28 May 2015

Making lists

Charlotte Mason lists can be about anything you see in nature. Whilst visiting the Armitt last year, I saw lists of rocks, fungi and insects as well as the ubiquitous birds and flower lists that were kept by all students.

During our current Indonesian holiday, I've been keeping a list of the wonderful tropic fruit we've seen and tasted. Oh my, it's been a yummy research project. The P.N.E.U. student lists always included the English and Latin names of the species, but for my list, I've chosen instead to include the English and Bahasa Indonesia names. I can always add the Latin names when I'm back home if I'm keen.

Keeping lists is a bit addictive. Miss Mason does nothing by chance, and I suspect that this is one reason why she advocated such pastimes. Keeping lists makes you more observant. Can I add another fruit to my list today? Another bird? Another wildflower? Can I identify what I see? Can I buy a field guide...or find a clever person to help?

Somebody on Facebook recently said that a timeline kept badly is better than a great one never kept at all. I love that sentiment, and I think it applies to so many of Charlotte's methods. If we always wait to do things perfectly, if we are always searching for the perfect notebook, or putting something off until our child is the right age or can draw better or has neater handwriting, we run the risk of never starting, and missing the benefits completely.

Keeping lists is terrific fun. I encourage to to pick a subject and start your list today. Come back and tell me if you do.




  1. I totally agree! And it's interesting how some personalities really gravitate toward lists--I think they can be a great mode of getting into nature journaling for a less artistic kid/adult. My son loves lists of all sorts and his nature journal is full of them, and I find that I tend that way as well. :)

    Looks like you're having a lovely (and yummy!) holiday.

  2. This reminds me of a picture book that we read about Roget, _The Right Word_. When he was young he kept long lists which eventually evolved into Roget's Thesaurus.


  3. I found you through the forum. I'm new to AO and love reading your posts. It's so helpful, evouraging, and fun to read what others are doing.

  4. Yes, if it doesn't get recorded in some way, it will most likely be lost or forgotten. And it is encouraging to see yourself grow in understanding of any topic or interest.


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