Nature Stays Outside

Do you love the idea of Charlotte Mason learning?  Do you envision nature journals and sketchbooks of nature drawings?  Do you keep your magnifying glass close at hand?  Do you try to use nature guides and field guides?  Do you wish you could identify plants and bugs?

I have read so many blogs that have wonderful nature ideas and nature journals and pictures of the great outdoors.  Look at that little homeschool family exploring a pond habitat!  Now look at them hiking through the woods!  Next, they’re capturing bugs to observe or making nature sketches.  

I used to think that we would have nature time every day to sit and observe, to sketch and to ponder.  I tried nature challenges and wanted to keep a nature journal.  I encouraged my kids to sketch what they saw.  I tried to emulate the Charlotte Mason style and become the nature mama. 

It didn’t work.  Guess what?  I hate nature!  I want it to stay outside.  I don’t want to touch a bug, much less capture and observe it.  I can’t begin to identify trees or flowers.  I don’t like to hike and I do not touch pond water.  I don’t want to be out in the heat or in the wind or in the rain.  I want concrete pathways and manicured grass.  You will never, ever find me camping!

At our house, we have a rule.  Nature stays outside!  This rule was instituted when my children brought a lizard inside last year.  That will never happen again!

Of course, we bring in the occasional leaf, flower, or acorn.  But in general, nature is not my favorite thing.  I’d rather read a book or look at a picture.  I love to observe nature from the comfort of a paved trail or through a window from my air conditioned room.  God’s creation is amazing!  I just want to appreciate it from afar.

For a while I thought I must be a failure of a homeschooler.  I think I’m one of the only homeschool moms who doesn’t get giddy when talking about nature studies or nature exploration.  I might be in the minority but I’m ok with that.  You don’t have to create extensive nature journals and sketches to be a successful homeschooler.  My kids can learn about nature from our mowed lawn and manicured parks and botanical gardens.  We can use books and pictures when the temperature is over 100 degrees.

I think Charlotte Mason insists that you must spend an hour outside every day.  No thank you!!!  We can go outside when the weather permits or we can enjoy learning from our little indoor loft space.  I don’t have to keep a nature journal or make nature sketches.  My kids will learn just fine!  I will no longer guilt myself that I’m not the nature-lovin’ mama!

But, I’ll continue to enjoy those nature blogs.  However, no more will I wish to emulate them.  I’m ok with being a little more distant from nature.

Here’s how I experience nature……….

Pictures from Nate Nieto photography (my little brother).  He can experience the nature and then I’ll just enjoy it!


If you want to read about some real nature adventures, check out the other bloggers from the crew!

Note:  These images are not mine.  They are the property of Nate Nieto Photography and are copyrighted as such.  So, no, you can’t use the images without permission.   Please enjoy them from my blog and if you’d like to share them with others, use the website provided below the pictures to share them.  Thank you!

5 thoughts on “Nature Stays Outside

  1. LOL I can sympathize! I used to feel like we SHOULD be doing the nature journals and all that, but that's too much for us. Thanks for an honest post, and for sharing your brother's beautiful pictures.

  2. You have me rolling! Your post starts out all 'promising' and then…the truth! And no, you are definitely not the only one. I do love nature though; being in the midst of it. But…I don't do camping- cabining is the closest I get. I do not like bugs or reptiles- don't touch them! So you're not alone. When it's cold, hot or wet, it's best to pull out a book to enjoy nature- I am right there with you.

  3. I love this! This is how I felt when I first found Charlotte Mason and nature study. I hated bugs, dirt and grime. I still do, but my boys don't, and nature study is my 5 year old's favorite subject…so I try to make the effort.

  4. Your brothers pictures are awesome! Man those needed framed and placed on the wall!! However I have to laugh out loud( i really did) about the rule nature stays outside… Simply because we have had way to many discussions about this same thing!! Nature is fine as long as I get to come inside to a pest free home!! LOL – Kayla

  5. Thanks! Sometimes we feel like the only homeschoolers who don't do amazing nature studies. We go outside but I much prefer to be indoors. And I don't want nature brought into any part of my house. No thanks!!

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