Faith Christian School Blog

Nuntius, or tidings, from Faith Christian School, covering local news, alumni profiles, celebrations, thoughtful anecdotes, and more.

Nature Studies: More Than Playing In The Dirt

If you've wondered about the Nature Studies program at Faith Christian School, and how it fits into our Christian, classical, integrated curriculum, read on! If getting hands (and feet) in the dirt is a family priority to your family and what you read entices you to learn more, contact Brynn Sowder at bsowder@fcsva.com.

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FCS Alumni Spotlight (8)

When I first taught as a Kindergarten teacher, I found myself consistently integrating nature studies with other parts of the already integrated classical curriculum. Creation lends its lessons easily to so many aspects of a classical Christian education! I became very passionate about connecting my students with God through His creation, eliciting the wonder that this incredible world naturally awakens. My own childhood is full of vivid memories of lessons learned outside—I wanted the same treasure for Faith Christian School students.

Later, Faith Christian School asked me to think about what a nature studies "special" might look like and how it would benefit all the lower school students. As I researched this, I began to share my findings with other schools and teachers, even presenting at the Society for Classical Learning 2019 National Conference. As I shared my research, many classical Christian schools told me they were also beginning to implement a similar program or had already done so, with great success. Faith Christian School implemented the program during the summer of 2020 with the following goals:

1) We want Faith Christian School students to learn and experience what God's creation reveals about its Creator, our place in Creation, and our responsibilities to care for it as commanded in Genesis.

2) We want to foster in Faith Christian School students the awe and wonder that naturally comes when discovering Creation and its awesome and wonderful Creator.

3) We want to utilize scientific methods and research to ask better questions, appreciate beautiful things and understand "how" ecosystems work together.

4) We want to achieve a deeper integration of the curriculum by integrating music and Creation (for example, through hymns), science, art, history, literature, mathematics, and writing (for example, through gathering and writing well-formed observations in their journals).

5) We want Faith Christian School students to receive all the physiological benefits of getting out in nature—from good germs to highly oxygenated air! (Not to mention that it also helps them think more clearly and sleep better!)

6) We want to foster in Faith Christian School students a desire to get out into nature, know what to do when they are out in it, and a desire to care for it.

As our Nature Studies program grows, we'd like to develop a Faith Christian School Field Guide showing the many creatures and plants found in our beautiful campus. We'd also like to further develop our stream area and make additional outdoor meeting spaces for other teachers to use more often. Lastly, we are at the beginning stages of a Night Out Under The Stars At Faith, showcasing student art and musical performances.

My hope is your children will treasure their nature walks and nature studies, inspiring them to do the same with their own children when they are grown.

- Brynn Sowder