Like a soothing balm, Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola is just what the doctor ordered. What a joy to read! Brings to mind a time when the pace was slower, and more time was spent developing and enjoying relationships – and God’s creation.
Pocketful of Pinecones offers an engaging storyline which serves as a framework for the book’s broader appeal as a “how-to” for nature study. Hopefully, you’ll find our 10 helps for nature study full of ideas to get you started. But sometimes you just have to see something in action to understand how to implement it; and we have an opportunity to do that by observing the homeschool family in Pocketful of Pinecones.
Scientific names, ideas for nature study and nature notebooks are found throughout the book. Most of the chapters end with one or two questions to encourage the reader in a nature-study focus. A suggested reading list is also provided.
Will your homeschool look like the one depicted in the book? Probably not. But you will come away with inspiring ideas.
We also learn how, as homeschool mothers, we can educate ourselves.
Mothers and Teachers Should Know About Nature: The mother cannot devote herself too much to this kind of reading, not only that she may read tidbits to the children about matters they have come across, but that she may be able to answer their queries and direct their observations…. Any woman who is likely to spend an hour or two in the society of children, should make herself mistress of this sort of information; the children will adore her for knowing what they want to know, and who knows but she may give its bent for life to some young mind destined to do great things for the world.
Charlotte Mason, Home Education
You will find many such references to the works of Charlotte Mason; not only her views on nature study, but her views in other areas as well.
Karen Andreola leaves us with this final note of encouragement:
I believe Christian parents are contributing something different, something eternally better. Today in our country it is no small task to raise up godly offspring for His pleasure and to be good citizens. It is a task that starts with dedication. All the many little things you do for your family are not trite. They will count as a very big thing in the long run. Your giving, your leading, and your teaching are the hope for America. Christian parents dedicated to family are the hidden heroes of today’s society. And in the midst of our exertion, let us not grow weary or be anxious. Rather, let us consider the lilies and how they grow.
Karen Andreola, Pocketful of Pinecones