Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nature books... oh my!

Between the library and half.com, I have gotten 6 nature books in the last two days. One, of course, was the one for our Green Hour Challenges. It is called The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock... the thing is HUGE! I can't wait to dig in. What an amazing collection. And to think that she wrote this back in 1911. So much of it (as far as I can see) is still so valid today, nearly 100 years later. This book was bought by me... I am happy to say it is mine mine mine.

Math in the Garden is another book I purchased. I am loving this one too. Tons of different ideas. So much so I am having trouble putting it down. I have designed a class for our homeschool group from this book and some of my own personal ideas. It has two parts. The first is making a nature journal, and potting a small (18X6 inch) planter with various root and above ground plants (that would go home with the children), along with planting a large planter (that I would take home with me) with lettuce seeds. The second class would be 4 to 5 wks later, and would include drawings from our garden plants, measurements of the roots, and the above ground parts of the plants, and eating out lettuce salad from the big planter. I hope it works out... at the least, my kids will be doing this and I think it will be tons of fun!

Hands-on Nature is another book I bought, although I bought the older version rather than the one I got from the library last week (it was less than half the price). This book has more crafts and ideas than I know what to do with. But some of them are just too neat not to have. How to make a perfect snowflake, and what weather conditions it takes to make certian types of precipitation is just the start of it. It is a wealth of information and I plan on putting tons of little tabs in it to projects I want to remember.

From the library I got Organic Crafts. It is a younger child's book, but has great ideas. In them include how to make a true 'family tree' where each leaf rubbing represents a person in your family and recipes for things like Natural Paste, and Cornstarch Paint. Those will come in handy. I scanned some of the sheets so I can have them handy as we enter into the gardening season.

Another one from the library: Easy Garden Projects for all Seasons by Barbra Pleasant. I got this book becuase I loved the other one by her (Easy Garden Projects to Make, Build, and Grow). I haven't been able to crack it open much yet. I am still over with the Math in the Garden book and reading the next one on my list.

A Pocket Full of Pinecones. What a neat book. Written by Karen Andreola (the same woman who wrote the Charlotte Mason Companion) she talks about nature study, and wrote a story about "Carol" who decides to add a nature study day to their homeschool experiences. It is delightful. And I am only about 1/4 of the way into it.

Since Wednesday is our nature journaling day, I will be ready tomorrow with about a million ideas and excitement that I am sure will infect my comatose children... hey, I can dream right?

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