiak: A Tale From the Iditarod
by Robert J. Blake
Reprint from Puffin Books
for 1st-3rd grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
Alaskan Wildlife - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by Jan Sovak
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: COL-DOV)
$2.99
Albert the Albatross
by Syd Hoff
from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in I Can Read Books (Location: EAR-ICR)
$2.40 (1 in stock)
All About Animals and Their Young
All About Books #25
by Ferdinand C. Lane
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Zoology (Location: SCI-ZOOL)
All About Birds
All About Books #11
by Robert S. Lemmon
1955 Edition from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Birds (Location: SCI-BIRD)
All About Dinosaurs
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by Roy Chapman Andrews
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Dinosaurs & Fossils (Location: SCI-DINO)
All About Dogs
All About Books #42
by Carl Burger
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in All About Books (Location: VIN-ALL)
All About Fish
by Carl Burger
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Sharks & Fishes (Location: SCI-FISH)
All About Horses
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by Marguerite Henry
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Horses & Ponies (Location: SCI-MAMHOR)
All About Monkeys
All About Books #26
by Robert S. Lemmon
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Mammals (Location: SCI-MAM)
All About Moths and Butterflies
All About Books #15
by Robert S. Lemmon
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in All About Books (Location: VIN-ALL)
All About Mountains and Mountaineering
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by Anne Terry White
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Forests & Mountains (Location: SCI-FOREST)
All About Strange Beasts of the Past
All About Books #17
by Robert S. Lemmon
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Zoology (Location: SCI-ZOOL)
All About Strange Beasts of the Present
All About Books #19
by Robert S. Lemmon
from Random House
for 3rd-8th grade
in All About Books (Location: VIN-ALL)
All About the Desert
All About Books #21
by Sam & Beryl Epstein
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in All About Books (Location: VIN-ALL)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
All About the Flowering World
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Botany (Location: SCI-BOT)
All About the Insect World
by Ferdinand C. Lane
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Insects & Arachnids (Location: SCI-BUG)
All About the Jungle
All About Books #29
by Armstrong Sperry
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Jungles & Rainforests (Location: H)
All About Whales
by Roy Chapman Andrews
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Whales & Dolphins (Location: SCI-FISH)
All the Rain Promises and More
by David Arora
from Ten Speed Press
for Adult
in Field Guides & Nature Handbooks (Location: NAT-FIELD)
America's Deserts
by Marianne D. Wallace
1st edition
for 4th-6th grade
in Deserts & Grasslands (Location: SCI-ECO)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific States
by Gayle Pickwell
from Stanford University Press
in Reptiles & Amphibians (Location: SCI-REPT)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Animal Anatomy for Artists
by Eliot Goldfinger
from Oxford University
for 6th-10th grade
in Advanced Drawing Instruction (Location: ELE-ARTDRAD)
$20.00 (1 in stock)
Animals Without Backbones: Invertebrates
Come Learn with Me
by Bridget Anderson
from Charlesbridge
for 4th-6th grade
in Zoology (Location: SCI-ZOOL)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Another Field Guide to Little Known and Seldom-Seen Birds of North America
by Ben, Cathryn, and John Sill
from Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
in Birds (Location: SCI-BIRD)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Answers Book for Kids Volume 2
by Ken Ham
from Master Books
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Worldview & Apologetics for Kids (Location: BIBWV-APK)
$7.99 $5.00 (1 in stock)
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Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Stage 2
by Arthur Dorros
from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Insects & Arachnids (Location: SCI-BUG)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Antarctic Antics
by Judy Sierra
Reprint from HMH Books for Young Readers
for Preschool-1st grade
in Arctic & Tundra (Location: SCI-ECO)
Aquarium Guide
from Answers in Genesis
for 4th-6th grade
in Sharks & Fishes (Location: SCI-FISH)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Arctic and Antarctic Life - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by Ruth Soffer
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: COL-DOV)
$3.74
Atlantic Fish - Coloring Book
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by Peter & Linda Spizzirri
from Spizzirri Press
for 2nd-5th grade
in Educational Read & Color Books (Location: COL-SPIZ)
$3.95
Audubon and His Sons
by Amy Hogeboom
from Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books
for 6th-10th grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Audubon's Birds of America - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by Paul Kennedy
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: COL-DOV)
$3.74
Baby Alligator
An All Aboard Reading Reader Level 2
by Ginjer L. Clarke
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 1st-3rd grade
in Early Readers (Location: EARREA)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
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by Barbara Juster Esbensen
from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-1st grade
in Whales & Dolphins (Location: SCI-FISH)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
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Dover Coloring Books
by Dot Barlowe
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: COL-DOV)
$3.74
Balto and the Great Race
Totally True Adventures
by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
1st Printing from Random House Books for Young Readers
for 1st-3rd grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.24
Bed for the Winter
DK Readers Level 1
by Karen Wallace
1st edition from DK Children
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in DK Readers (Location: EAR-DK)
$4.24
Beetle Is Shy
by Dianna Hutts Aston
from Chronicle Books
for 2nd-6th grade
in Nature Study (Location: NAT-GEN)
$16.99
Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature
by Stan & Jan Berenstain
from Dover Publications
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Nature Study (Location: NAT-GEN)
$14.99
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by Fran Hodgkins
from Down East Books
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
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by Kathleen Ruckman
from Master Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Nature Study (Location: NAT-GEN)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
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by Paul Nicholls
from Usborne
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
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