The Value of Nature Study


Charlotte Mason did the world a great favor when she impressed upon parents the importance of stirring up a love for nature in our children. She observed that children are drawn to the natural world 'naturally,' but they must be instructed how to observe carefully and appreciate the wonders about them- otherwise, when they reach adulthood, their desire and keen observation will die. We feel this need especially today, in a world where our children are surrounded by contrived entertainment with technology at their fingertips. It's so much easier to watch a movie or play a computer game than to take a walk and actively engage the mind. But, if the study of nature is presented in a positive, enthusiastic manner, children will no longer spend dull, boring days outside trying to find anything to pass the time. Once children's powers of observation have been stimulated they are able to see details of God’s glory in the smallest leaf, while their playmates only see the grass as a good soccer field. I agree with Charles Kingsley when he wrote:

"I have seen the young man of fierce passions and uncontrollable daring expend healthily that energy which threatened daily to plunge him into recklessness, if not into sin, upon hunting out and collecting, through rock and bog, snow and tempest, every bird and egg of the neighbouring forest . . . I have seen the young London beauty, amid all the excitement and temptation of luxury and flattery, with her heart pure, and her mind occupied in a room full of shells and fossils, flowers and seaweeds, keeping herself unspotted from the world, by considering the lilies of the fields, how they grow."