Home homeschooling The Education & Power of Nature-Knowledge

The Education & Power of Nature-Knowledge

by Kelly Crawford

Fall is like the earth’s big sigh of relief from the scorching summer, exhaling the cool breezes.

The crisp air begs us outside and we go. I’m so thankful for a place where children can romp and play. They’ve built a hay fort in the loft of the barn where chicken eggs are discovered each day. From the roost to the table in a few hours.

Photos courtesy of my daughter, Bria.

I fear for a generation where technology competes with hay lofts and children are efficient at texting but don’t know where maple syrup comes from.

Above all, to live among creation is to better know the Creator. “The earth shows forth His handiwork.”

To be intimately acquainted with the glory of the created earth affects a person, heals things, expands the mind, brings peace to the spirit and fosters a contentment in simplicity.

Charlotte Mason has had more to say about the power of nature in a child’s life than perhaps anyone, and her thoughts so inspire me:

Our first thought with regard to Nature-knowledge is that the child should have a living acquaintance with the things he sees.

Let us, before all things, be Nature-lovers; intimate acquaintance with every natural object within his reach is the first, and, possibly, the best, part of a child’s education.

He must be accustomed to ask “why?”–Why does the wind blow? Why does the river flow? Why is the leaf bud sticky?

It is infinitely well worth the mother’s while to take some pains every day to secure, in the first place, that her children spend hours daily amongst the rural and natural objects; and, in the second place, to infuse them, or rather to cherish in them, the love of investigation.

The child who learns his science from a text-book, though he go to Nature for illustrations, and he who gets his information from object lessons, has no chance of forming relations with things as they are, because his kindly obtrusive teacher makes him believe that to know about things is the same as knowing them personally.

Don’t let the common dull your senses to the magnificent.

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shannon October 28, 2013 - 2:34 pm

“because his kindly obtrusive teacher makes him believe that to know about things is the same as knowing them personally.”

Just today my son was excited to see a ladybug and exclaimed that “my friend ladybug didn’t die, there are now two them”. His ladybug that we caught had indeed died a few days ago and I assumed he forgot about it. Went outside today and he saw some of them

Love nature and this time of year. May need this reminder when it drops below freezing and when I see a snake 🙂

Kelly L October 28, 2013 - 8:26 pm

Lovely. Love the picture, too!

Mrs. Santos October 29, 2013 - 2:44 pm

Hello Kelly~ Just found out you are coming to Washington for our conference. I am so excited! Hope I will get to meet you in person and give you a hug for all the encouragement you’ve given.

Kelly Crawford October 29, 2013 - 3:31 pm

Mrs. Santos,

You’re going to be there?! How very fun it will be to meet you in person after all these years. I. can’t. wait.

Nicole October 29, 2013 - 10:23 pm

I adore the web photo. It is just incredible. The kids just finished reading Charlotte’s Web. Thanks for the lovely object lesson!

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