Pocketful of Pinecones (aff) had been on my ‘to-read’ list for quite some time. I purchased it months ago and finally had the chance to read it. I often describe our schooling style as ‘Charlotte Mason-Eclectic’ and I love nature study. Even with my love of nature study we don’t do it as often as I’d like so simple easy ideas are always welcome.
Since my reading time has been more limited over the last few years I’ve tended toward nonfiction titles that I felt were beneficial to my growth, but I’ve missed the fun fictional books. This book was the best of both worlds. It is a book with ideas and thoughts about nature study woven into a fictional story.
The story is set in New England in the mid 1930s. It shares the story of Carol and her children as they embark on their first year of homeschooling. The book is divided into seasons and each chapter is a diary entry from the mom sharing what they did that day. The chapters are short and easy to read, making it a great choice for a busy mom that may not have long stretches of time to read.
She shares ideas of how they found various things to study in their nature study, working on their nature journals, books for learning more, and great quotes and copy work. At the end of each chapter there is at least one question to help you follow up and apply that chapter to your own nature study with your children.
While I really loved this book, I do feel like I should mention that it was a little unrealistic in a happy ‘hallmark movie’ kind of way. While they had a few difficult situations, everything always wrapped up very nicely and more simply than what I tend to experience in real life.
If you are new to nature study this is a great book for giving you ideas to get started and understand more about what nature study might look like in your home. If like me, you have been doing nature study for awhile this book can help give you fresh ideas and reignite that excitement about sharing nature with your students.
The author, Karen Androla has another book about this family, Lessons at Blackberry Inn (aff) which I’m hoping to purchase and read soon. She also has a non-fiction text, A Charlotte Mason Companion (aff), which I have found to be very useful in understanding the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy.
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