Friday, August 25, 2017

From the archives: A Natural History Treasure

First posted August 2007

(Update, September 2012:  Yes, Natural Science Through the Seasons has been reprinted!) 

(Update, December 2010: Thanks to Ann at A Holy Experience for continuing to post the nature calendars on her blog--and welcome to visitors coming from HE!]

For all the would-be Miss Stacys out there...

I bought a book this spring from someone in our local homeschool group, and it turned out to be such a treasure for anyone doing nature study that I have to tell you about it. The only problem might be getting a copy: there are only seven right now on Abebooks, so it seems a bit scarce. But once you know it's out there, you might find some other copies floating around, especially if you're in Canada.

The book is Natural Science Through the Seasons: 100 Teaching Units, by J.A. (James Arthur) Partridge. It was published by MacMillan in 1946 and 1955 as a year-long teacher's resource. Each month has a variety of activities that might be suited to what's growing or hatching during that time (at least in Ontario). Each month has a sample day-by-day calendar with natural things to look for that you can build up "on your blackboard" (or on a regular calendar, for homeschoolers). Each unit has suggested activities, divided into those that are especially suitable for younger and older grades. There are experiments, questions, little verses to learn (or maybe to use for copywork), charts for identifying evergreens, and more things to draw on the blackboard.

And then each one also has a reading list, including suitable pages from Anna Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study; books such as Parker's Golden Treasury of Natural History and Dorothy Shuttlesworth's Exploring Nature with Your Child; and books by other authors whose books are still available: the D'Aulaires, Milicent Selsam, and Roger Tory Peterson. How cool is that?

Keep your eyes open! (The book has a green spine with red printing, it's 9 x 6 inches, and it's over 500 pages long.)

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