In the book, Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock she says so precisely,
"Nature study should be so much a part of the child's thought and interest that it will naturally form a thought core for other subjects quite unconsciously on his part."
She goes on to say,
"A boy once said to me, 'I'd rather never go on a field excursion than to have to write up for English,' a sentiment I sympathized with keenly; (as do I) ulterior motive is sickening to the honest spirit. But if that same boy had been a member of a field class and had enjoyed all the new experiences and had witnessed the interesting things discovered on this excursion, and if later his teacher had asked him to write for her an account of some part of it, because she wished to know what he had discovered, the chances are that he would have written his story joyfully and with certain pride that would have counted much for achievement in word expression.'"
So often our learners need to know the WHY behind it all. They see the whole picture and need to imagine and fill in the blanks for themselves.
Something I have recently adopted into our home learning is a Nature Walk. Now, with five kids, this doesn't always work out as planned. We were supposed to take the whole morning once and my youngest, who is two, decided he was crankier than normal and needed an extra, very long, morning nap, which threw those plans out the window. By the time we actually left, it was getting dark out and cold. Not the best environment to go nature seeing. But, nonetheless, we had a great time!
So much creativity came out of this day for us all. We did see some Canadian Geese, Mallard ducks, and a Crane which swooped through the blue tinted fog and into a thick treed area. It was beautiful!
There were no turtles or otters and this is what we were hoping to see, but all in all, it fosters a love of learning, discovering and a raw awe of God's Creation. Not to mention how much more writing seems to come easily when asked for something that interests them from a new discovery.
Even if it is only a few sentences. That is better than nothing, plus the more they do it in a multi-sensory way, the better it is neurologically for those connections to be made. I encourage you to bring a note book there so when they see it, they can write right away, if it's not too cold like it was for us. Or a drawing book so they can remember what they learned and then write about their own drawings!
Learn, Write, Discover the Nature Way