I think that the most drastic seasonal change occurs from winter to spring: when nature, rested from its natural respite, awakens in all its glory to start the cycle of life once again.
To learn about the season's cycle, we started with a Four Seasons Book set (buy here), where each of the books describes the characteristics of one season. Spectacular images of children, plants, and animals in all seasons combine with simple text to demonstrate how seasonal changes affect all life on Earth.
“It is Winter. It is cold. The days are short.”
“It is Spring. It is getting warmer. The days are getting longer.”
“It is Summer. It is hot. School is out.”
“It is Fall. It is getting colder. The days are getting shorter.”
We then talked about the Earth being tilted on its axis, and how the seasons are caused by such a tilt as the Earth travels in a loop around the Sun each year. Summer happens in the hemisphere which is tilted towards the Sun, and winter happens in the hemisphere which tilted away from the Sun.
We also read Watching the Seasons book (buy here), which offers a perfect way to introduce the cycle of the year as a whole. The book, with its simple text and relevant vocabulary, familiarizes young readers with the basic environmental characteristics of each season in sequence.
This Earth (buy similar here) is part of the Solar System set, which was handmade to order from wool and organic cotton.
"The sun opens the buds and tiny leaves uncurl."
Adrian loves My First Discoveries series Trees book (buy here), which gracefully explains how nature's cycle works.
"In spring, chestnut trees blossom. The flowers grow into chestnuts."
Through these beautiful overlay pages, a child can see a little seed grow into a mighty tree. A tree flowers every year, bearing seeds, which will fall to the ground, to grow slowly into more trees.
Woods and Forest book (buy here) is another great book from the same series which will teach a young reader about nature, seasons, woods and forests. Deciduous trees grow leaves, which wither and fall off in the autumn. Evergreen trees have needles. See how forests change with the seasons …
In spring, the leaves appear and the branches grow. In summer, the woodland foliage is dense and green.
In autumn, the trees change color and lose their leaves.
The Woods and Forest book (buy here) tells a beautiful story about nature's cycle, and the gracious transformation the trees undergo: from bare elegant branches in a winter to emerald green shoots in a spring, to bright forest-green hats in the summer, to golden crimson red in the autumn.
To make nature, seasons, and weather observation more hands-on, we decided to get a perpetual Montessori calendar, where children can actively learn about the concept of time, by monitoring days, weeks, weather, seasons, and even the moon phases.
Perpetual Calendar & Weather Chart (buy here).
This artisan perpetual calendar is crafted by hand from solid hardwood maple. It is a great tool to bring attention to the purpose of the day and upcoming events and to teach children about weather conditions and cycles of the moon. I am loving the "Waldorf Colored Days" option, which follows the specific colors Waldorf homeschooling families assign for each day. And seasonal watercolor painted coins are so useful in allowing your child follow the season.
By understanding nature's seasonal cycle and through daily monitoring of the passage of time, I hope my children can feel closer to nature, appreciating its cycle and all the beauty each season brings.
To find out which "Botany 🌸 Books 📚 we are 📖 Reading" ~ see a post here.
For more Botany Lessons, read a post "Learning About 🍃 Leaves" here.