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Bats Homeschool Nature Study: Mammals

Bats are fascinating and wonderful creatures. They are important for pollination of plants, they eat mosquitoes and other pests and are beneficial in many more ways. Enjoy this bats homeschool nature study on mammals that fly and have echolocation!

Bats are fascinating and wonderful creatures. Enjoy this bats homeschool nature study on mammals that fly and have echolocation!

You will enjoy a bat study if you are interested in learning about different kinds of flying creatures.

“Although the bat’s wings are very different from those of the bird, yet it is a rapid and agile flier. It flies in the dusk and catches great numbers of mosquitoes and other troublesome insects, upon which it feeds.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 243

If you ever get a chance to watch a bat fly, you will be amazed at their flying ability.

Getting Started In Homeschool Nature Study

If you do not already own the Getting Started in Homeschool Nature Study ebook, be sure to download it for free. Next, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #2.

Try to take your fifteen minute nature walk at sunset or just when it turns dark. You can walk or sit quietly in a familiar place, using your senses to really get to know this time of day. After you go inside, make sure to help your child record a few words in their nature journal or use the notebook page that is provided in the ebook.

For further bat study, here is a general video about bats. Please preview the video because parts of it may make your children a little squeamish. There is also a reference to evolution.

Bats Homeschool Nature Study: Books To Read

1. Read pages 241-245 in the Handbook of Nature Study. Although the lesson for bats states that it should not be given unless you can directly observe bats in person, I think this interesting creature deserves his own Outdoor Hour Challenge. Make sure to watch the video about bats and then proceed with the lesson suggestions. If you need additional information, use the resources at the end of this challenge.

 

2. Supplemental reading in The Burgess Animal Book for Children: Read Story 21. Use the illustration on page 128 to prompt a narration after reading the story about the Little Brown Bat.

Bats Study: Mammal Outdoor Hour Challenge


This week during your 10-15 minutes of outdoor time, look for any mammals in your neighborhood or in a near-by park. Many of us will not find any mammals to observe or signs of mammals like scat or tracks. This should not discourage us from taking the time to be outdoors with our children. More ideas in the Ultimate List of Mammals Study with the Outdoor Hour Challenges and Animal Tracks Nature Hunt.

Bats are fascinating and wonderful creatures. Enjoy this bats homeschool nature study on mammals that fly and have echolocation!

Simple Tips for Your Homeschool Nature Study

Try some of the techniques that we have worked on in the past.

  • Stand or sit quietly and see what you can hear.
  • Take a magnifying lens and look at an object up close.
  • Make a small square with yarn and see what you can find in to look at within that small square.
  • Look at the sky and observe the clouds.

Use the methods that have worked in the past and see what you can come up with this week to share with your children.

Bats are fascinating and wonderful creatures. Enjoy this bats homeschool nature study on mammals that fly and have echolocation!

4. After your walk, discuss any interesting things that you observed. Help your child to find words for their experience. Record their words on paper and have them sketch a simple drawing for their nature journal. Use some of the ideas that worked in the past like a rubbing of a leaf or feather. Take photos for your nature journals.

Research and record what you learned about the bat this week from reading in the Handbook of Nature Study. One idea would be to sketch and record how a bat’s wings are different from a bird’s wings. You could discuss why a bat is considered a mammal and how it differs from other mammals that we have studied. Keep it simple but make some connections this week.

benefits of homeschool nature study membership

Homeschool Nature Study Members Enjoy More Studies

Members will find these resources in your Autumn course in Homeschool Nature Study membership:

  • Bats and The Sense of Hearing Outdoor Hour Challenge
  • Lessons Around Nature at Sundown
  • Bat coloring page
  • Advanced bat studies and more activities

Members also enjoy access to:

  • NEW, weekly Outdoor Hour Challenges to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool!
  • the annual nature study plans
  • matching courses with materials and journaling pages
  • interactive calendar with daily nature study prompts
  • Nature Journaling course
  • and MUCH more!

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

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Homeschool Nature Study: Free Notebook Page For The Last Days of Summer

Enjoy a last days of summer homeschool nature study free notebook page. Let’s soak up these last sunny and glorious days, have fun and make memories together as a family.

Backyard Garden Retreat
I am still working in the garden…picking beans and watering.

Many of you have gone back to school already but we need to remember that it is still officially summer until September 23. There is still time to get outside and do a few more summer activities, making some family memories.

I made up a notebook page for you to download to remember to have some fun while the summer weather is still around.

Summer Lake Fun
The boys have convinced us to go to the lake a few more times to wakeboard.

I am not ready to give up on summer yet! My boys are ready to hit the lake a few more times and we are going camping and hiking too.

Last Days of Summer Homeschool Nature Study Free Notebook Page

Homeschool Nature Study members already have this page in your Summer Outdoor Hour Curriculum course. Not yet a member? You can download the notebook page, below and sample the Outdoor Hour Challenges:

Get Your Last Days of Summer Notebook Page!

Subscribe to get your free Last Days of Summer Notebook page.

    We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Have fun!

    More Family-Style Summer Homeschool Nature Study

    You might also like these fun ways to enjoy summer homeschool nature study:

    As we also look forward to autumn nature study and all the joys of nature study for your homeschool year.

    For even more homeschool nature study ideas for all seasons, join us in Homeschool Nature Study membership! You’ll receive new ideas each and every week that require little or no prep – all bringing the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool!

    Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

    First shared by Barb August 2011 and updated by Tricia August 2022

    Tricia and her family fell in love with the Handbook of Nature Study and the accompanying Outdoor Hour Challenges early in their homeschooling. The simplicity and ease of the weekly outdoor hour challenges brought joy to their homeschool and opened their eyes to the world right out their own back door! She shares the art and heart of homeschooling at You ARE an ARTiST and Your Best Homeschool plus her favorite curricula at The Curriculum Choice.

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    Creating a Nature Journal Supply Kit for Your Homeschool

    Here are some tips for creating a nature journal supply kit for your homeschool. It is simple, inexpensive and is easy to do!

    Creating a nature journal with your children is an experience you all can enjoy. I always told my children (and myself) that there’s really no right or wrong way to create a page, except if you never gave it a try. Over the years, I had to create a routine for nature journaling or we would procrastinate or forget it altogether.

    One way to give us a better chance of creating a nature journal was to take our journal and our supplies along on our nature walk so we could create a page right at the moment. But, this meant I needed to be a little prepared before we left the house.

    So, we created a nature journal supply kit.

    Nature Journal supplies basic. Here are some tips for creating a nature journal supply kit for your homeschool. It is simple, inexpensive and is easy to do!

    Creating a Nature Journal Supply Kit for Your Homeschool

    What did we take along with us?

    When the children were younger they exclusively used spiral bound journals because they were easier to take along with us when we did our sketching. We used No. 2 pencils and colored pencils pretty much for all the entries.

    Nature Journal supplies pouch with pens pencils

    For variety and as they grew older, we started to use colored pencils and thin markers to create our nature entries. Watercolors often gave a wonderful result but they required a bit more effort because you needed to bring along a water source, the brushes, and a paper towel or cloth in addition to the journal.

    Nature Journal Kit in ziploc

    I found that keeping our supplies all together in one spot and storing them in an easy to find place, made it more likely that we would actually complete a page while we were taking our Outdoor Hour.

    I suggest you find a container like a plastic crate, a tote bag, or a backpack to use as a storage container for your journal supplies. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Don’t use anything too large or too heavy or you won’t want to lug it around on your nature walks.

    Nature Journal supplies watercolors

    I have a plastic container that I purchased at the Dollar Tree store many years ago that has held up nicely, but I’m sure you have something sitting around your house that you could start off using for now.

    Gather your supplies and remember to keep it simple. A few No. 2 pencils with erasers, a small set of colored pencils, a small set of watercolors and a brush, some tape, a pair of scissors, a water container, and a pencil sharpener can form the foundation of your supply kit.

    Over time, your family will find favorite supplies to have when journaling on the road. The most important part of journaling is to have experiences to document on the journal pages. Start there. Create the opportunity for a good nature study and then follow up with a little time to work in your nature journal.

    “It was time for new nature notebooks for sure. We purchased these smaller versions of our old notebooks at a Michael’s, and I think they’ll be just perfect. We’ve tried them out, and we are finding the smaller size to be super convenient. I love all the fun colors!” – Amy Law

    The habit of nature journaling is something that will benefit your child long after they have grown up. It teaches important observation and documenting skills that will benefit other areas of study and real life.

    Handbook of Nature Study: an Outdoor Hour Homeschool Curriculum - Nature Journaling

    More Nature Journal Encouragement For The Entire Family

    Here are some more ideas and encouragement on nature journaling for you and your children:

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    Outdoor Hour Challenge: Cicada Homeschool Nature Study

    This cicada homeschool nature study will be a lesson in learning to listen and distinguish the sound of the cicada. In the past we’ve listened in the evenings for other insects like the cricket. Now we’re going to learn about the cicada by listening and observing like investigators during the daylight.

    Outdoor Hour Challenge Cicada Homeschool Nature Study

    Cicada Homeschool Nature Study

    Use this link to learn a little about the cicada: Very informative website with photos, sounds, and descriptions of North American cicadas. Note that some appear periodically, every 13 or 17 years: Cicada Mania.

    See the Creepy things Homeschool Nature Study curriculum for more cicada nature study ideas, videos, and printables!

    An alternative nature study would be the cricket or the grasshopper.

    You may be interested in reading this about cicadas:

    “But the most distinctive peculiarity, which has no parallel in any of the other groups, appears in the organs of sound (of the males). These consist of two large parchment sacs, ribbed and gathered into numerous plaits, furnished with powerful muscles, and situated in large cavities at the base of the abdomen. When in action, the air is driven in great force against the ribbed surfaces, and vibrations are set up which produce the sound in accordance with the number and form of the fluted spaces and ribs.”

    An Introduction to Entomology

    By John H. Comstock and Anna Botsford Comstock.

    Please note that I will not be posting the complete challenge here on the blog. You’ll find the detailed challenge in the Creepy Things Curriculum that’s available at the annual level of Homeschool Nature Study. Sign into your account and download the curriculum for the details, more links, and notebook pages.

    This cicada homeschool nature study will be a lesson in learning to listen and distinguish the sound of the cicada. In the past we’ve listened in the evenings for other insects like the cricket. Now we’re going to learn about the cicada by listening and observing like investigators during the daylight.

    If you don’t have a membership yet, join today for immediate access to the courses, matching downloadable curriculum and so much more!

    Topics in this Creepy Things Course and Homeschool Nature Study curriculum include:

    • Banana slug
    • Tarantula
    • Black widow
    • Scorpion
    • Leech
    • Muskrat
    • Sphinx moth
    • Cicada
    • Millipede
    • Poison oak

    More Cicada Resources for You!

    Our sister website, You ARE an ARTiST, has a cicada art lesson with Nana.

    Homeschool Nature Study Membership
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    Homeschool Nature Study Resource: Keeping a Nature Journal – Review

    Keeping a Nature Journal is a great homeschool nature study resource and contains a wealth of ideas that you can pick and choose to use as inspiration. This book is a tool like so many other tools we use in our family’s nature study.

    This book is a great homeschool nature study resource and contains a wealth of ideas that you can pick and choose to use as inspiration. Keeping a Nature Journal, is a tool like so many other tools we use in our family's nature study.
    Photos by Amy Law

    This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

    Homeschool Nature Study Resource

    This is a book that many of us own and is sitting on our shelf. It may also be a book that you have looked at online, have seen others using, or actually paged through at a bookstore. It is a familiar book that I have a love/hate relationship because of the perceived expectation that it creates for journalers.

    Many of us struggle with perfection. We think that a nature journal should be a place of beauty and value…which I agree with wholeheartedly. But, it also can be a place that we experiment and mess up from time to time. A smear here or a misspelled word or funky drawing we don’t like can also appear on a nature journal page. Those “mess ups” shouldn’t keep us from striving to create pages on a regular basis.

    Don’t let the great page examples overwhelm or discourage but allow them to create a reservoir of ideas to use over the years as you fill your journal.

    A review of Keeping a Nature Journal Homeschool Nature Study Resource

    Quick Thoughts About the Book

    Note: page numbers are from the first edition

    • This is a book for all ages to use as they learn to keep a nature journal.
    • You will find ideas for using a nature journal in all curriculum areas on page 165 (A Curriculum Web for Nature Journaling).
    • The “Getting Started with Drawing” section (pages 139-153) would be a wonderful basis for an art course using nature as your subject.
    • I found the section titled, “Subjects to Observe, Draw, Record throughout the Seasons“, to be a wonderful inspiration and I intend to refer to it for my own use. Each season is listed in the chart along with ideas for drawing birds, animals, plants and trees, weather and sky, and seasonal celebrations.
    • ***I see the second edition of this book has an expanded section showing more of Claire’s actual journal pages.

    Keeping a Nature Journal by Claire Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth gives this long term nature journal mom some fresh ideas that I can’t wait to use in the upcoming summer season.

    Find this great resource HERE.

    More Homeschool Reviews

    Are you making your nature journal your sidekick this summer?

    Previous Month’s Books and Reviews and More Nature Journaling Homeschool Resources

    Nature Study in Your Own Backyard and Nature Journaling with Outdoor Hour Challenges

    To get each Friday’s homeschool nature study Outdoor Hour Challenge and for access to a continuing series of new nature studies, join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. With homeschool nature study membership, you will have everything you need to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

    Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

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    Using the Public Library to Enhance Your Nature Study

    You don’t need to spend lots of money building a library of nature literature. Using the public library as a source of books is easy and fun.

    Nature themed literature is a wonderful way to generate an interest in the natural world.  They can also be used to enhance an area of study by sharing information along with illustrations in a simple and non-threatening way.

    Children can usually sit still for a few minutes while you share a picture book and many times they will later pick up the book again all on their own and really study it.

    Using the Public Library to Enhance Your Nature Study

    You don’t need to spend lots of money building a library of nature literature (unless you want to). Using the public library as a source of books is easy and fun. How do you get started?

    • Pick an area of interest—trees,  forest animals, butterflies, etc. Really the sky is the limit.
    • Use your library’s computer search, enter in the topic and then find the books on the shelves.
    • Generally, children’s literature and children’s nature-themed non-fiction books are the best for all ages. Information will be on a level that will be appropriate for children to understand (and moms too).
    • Field guides will probably be in the adult non-fiction section and you can ask your librarian to point you to the shelf or you can use the library’s computer search to find the call number for your selection.
    • If you find an author or series you like, look for more books by that author or in that series.

    Weekly stops at the library will allow you to find information on any topic that comes up during your Outdoor Hour Challenge time. Questions can be recorded in the child’s nature journal and then answered during the next trip to the library.

    It is always exciting to find the answers to questions and satisfy a child’s curiosity.

    Out of School and Into Nature is a wonderful book for your library nature study.

    You can put a limit on the number of books your child can borrow on one topic. It is always disappointing to go to the library and find that someone has cleared the shelf of all the books on one topic. Take just enough to read in a week and then if you still have interest, check out another book on the same topic.

    How to Read a Nature Literature Book

    • Get comfortable with your child at your side or one on each side, making sure they can see the pages.
    • Start with the cover of the book and ask them what they see and what they think the book is all about.
    • Read the title and then the first few pages, slowly reading the words and allowing time for gazing at the pictures.
    • Every few pages pause for your child to tell you something about what you just read (narration). See if they have any questions.
    • If it is a short book, finish the book and have your child give their thoughts about the book. Did they have a favorite page or picture? Have them share something they learned about the topic from reading the book.
    • Use the book’s illustrations as the basis for an art lesson, copying a picture with colored pencils or markers onto paper.
    • Leave the book out for the child to look at again and hopefully enjoy a second time. (Make sure if you have little ones around that they can’t get to the book and mar it in some way.)
    • Keep your nature books together, perhaps organizing them by topic or by season.
    Fun with the art of Eric Carle! Tricia and her family checked out several Eric Carle books for their library nature study after their visit to the art museum.

    Nature Authors to Look Up at Your Library

    Please some are Amazon affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

    Lois Ehlert                                                           Eve Bunting

    Joyce Sidman                                                     Eric Carle

    Diane Siebert                                                     Diana Hutts Aston

    Jim Arnosky                                                        Jean Craighead George

    I have some books that are personal favorites that I will include here in this post. You can look for them at your local library.

    North American Wildlife: I am highly recommending this book to all Outdoor Hour Challenge families who live in North America. This is a perfect complement to the Handbook of Nature Study and will give your family a valuable tool in digging deeper into the wonders of nature in our own part of the world.

    Keeping a Nature Journal at The Curriculum Choice: This book can be used right alongside the Handbook of Nature Study. It will give you step by step help in creating nature journal pages that are simple but meaningful to your child. (Shirley’s review here).

    Take Along Guides for Homeschool at The Curriculum Choice: When I found my first “Take-Along Guide” at a used book store, I was interested so I purchased it.  But it was later when I began really reading it that I became really interested.

    You don’t need to spend lots of money building a library of nature literature. Using the public library as a source of books is easy and fun.

    Charlotte Mason Picture Book Biography: This lovely Charlotte Mason picture book biography tells the story of Miss Mason, painting a picture of the time she lived, her knowledge of how children learn and her passion for children to love learning. At our sister site, The Curriculum Choice.

    This is a life-long project and you can share that concept with your children, building the notion that nature study is a way of life long after homeschooling is over.

    Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Learning for the Whole Family

    Members will find a Nature Book Report you can complete if you would like to keep a record of your library nature study learning.

    To get each Friday’s homeschool nature study Outdoor Hour Challenge and for access to a continuing series of new nature studies, join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. You will have everything you need to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

    With membership, you will have access to Outdoor Hour Challenges curriculum and resources to enrich your homeschool.

    Be inspired! Be encouraged! Get outdoors!

    November 2013 Newsletter

    You don’t need to spend lots of money building a library of nature literature. Using the public library as a source of books is easy and fun.
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    Is Nature Study Old-Fashioned for Your Homeschool?

    Why are we spending time in nature study? Is nature study old-fashioned for your homeschool? Do we really need to expose our children to this type of learning in our modern age, where everything is at our fingertips as far as finding answers to anything we want to know in books or on the internet?

    Is nature study old-fashioned for your homeschool? Discover how outdoor time and nature study are as fundamental to good learning as you can find.

    Is Nature Study Old-Fashioned for Your Homeschool?

    I think outdoor time and nature study are as fundamental to good learning as you can find. Charlotte Mason agrees.

    “And this is exactly what a child should be doing for the first few years. He should be getting familiar with the real things in his own environment. Some day he will read about things he can’t see; how will he conceive of them without the knowledge of common objects in his experience to relate them to? Some day he will reflect contemplate, reason. What will he have to think about without a file of knowledge collected and stored in his memory?”
    Charlotte Mason, volume 1 page 66

    Is nature study old-fashioned for your homeschool? Discover how outdoor time and nature study are as fundamental to good learning as you can find.

    The Benefits of Nature Study in Your Homeschool

    Is nature study old-fashioned? Nature study is foundational and fundamental to learning. Here you will find more encouragement to include nature study in your homeschool days.

    Homeschool Nature Study in Your Own Yard: Learn What is Closest – In your own backyard, your children will learn to observe, to write about their experiences, to draw their treasures, to be patient, to imagine, and to explore. You don’t need a special textbook or kit to get started.

    5 Getting Started Tips for Nature Study – Nature study should be something that doesn’t seem like work. Allow the child to soak in the nature study opportunities that come your way. 

    Creating a Nature Study Atmosphere: Start with Your Attitude – Creating a homeschool nature study atmosphere does not need to be difficult, dirty, or uncomfortable. In fact, the best nature study is done without much effort and is guided by your child’s interest in topics that come along.

    Is nature study old-fashioned for your homeschool? Discover how outdoor time and nature study are as fundamental to good learning as you can find.

    More Favorite Tips for Encouragement

    Let us help you get started! You will find our FREE Getting Started Outdoor Hour Challenges Guide HERE.

    You can use the ideas in those challenges to get started with a simple nature study time with your children. You can use each challenge as many times as you want.

    Outdoor Hour Challenges for Your Homeschool

    To get each Friday’s homeschool nature study Outdoor Hour Challenge and for access to a continuing series of new nature studies, join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. You will have everything you need to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

    With membership, you will have access to Outdoor Hour Challenges curriculum and resources to enrich your homeschool.

    Be inspired! Be encouraged! Get outdoors!

    by Barb, July 2008

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    Homeschool Nature Study in Your Own Backyard: Learn What is Closest to Home

    There is such freedom in homeschool nature study in your own backyard and in learning what is closest to home! In your own backyard, your children will learn to observe, to write about their experiences, to draw their treasures, to be patient, to imagine, and to explore. You don’t need a special textbook or kit to get started.

    There is such freedom in homeschool nature study in your own backyard and in learning what is closest to home! In your own backyard, your children will learn to observe, to write about their experiences, to draw their treasures, to be patient, to imagine, and to explore. You don't need a special textbook or kit to get started.

    In the book Last Child in the Woods, the author makes the point several times that today’s science textbooks and programs are missing the mark. Many, many young students know more about the tropical rainforests and volcanoes of the world than they know about their own backyards.

    Homeschool Nature Study in Your Own Backyard: Learn What is Closest to Home

    Is there a better way to introduce our children to the world of science? Yes, but it may mean we have to get dirty. We will need to spend time outdoors *with* our children and look at things through their eyes. It may mean that teaching science doesn’t follow a straight path or a certain scope and sequence. It changes science or nature study in your own backyard into more of a way of life rather than a school subject to be checked off your “to do” list each week.

    There is such freedom in homeschool nature study in your own backyard and in learning what is closest to home! In your own backyard, your children will learn to observe, to write about their experiences, to draw their treasures, to be patient, to imagine, and to explore. You don't need a special textbook or kit to get started.

    Encouragement From Last Child in the Woods

    Here’s a selection of quotes from one of my favorite sections in Last Child in the Woods:

    “Any natural place contains an infinite reservoir of information, and therefore the potential for inexhaustible new discoveries.”

    “For some young people, nature is so abstract-the ozone layer, a faraway rain forest-that it exists beyond the senses.”

    And the best of all from this section:
    “For a whole generation of kids, direct experiences in the backyard, in the tool shed, in the fields and woods, has been replaced by indirect learning, through machines. These young people are smart, they grew up with computers, they were supposed to be superior-but now we know that something’s missing.”

    Encouragement from Charlotte Mason


    If you have read any of Charlotte Mason’s writings, she tells us what is missing from most of our young people’s educations. Charlotte Mason advocated the sort of science learning that Richard Louv encourages in this book….an education where children are exposed to and encouraged to be out in nature.

    With her emphasis in the early years on nature study, Charlotte Mason is showing us how to make science meaningful to our children. It will not be some abstract idea or have a political agenda. Science really is as simple as the plan put before us by Charlotte Mason. We are the ones that make it complicated.

    Benefits of Nature Study in Your Own Backyard


    A nature walk can stimulate our children’s senses and their inborn desire to ask questions. One bird, one tree, one wildflower or garden flower at a time, our children will learn about their own world and neighborhood. Whether your “outdoors” is a park, a few square feet of dirt, or an acre of forest, every child has the opportunity to be exposed to some kind of natural environment.

    If you live in a high-rise apartment or the weather is too bitter or too hot to be outside, bring nature to you in the form of a potted plant, a fish tank, or a collection of natural objects brought in from your time spent outdoors. (Check out my daughter’s table-top garden post on her blog at HeartsandTrees.)

    There is such freedom in homeschool nature study in your own backyard and in learning what is closest to home! In your own backyard, your children will learn to observe, to write about their experiences, to draw their treasures, to be patient, to imagine, and to explore. You don't need a special textbook or kit to get started.

     
    Anna Botsford Comstock in her book Handbook of Nature Study puts her thoughts this way:

    “Nature study is for the comprehension of the individual life of the bird, insect, or plant that is nearest at hand.”

    My eyes are wide open at all times to find ways to bring nature closer to our family. As Christians we want to appreciate the world that God made for us to live in. We want to be able to understand Him better by learning about all that He created.

    You don't need a special textbook or kit to get started. With nature study in your own backyard, your children will learn to observe, to write about their experiences, to draw their treasures, to be patient, to imagine, and to explore.

    Nature Study in Your Own Backyard with Outdoor Hour Challenges

    To get each Friday’s homeschool nature study Outdoor Hour Challenge and for access to a continuing series of new nature studies, join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. With homeschool nature study membership, you will have everything you need to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

    Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

    By Barb, June 2008

    Posted on 2 Comments

    5 Getting Started Tips for Nature Study in Your Homeschool

    Here are 5 getting started tips for nature study in your homeschool. What a delight nature study learning is and what joys you will discover outside your back door. We will help you with simple encouragement along the way.

    Here are 5 getting started tips for nature study in your homeschool. What a delight nature study learning is and what joys you will discover outside your back door. We will help you with simple encouragement along the way.
    Photos by Amy Law

    Tips From The Handbook of Nature Study

    You will find some of the very best tips for nature study from Handbook of Nature Study author, Anna Comstock.

    “Nature study is, despite all discussions and perversions, a study of nature; it consists of simple, truthful observations that may, like beads on a string, finally be threaded upon the understanding and thus held together as a logical and harmonious whole.”

    Handbook of Nature Study, page 1

    Nature study is a long term project, building from year to year. Take it one subject or topic at a time and see the results.

    “During autumn the attention of the children should be attracted to the leaves by their gorgeous colors. It is well to use this interest to cultivate their knowledge of the forms of leaves of trees; but the teaching of the tree species to the young child should be done quite incidentally and guardedly. If the teacher says to the child bringing a leaf, “This is a white-oak leaf,” the child will soon quite unconsciously learn that leaf by name. Thus, tree study may be begun in the kindergarten or the primary grades.”

    Handbook of Nature Study, page 622
    What a delight learning is and what joys you will discover outside your back door. We will help you with simple encouragement along the way.

    Begin slowly and naturally to share a love of things in nature with your children.

    “It is a mistake to think that a half day is necessary for a field lesson, since a very efficient field trip may be made during the ten or fifteen minutes at recess, if it is well planned.”

    Handbook of Nature Study, page 15

    You don’t need to devote large blocks of time to nature study to be successful.

    “When the child is interested in studying any object, he enjoys illustrating his observations with drawings; the happy absorption of children thus engaged is a delight to witness.”

    Handbook of Nature Study, page 17
    Nature journals are a natural extension of the learning that happens. 

    Nature journals are a natural extension of the learning that happens during nature study. 

    “If nature study is made a drill, its pedagogic value is lost. When it is properly taught, the child is unconscious of mental effort or that he is suffering the act of teaching. As soon as nature study becomes a task, it should be dropped; but how could it ever be a task to see that the sky is blue, or the dandelion golden, or to listen to the oriole in the elm!”

    Handbook of Nature Study page 6
    Nature study should be something that doesn't seem like work. Allow the child to soak in the nature study opportunities that come your way. 

    Nature study should be something that doesn’t seem like work. Allow the child to soak in the nature study opportunities that come your way. 

    More Favorite Tips for Encouragement

    You will find our FREE Getting Started Outdoor Hour Challenges Guide HERE.

    You can use the ideas in those challenges to get started with a simple nature study time with your children. You can use each challenge as many times as you want. Make sure to subscribe to this blog for more tips for nature study.

    Homeschool Nature Study Membership - Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life!

    To get each Friday’s homeschool nature study Outdoor Hour Challenge and for access to a continuing series of new nature studies, join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. With homeschool nature study membership, you will have everything you need to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

    With membership, you will have access to Outdoor Hour Challenges curriculum and resources to enrich your homeschool.

    Be inspired! Be encouraged! Get outdoors!

    Enjoy 5 tips for nature study in your homeschool. What a delight nature study is and what joys you will discover outside your back door.
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    Creating a Nature Study Atmosphere in Your Homeschool: Start With Your Attitude

    Creating a homeschool nature study atmosphere does not need to be difficult, dirty, or uncomfortable. In fact, the best nature study is done without much effort and is guided by your child’s interest in topics that come along.

    Creating a homeschool nature study atmosphere does not need to be difficult, dirty, or uncomfortable. In fact, the best nature study is done without much effort and is guided by your child's interest in topics that come along.
    Photos by Amy Law

    The nature study we talk about here is meant to be simple, a constant vigilance for something to be interested in right in your own neighborhood.


    Creating a Homeschool Nature Study Atmosphere – It Starts With You

    Nature Study- You can do this and your children will thank you. That really is my main message for this post and this Homeschool Nature Study website.

    Nature Study Close to Home

    Traveling to national parks can be a goal for everyone and I feel so very blessed to live in a part of the county where they are at my fingertips. But your own backyard can produce meaningful nature study if you are aware of things that come along…you need to be watching and listening.

    Creating a homeschool nature study atmosphere does not need to be difficult, dirty, or uncomfortable. The best nature study is little effort and is guided by your child's interest.

    No Need for Homeschool Group Learning

    Participating in nature clubs can be a wonderful experience for a nature study atmosphere but having a few minutes with just your own kids outside each week can be just as wonderful.

    Be Flexible With Your Time

    Focusing on one nature study topic gives your family a full picture of that aspect of nature but don’t miss out on other subjects that come around because they are not on topic. Take a detour if needed and remember that nature study should be a life-long endeavor.

    I have observed that families that make nature study a consistent part of their everyday life are the ones that feel the most satisfaction. Honestly, it warms my heart to see and hear about the times where families have an opportunity arise and they drop everything to pursue the learning more. A spider in a web, a bird’s song, the weather, rocks in pockets….take a few minutes to share it with your children.

    dragonfly homeschool nature study

    You may be surprised how your attitude changes with knowledge. 

    In the end, what matters most is the way you view nature. Children are very keen observers and they will know when you are not excited about something. I can’t say I am always excited about every nature study topic…snakes and fish come to mind…but I do try to share my passion for learning new things and encourage my children to learn more about topics of interest. Funny thing is that once you start learning about things like snakes, the more interesting they become. The closer you look at a fish, the more beautiful it is.

    Join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership for a NEW Outdoor Hour Challenge each Friday!


    You will find encouragement and resources to get your nature study atmosphere started. It is all done for you. Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool!

    Outdoor Hour Challenge Getting Started Guide – the beginning of so many good times with your children outdoors!

    Creating a homeschool nature study atmosphere does not need to be difficult, dirty, or uncomfortable. In fact, the best nature study is done without much effort and is guided by your child's interest in topics that come along.

    Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!