The Philosophy Behind Nature Study

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Whether you are a new parent considering The Oaks or a current parent, you may have seen or heard us talk about the practice of nature study. But what are nature studies and why do we include it in our curriculum?

The goal of nature study is to instill a lifelong love for the natural world and an appreciation for its design and fragility. Our studies include careful observation of natural objects, which is a foundation of scientific inquiry, and immersive experiences in nature. This helps students to better comprehend the web of life and the order within creation.

Charlotte Mason believed nature study gave students a solid foundation for training in the sciences. However, she also believed that time outdoors was no mere adjunct to biology, geology, astronomy or physics. Nature study was an end in itself. In Home Education, she said, “We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” She also claimed this rule for life: “Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” For Mason, nature shaped the character of an individual and formed an essential part of the whole person.

One way students engage in nature study is with nature walks and field trips throughout the year. Recently, Miss. Walden’s Pre-Kindergarten students traveled to Holliday Park to engage in nature study activities and a lesson from Indy Parks & Recreation. Check out a few of the pictures below!

Students wear masks when in close proximity outdoors, are required to use hand sanitizer, and sit in their own seat on school buses for field trips. For more information on our COVID-19 guidelines, click here.

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