Did you know that in the days of your great-grandparents the inclusion of nature instruction in school was a serious concern? Many of you have read a bit of Charlotte Mason’s books or A Girl of the Limberlost or Freckles. Some of you even own Anna Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study, though for many of us it is collecting dust daily.
Did you know that in days gone by, students routinely went on nature walks at all times of the year? They learned about the animals, trees, insects, stars, rocks, and weather, and they learned about them in great detail through daily observation, daily lessons, and daily application.
What has happened in the years since? Has nature grown less amazing? Is it less magnificent and less important these days to notice colors, sounds, smells, designs, and all the beauty that is free just for the taking? Is it less important to one’s well-being to have times of quiet solitude in beautiful surroundings? Is it less interesting now to be swept away with the beauty of the night sky or go owl watching together? What has happened?
In the classroom, it could be that the topic itself is slowly escaping from many school curricula. In our present culture, the Creator has been removed from the traditional classroom. With His departure, much of the wonder and amazement with which teachers eagerly tied Him to has been left out as well.
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