Homeschooling and Critical Thinking

Teaching Your Homeschooler How To Be A Critical Thinker

5 Reasons Why You and Your Children Should Nature Journal

Guest Author: Melanie Krahn

I didn’t think I needed to nature journal. But then, I found out what it did for me, and I’d like share with you the 5 reasons why you and your children should nature journal, too!

What is Nature Journaling?

Nature journaling is not complicated. It’s simply…journaling about nature.

It’s about observing your surroundings and journaling about them in a form of art and/or words, putting physical pieces inside your journal that you find outside, and being creative with it all.

And then there are all the reasons why you and your children should nature journal…

#1: Observe and Learn

You and your children will benefit from observation and learning while you nature journal.

While observing what you’re looking at in nature, there is wonder, interest and a hunger for information. This is a life skill. Through observation, you ponder the questions related to what you’re looking at, such as:

  • “Why is that tree crooked? I wonder what happened to it?”
  • “I wonder what kind of caterpillar it is? And where is he going?”
  • “What animal’s tracks could these be?”

It’s important we teach our children to think for themselves. As we share and open up the questions examining our surroundings, it translates in others areas of life and becomes a beneficial skill.

God has designed our minds to think creatively. Every invention, innovation and new idea came from a place in the mind. It becomes so valuable to exercise our minds through the wonder of nature by observing and learning about our surroundings.

#2: Mindfulness

While you nature journal, you and your children will benefit from mindfulness.

While you draw, paint or color taking in what you’re looking at, it allows mindfulness and the ability to be present. I find that these moments are of high value.

Mindfulness allows you to relax your mind and focus on the thing you’re doing. Our minds are often FILLED with so many things, that we can pride ourselves on being multi-taskers. Really, it becomes our inability to concentrate and have patience in staying focused on one thing.

Choose to embrace where you are through nature journaling, and take account for how you feel while you do it. Teach your children the quality and necessity of mindfulness – they need it, too.

#3: Creativity

You and your children will benefit from creativity while you nature journal.

Creativity is an important expression and outlet.

As a mom, I haven’t realized how much of a creative outlet I’ve needed and what it did to my soul. Creativity gives you the space to be free from rules and set ways of doing things. It allows you to make mistakes and choose to see that mistakes are not always costly, but can be used to your advantage.

There’s freedom, healing and space in creativity.

#4: Connecting with God

You and your children will connect with God while you nature journal.

We connect with God when we position ourselves and focus on Him, instead of ourselves. And there’s no better way to do that than to look at the beauty of His creation.

God created everything around us to serve us. He prepared the world for us. So when you think of the majesty of His creation through nature journaling, it puts into perspective that if a beautiful and intricate butterfly was so carefully thought of by our Father, than how much more important are we to Him. We’re created in God’s image and likeness with an amazing purpose, destiny and calling to fulfill, that no one else can. We are His workmanship, and the only creation with a body, soul AND spirit.

As you nature journal, you may feel Holy Spirit working in you. Receive His love for you and be grateful for all that He’s done in and through your life, and what He’s about to do.

Connecting with God is how we live. Nature journaling is such a beautiful and gentle way to talk to your children about God, experience Him and worship Him.

#5: Being Together

Nature journaling brings you and your children together.

When you can BE with your kids, doing something with them, it is rewarding and nourishing for your soul and your children’s soul.

Children love being with their parents. They learn from you, they model you, and become familiar with life through you. I love that nature journaling together allows conversation to flow where it’s not intimidating, and the atmosphere is gentle and slow.

I can hardly wait to nature journal again with my kids, taking out our journals and paints, discovering new things in our paintings and in our conversations.

I’m so thankful I’ve found out about nature journaling through homeschooling.

Homeschooling itself really brings amazing benefits like nature journaling with your kids and to me. The reasons why you and your children should nature journal together are so life-giving.

What are the reasons why you and your children nature journal? Feel free to share below!

Anchored in Jesus,
-Melanie Krahn

This article was originally published by Melanie Krahn on her blog http://www.wildlyanchored.com and being used on Homeschooling in Memphis with permission. 

 

Melanie is the creator and author behind Wildly Anchored. Her mission is to encourage those who have a calling of God to live Spirit-led homeschool lifestyle. Melanie provides tools, resources, and recommendations to help moms be successful in faith, family, and homeschool.

2 thoughts on “Teaching Your Homeschooler How To Be A Critical Thinker

  1. This is a great article. Although we do not draw as much as some, we do take nature walks, write comments on what we have seen, take pictures, collect leaves and other interesting things that are on our path. We then do a little research about what we have seen that is new to us. If something is of great interest, I expect further research and take a science grade.
    Cindy West, ourjourneywestward.com, writes a blog and nature study ebooks. They sell for $12 each and can be used at any grade level.

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  2. This is a great article. I am happy to feature it. It really helped me to see the many different ways we can help our children slow down and explore their world. At the same time teaching them to become critical thinkers and spending quality time together. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

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