Preview: “Nature Study by Months”


bookcoverpreview-2We’re pleased to announce the upcoming re-release of Nature Study by Months for Elementary Grades by Arthur C. Boyden (1898).  This title has been out-of-print for many years, and  Simple Pleasures Press is bringing this work back into print—in both paperback and ebook formats.

For home educators following Charlotte Mason‘s ideas on studying nature, Nature Study by Months will be an excellent supplement to Mason’s The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outdoor Activities. Although Mason and Boyden had an ocean between them (Mason in Ambleside, England while Boyden was in Massachusetts, USA), they were espousing similar ideas on sharing nature with children during the same time period.

Nature Study by Months is the first in a series of reprints of out-of-print and other nature-related titles.

The following is a preview of what you can expect from this upcoming title.


PREVIEW:
Nature Study by Months for Elementary Grades

by Arthur C. Boyden


INTRODUCTION

Suggestions for Nature Study

Love of Nature

The study should include the child’s environment, –the living animals and plants, the earth substances, and the forces that work upon them. The child’s observation should be the starting point. The teacher serves as the guide, suggesting material, stimulating and directing the observation and thought. This work should, above all else, lead into a strong love of Nature, an appreciation of the beauty, harmony, adaptation, and plan in the world about us; a sympathy for all living things, which manifests itself in thoughtful care and kind treatment.

Training

The aim is to cultivate in the child what may be termed the elementary equivalent of genuine scientific spirit, so that out of his native fondness for things about him shall come an enthusiastic, truth-seeking, reverent attitude toward Nature, with boldness to question her, patience to study her, and readiness to be taught by her. Plan in all possible ways for out-of-door observations, as this is the true field of Nature Study.

Expression

Cultivate the various forms of expression, such as drawing, coloring, oral and written language, and in cases that readily admit of it, construction. The work should be closely related to language, spelling, reading, and particularly literature. It should appeal to the imagination, and the artist and poet should be called upon to help the child interpret the beautiful. Some of the best selections should be committed to memory. Many applications of number, form, and color will suggest themselves.

As the child understands his own environment, he is prepared to appreciate geography as the study of the home of man. The thoughts of the life throbbing through the plant and animal, and the forms at work about us, all in perfect harmony, and for definite purposes, are suggestions of infinite law. Such thoughts are among the loftiest that can possess the human soul.


Nature Study by Months for Elementary Grades will be available for purchase in mid-2017 (perhaps earlier!).  Stay tuned for more information as the release date approaches.


Excerpt from The Outdoor Life of Children


The Child Should Be Made Familiar with Natural Objects 
by Charlotte Mason
Excerpted from The Outdoor Life of Children


517pDeJHtkLAn Observant Child Should be Put in the Way of Things Worth Observing

But what is the use of being a ‘very observant child,’ if you are not put in the way of things worth observing? And here is the difference between the streets of a town and the sights and sounds of the country. There is plenty to be seen in a town and children accustomed to the ways of the streets become nimble-witted enough. But the scraps of information to be picked up in a town are isolated fragments; they do not hang on to anything else, nor come to anything more; the information may be convenient, but no one is the wiser for knowing which side of the street is Smith’s, and which turning leads to Thompson’s shop. Continue reading