We’ve just begun another semester of our home school study group. Again I have some very kind families who are joining me. We hope to share some ideas, concerns, and joys of natural learning as we go. Our first day is always interesting because, for most of us, it’s our first try at “observation.” I ask each parent to keep a notebook with them and jot down little things they notice about each child. It can be challenging when trying to watch one climb a tree and run one to the restroom, but thanks to each of our parents today for their willingness to participate.
When observing our children, we sometimes think that we have to be looking for something in particular – but no – this is not true. We are simply writing down what they are choosing to do. There isn’t a right way to do it. We just write what we see. Please take time to read my page on observation for more help.
If I had been writing my own observations today it would have gone something like this:
He noticed a great big Wolf spider – I wonder how he knows it was a wolf spider. Have we ever talked about wolf spiders before?
She can be very engaged when she is building things with her hands. She is very aware of sounds.
He enjoyed watching the turtle that we spied in the water. The ducks kept his attention for a few minutes, but the turtle was a big hit!
He took time to notice the little things and walked slowly through the wetlands taking note of everything from location to spider webs, to birds, to sounds.
She loves to interact with other children.
Pine trees are easy to climb and he can get to the top very quickly because the branches are so close together. He went a little higher each time.
He is good at sharing.
He is a little unsure of what to do with his freedom.
He/she loves to tell mom and dad what new things they are discovering.
She doesn’t like to say good-bye.
She spent a considerable amount of time watching the beautiful dogs as they played.
He picked up a rock to share. Did he do it because he thought I wanted him to or because he was really interested in it?
He chose to stay by himself most of the time.
The process of observation will take us to beautiful places as we look for new things to explore. As we continue to observe and make notes, we will start to see patterns and lots of fun things about our kids that perhaps we hadn’t taken time to notice before. It takes lots of different experiences, as well as time. Don’t feel rushed but enjoy many weeks of beautiful moments watching and wondering and recording. We hope you’ll follow along with us as we do the same!