Want some nature journal homeschool ideas? Want to learn about how a growth mindset can help your kids? Check out this interview with homeschool mom, podcaster, and art educator Dallas Nachtigall!
Bestowing the Brush is a podcast about passing on drawing skills to the next generation. Principles and practices of Charlotte Mason. Always exploring The Art of Seeing.
In this conversation I talk about how instilling a growth mindset can help kids and adults learn better, work harder, and build sustainable self confidence. In addition to growth mindset we share other key nature journal homeschool ideas that can help your family.
Obviously this all sounds great! If you are ready to dive in then you might be interested in the Nature Journal Family for February.
Earlier in the year I got to interview Dallas on the Nature Journal Show. It’s called Homeschool Nature Study with Dallas Nachtigall. She shares some of the benefits that nature study has brought to her family and shares some practical tips!
How I got Started with Nature Journaling
Have you ever wondered about my nature journaling origin story? Did I always love nature? Did I start nature journaling as a kid? Those of you who don’t know my back story will appreciate the questions that Dallas asked me at the beginning of the show. To summarize briefly:
- First of all, I have only been nature journaling for 6 or 7 years! Are you surprised?
- You won’t be surprised that I loved nature since I was a kid.
- I was introduced to nature journaling for the first time in college. However, it did not really “click”! Can you believe it?
Full Time Nature Journal Educator
After sharing my nature journaling origin story Dallas asked me about my work. Since October of 2020 I have been a full time nature journal educator. I quit my other part time job and now am focused on what I know is my “life’s work.” Currently, work is focused on the following activities.
- Creating educational videos on my YouTube channel. I make how to videos, nature journal adventure videos, and interviews of other artists and naturalists. These resources are all free but I am supported by fans through my Patreon.
- Leading field trips and teaching groups of adults (on hold due to Covid).
- Teaching nature journaling to kids and families (This is currently limited to my online class for families. I’m also doing a few Covid-safe outdoors sessions with individual kids.)
What Does a Nature Journal Session With Me Look Like?
Dallas was curious about my one-on-one sessions with kids. She asked me “When you go on these excursions (…) what does that look like and what do you typically do and how do you structure that time together?”
I answered with the following important reminder.
The thing that is super empowering for teachers and parents and mentors of any kind is to remember that nature is the best teacher and kids are the best learners. You basically just need to put those things together and know how to not get in the way.
After saying that, I explain how under every rock and around every turn in the trail there are lessons. There are physics lessons, biology lessons, or anything else you want to learn about.
The next key point is to balance structure with flexibility. When I teach in the field I usually keep the lesson plan as open as possible. I’m prepared to adapt to the needs of the kid and the materials that nature offers that day. Sometimes I do more focused skill-building activities or experiments. For example bringing an interesting fruit and dissecting it while drawing cross sections. Another example is a recent cratering experiment I did with kids and we nature journaled the whole thing. Check out the experiment directions from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.
If you want more nature journal homeschool ideas you should listen to the podcast!
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