Nature Journaling

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A page from The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling showcasing materials.

I have heard about Nature Journaling from my homeschool mom friends for the last 5 years.  Most of the avid Journalers are Charlotte Mason devotees, but getting out into nature and studying and observing seem to be something that homeschoolers from several different style backgrounds seem to agree on.  We have the opportunity to meet up with other homeschool students each month at a local wetland reserve, and I decided that we would get more into the nature journaling scene.

The first question to answer for me was, “How do you Nature Journal?”  I didn’t just want to send the kids outside with sketchbooks because we had tried that, and no one was interested in doing it for very long.  I think my kids need some scaffolding sometimes to get them started.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-10-59-20-pmOur first entry point came from CreativeBug.  For around $5 a month you have access to tons of creative classes, and several of them focus on art journaling.  They have nature observation and mixed media, and it made journaling look really fun.  At first the kids and I just broke out some mixed media books like the one pictured here, and just enjoyed painting in backgrounds, but as we have gone through classes and read books we have started adding leaves and other natural treasures to our art journal pages.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-02-34-pmThen after some more research I found The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling.  I bought the book from Amazon, and we have really enjoyed reading it and learning how to nature journal in a truly beautiful and educational way.

The book directs readers to John Laws’ website, and I was super excited to find out that there are video tutorials about how to draw and paint from nature.  We watched his songbird tutorials, and I was thrilled with the birds that I was able to draw.  He gave really helpful pointers that made it easy to catch a bird quickly before it flew away.  He also instructed viewers on how to organize a nature journaling page.  His site is an amazing resource on all things nature journaling.  Since watching his videos and looking at the spreads in his book, my kids have been much more enthusiastic about going out and recording what they see in nature.

I honestly cannot say enough about this book.  The contents are beautiful, and the advice is superb.  He teaches the student how to nature journal including anything from organizing pages, using different drawing styles, painting, mapping, adding poetry and so much more.  We are excited to get out and explore and record our findings.  We hope to create treasured journals that we will love always.

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