I've been rolling the idea of a nature journal around for a while. My 2nd grader loves to draw and write, and I was inspired by a fellow-blogger to direct that natural borne spark into a learning experience for her. The only reason I was hesitant was because of the weather--rain and cold make it dreary and difficult to want to go outside and sketch; and the fact that if you give this child an entire notebook of blank paper, she will have it filled up with doodles and half sentences in less than a day.
With the weather warming up, and a few gentle reminders that this is a NATURE notebook and she can only use one or two pages a day--seriously, she needs a boundary--she was off to a great start. Every day so far she's been outside-something else she needs to do more (she's a bookworm like her mamma)-looking for birds, bugs, squirrels or whatever else she can find to sketch and then write a sentence or two about it later.
I am really hoping to help her along in her sentence writing. We've been working on the Capitalization rules and writing complete sentences for a few weeks in her grammar book. It's been amazing to watch her come up with little stories or descriptions. Every so often she'll rattle of something and ask me, "Is this a complete sentence, mom?" And guess what?? Most of the time it is! I guess what they say is true, if you give a girl a notebook, she'll fill it up with complete sentences and lovely art!