The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children. All day she is crying out, 'Do this!' and the do it not; 'Do that!' and they do the other... training in Habits becomes a Habit and [the mother who] acquires the habit of training her children in a given habit, so that by-and-by it becomes, not only no trouble, but a pleasure to her. - Charlotte Mason
Perhaps you'll recall that last year I gave myself a series of challenges to learn or do something new each month, pacing myself because I tend to burden myself by filling my plate too full. Coincidentally, my challenge for the month of May was to form a habit.
The habit of nature journaling.
I recognize that by simply walking out with my nature journal in hand, excited by what I will sketch, will most likely induce a desire within my children to follow suit.
May was such a terribly soggy set of days that it was incredibly difficult to form any new habit that required going out of doors. I was only able to make it out there a couple of times. However, I persevered and in June I did much better. While I didn't go out daily, I did at least discuss the option with my children each day and by the end of the month was pleasantly surprised to find the tables turned and they were asking me to go outside, journals in hand!! It's a happy pursuit and I love how excited they become even if they came along grudgingly at first. I found on several occasions that one that didn't want to come at first joined us when they saw what fun we were having.
That's not to say that my plan didn't go off without a hitch. I do have one sketcher who cares little for it and will select the tiniest object s(he) can find to draw and re-shelf the tablet on a technicality. "What? I did sketch! I drew an ant."
I decided that my nature journal will double as a gardening diary. Or rather that my gardening diary will contain many nature sketches effectively killing two birds and providing me with even more motivation to spend a bit of time each afternoon pencil in hand. But for this month, my journaling has been about journaling. Who decided to come, who didn't. Which marks or fingerprints on the paper were the babies'.
Here's a sampling of evidence.
Do you nature journal? Was it an easy habit for you to come by?