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Fun Summer Nature Study Photo Challenge

Enjoy a fun summer nature study photo challenge plus first day of summer ideas! I don’t know about you but I’m so very ready for the summer season! The most noticeable change is the amount of daylight. The sun is up early and it lingers in the evenings.

Enjoy a fun summer nature study photo challenge plus first day of summer ideas! I don’t know about you but I’m so very ready for the summer season! The most noticeable change is the amount of daylight. The sun is up early and it lingers in the evenings.

Nature study can be easy and fun when you have access to the Outdoor Hour Challenges! Pick the topics that interest your family the most and then get started with the activities, videos, and follow up notebook pages.

While you’re just starting your summer nature study planning, please consider an Outdoor Hour Challenge. Maybe observe your weather and plan to make a special day of activity on June 21st as we all usher in the summer season.

Terrific Ideas for Your First Day of Summer Nature Study Activities

Here are some ideas to get you started on your summer fun!

Photo by Erin Vincent

Summer Nature Study Photo Challenge for Your Homeschool

Join us for a FUN summer nature study photo challenge! You can complete the challenges in any order you would like. You can take the photos or your children can take the photos. This is a fun, relaxed activity that I hope brings some joy to your outdoor time.

Join us for a FUN summer nature study photo challenge! You can complete the challenges in any order you would like. You can take the photos or your children can take the photos. This is a fun, relaxed activity that I hope brings some joy to your outdoor time.

This printable Summer Nature Study Photo Challenge is available in the Summer Handbook of Nature Study Curriculum in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. You can enjoy this and an entire summer’s worth of nature study Outdoor Hour Challenges plus a calendar filled with daily nature study prompts in membership.

First Day of Summer Photo Walk

Take a camera or a phone camera outdoors and find some special First Day of Summer subjects. Take a photo, print out a few and safely tuck them into your nature journal. You can combine this with the Summer Photo Challenge.

First Day of Summer Flower Field Trip

Take a trip to your local garden nursery and let your child pick a plant to add to your backyard garden or patio container garden. After you plant your flower, sketch it into your nature journal along with the name of the flower and the date you planted it.

You can combine this activity with any of the printable journal pages in our free Getting Started Guide or those in Homeschool Nature Study membership.

Summer Nature Study with Art
Photo by Erin Vincent

Summer Nature Study with Art

Enjoy a free Summer Treehouse art lesson – just imagine all you could observe outdoors in nature in your very own treehouse that you design and sketch! Find the lesson towards the bottom of the post.

Summer Watermelon Recipe

Summer Watermelon Recipe

Watermelon Popsicles Recipe – are you a huge watermelon fan too?

First Day of Summer Notebook Page

First Day of Summer Notebook Page

After a nature walk, preferably under a shade tree, complete the First Day of Summer notebook page in Homeschool Nature Study membership – for your nature journal.

You might also like:

Share Your Summer Photos!

Be sure to tag us on Instagram @outdoorhourchallenge #outdoorhourchallenge so we can comment and share your photos!

Are you as excited about summer as I am?

A FUN Summer Nature Study Photo Challenge plus First Day of Summer Ideas! Nature study can be easy and fun when you have access to the Outdoor Hour Challenges! Pick the topics that interest your family the most and then get started with the activities, videos, and follow up notebook pages.

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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Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story is a beautiful picture book biography about the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. Anna Botsford Comstock was passionate about children getting out of the classroom and into nature to learn first hand about our beautiful world.

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story is a beautiful picture book biography about the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. Anna Botsford Comstock was passionate about children getting out of the classroom and into nature to learn first hand about our beautiful world.
Photos by Amy Law

“From the time she was no higher than a daisy, Anna was wild about nature.”

Suzanne Slade

One of the most natural ways for people to learn is through story. This sweetly illustrated biography of Anna Comstock gives a glimpse into the life of the woman who wrote the wonderful book The Handbook of Nature Study. Knowing more about her life makes her writing even more special! – my friend, Amy Law.

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story is a lovely book written by Suzanne Slade and beautifully illustrated by Jessica Lanan.

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story is a beautiful picture book biography about the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. Anna Botsford Comstock was passionate about children getting out of the classroom and into nature to learn first hand about our beautiful world.

The Anna Comstock Story Picture Book Biography Review

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

“This picture book biography examines the life and career of naturalist and artist Anna Comstock (1854-1930), who defied social conventions and pursued the study of science. From the time she was a young girl, Anna was fascinated by the natural world. She loved exploring outdoors, examining wildlife and learning nature’s secrets. From watching the teamwork of marching ants to following the constellations in the sky, Anna observed it all. And her interest only increased as she grew older and attended Cornell University. There she continued her studies, pushing back against the common belief of the day that implied science was a man’s pursuit.

Eventually, Anna became known as a nature expert, pioneering a movement to encourage schools to conduct science and nature classes for children outdoors, thereby increasing students’ interest in nature. In following her passion, this remarkable woman blazed a trail for female scientists today.” –Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story is a beautiful picture book biography about the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. Anna Botsford Comstock was passionate about children getting out of the classroom and into nature to learn first hand about our beautiful world.

“The nature story is never finished. There is not a weed or an insect or a tree so common that the child by observing carefully, may not see things never yet recorded.”

-Anna Comstock

Here at Homeschool Nature Study, we highly recommend this book for your homeschool! It is a wonderful way to learn all about – and be inspired by – the author of the Handbook of Nature Study. You might also like our Anna Botsford Comstock Quotes for Nature Lovers and Last Child in the Woods.

Bring The Handbook of Nature Study to Life in Your Homeschool!

Learn More About The Handbook of Nature Study for Your Homeschool

We have some great resources for learning what The Handbook of Nature Study is all about:

You might also like my review of a Charlotte Mason Picture Book biography: The Teacher Who Revealed Worlds of Wonder – on our sister site, The Curriculum Choice. Charlotte Mason adored nature study!

My Homeschool Nature Book Report

In Homeschool Nature Study membership, you will find a printable nature book report page under your Nature Journaling course. Use this when you enjoy the Anna Comstock Story or any other nature book!

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story is a beautiful picture book biography about the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. Anna Botsford Comstock was passionate about children getting out of the classroom and into nature to learn first hand about our beautiful world.

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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A Beautiful Queen Anne’s Lace Nature Study for Your Homeschool

Our family made great memories together one year while noticing and studying Queen Anne’s lace throughout the seasons. Enjoy this beautiful Queen Anne’s lace nature study for your homeschool and see what you notice in each season too!

If you don’t have any Queen Anne’s Lace to observe in person, choose two other neighborhood weeds to study and compare using the ideas in the challenge.

Homeschool Nature Study members will find the suggestions in this challenge a great help in learning about this common wildflower. (Some call it a weed, but I prefer to think of it as a wildflower!) Members: Find this challenge in your Summer Continues Outdoor Hour Challenge curriculum ebook.

Make great memories by studying Queen Anne's lace throughout the seasons. Enjoy this beautiful Queen Anne's lace nature study for your homeschool.

Queen Anne’s Lace Nature Study

I suppose it’s the new awareness we have from last year’s summer study of Queen Anne’s lace. Or it could be recent rains. Or it could be that we didn’t really start looking for Queen Anne’s lace until late August of last year. Or it could be a combination of all those factors. Which, likely, it is.

Make great memories by studying Queen Anne's lace throughout the seasons. Enjoy this beautiful Queen Anne's lace nature study for your homeschool.

It’s abundant. We point and yell, “Look!” everywhere we drive. Lace lines the roadsides to the north Georgia mountains where we trekked last week. Lacey patches are right across the street – almost as tall as Middle Girl.

“Nature study cultivates in the child a love of the beautiful…”

~ Anna Botsford Comstock, The Teaching of Nature Study
Make great memories by studying Queen Anne's lace throughout the seasons. Enjoy this beautiful Queen Anne's lace nature study for your homeschool.

(Above photos of her taken with my phone when we quick pulled off the road).

family homeschool nature study

And Queen Anne’s lace thrilled us in the usual spot we checked back in spring. When we went on a family walk that Sunday night before Memorial Day – there it was!

Make great memories by studying Queen Anne's lace throughout the seasons. Enjoy this beautiful Queen Anne's lace nature study for your homeschool.

Ready for the picking.

Make great memories by studying Queen Anne's lace throughout the seasons. Enjoy this beautiful Queen Anne's lace nature study for your homeschool.

We scooped a few blooms and brought them home to study up close. To sketch.

Make great memories by studying Queen Anne's lace throughout the seasons. Enjoy this beautiful Queen Anne's lace nature study for your homeschool.

We also found a beautiful robin’s egg, right in the middle of the grass, while on our walk. We figured the recent winds and storms may have blown it out of its nest.

Make great memories by studying Queen Anne's lace throughout the seasons. Enjoy this beautiful Queen Anne's lace nature study for your homeschool.

Our up close studies helped us appreciate. As I sketched my flower, I noticed the hundreds of little, tiny flowers…

nature journaling

…the umbrella looking underneath, the pink tinges of a young blossom.

nature journaling

The children appreciated the certain color of green, the hairy stems, the dot in the center.

“The chief aim of this volume is to encourage investigation rather than to give information.”

~ Handbook of Nature Study
homeschool nature journaling

During sketching we noticed that the outside flower clusters open first, just as the Handbook of Nature Study says.

Queen Anne’s lace makes this mama happy. It reminds me of childhood.

Homeschool Nature Study for Your Family

Join us this summer! Enjoy some deliberate delight with nature walks and simple, joyful learning.

Make great memories by studying Queen Anne's lace throughout the seasons. Enjoy this beautiful Queen Anne's lace nature study for your homeschool.

How about you? Is Queen Anne’s lace lining your roadsides?

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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The Ultimate Guide to National Parks Nature Study for Your Homeschool

Ready to enjoy a trip to a national park? Use this guide to national parks nature study for your homeschool and enjoy nature study learning while you explore the great outdoors!

Ready to enjoy a trip to a national park? Use this guide to national parks nature study for your homeschool and enjoy nature study learning while you explore the great outdoors!
Yellowstone National Park – Yellowstone Falls – Hodges, August 2020

What a treasure! Barbara McCoy and her family travel so many of America’s national parks, monuments and state parks. Here, I have gathered all that she has shared over the years and have added in a few of my family’s travels too. While many of Barb’s photos did not transfer over and are not included in these posts, her words and tips are so very valuable!

Barb and I got to take a trip to Florida together a few years ago – and we spent time studying nature. We even got to see an alligator. I shared about the memories we made together in my Florida Nature Studies.

Enjoy this Guide to National Parks Nature Study for Your Homeschool. We hope it helps you make glorious memories with your family!

Your Guide to National Parks Nature Study for Your Homeschool

Ready to enjoy a trip to a national park? Use this guide to national parks nature study for your homeschool and enjoy nature study learning while you explore the great outdoors!
Grand Canyon National Park – south rim – Hodges, August 2020.
Muir Woods
Ready to enjoy a trip to a national park? Use this guide to national parks nature study for your homeschool and enjoy nature study learning while you explore the great outdoors!
Yellowstone National Park – Grand Prismatic – Hodges 2020.

Hands On Learning – American Landmarks Art Lessons

Do you dream of trekking America’s landmarks and national parks with your kids? With our sister website, You ARE an ARTiST, you can let Nana take you and your children on a trip around our great United States without leaving the comforts of your home. Trekking American landmarks with chalk pastels are as easy as walking to your kitchen table and setting out your chalk pastels with a pack of construction paper. Nana will do the rest.

No hiking shoes or sore feet required! Browse I Drew It Then I Knew It American Landmarks

Want even more ideas? Enjoy 99 Nature Study Ideas to Get Your Family Outdoors and Study Nature As You Travel This Summer.

Ready to enjoy a trip to a national park? Use this guide to national parks nature study for your homeschool and enjoy nature study learning while you explore the great outdoors!

More Resources For Homeschool Nature Study

For even more homeschool nature study ideas, 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!

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Goat Homeschool Nature Study for All Ages

This goat homeschool nature study is packed with fun from fainting goats to advanced mammal studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool! Here’s a peek at what you can expect to enjoy in this Outdoor Hour Challenge for Homeschool Nature Study members.

This goat homeschool nature study is packed with fun from fainting goats to advanced mammal studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool!

Goat Homeschool Nature Study

  • A funny video on fainting goats to catch your children’s attention
  • Handbook of Nature Study reference pages, Outdoor Hour time and follow up journal suggestions
  • Printables for your goat study in your Spring Outdoor Hour Challenge Curriculum
  • Burgess Book of Animals pages to read aloud.
  • Learn what is a mammal?
  • Online links to view goats
  • Advanced students: the history of goats, study on breeds of goats, the digestive system (Goats are ruminant animals – animals with four stomachs)
  • How to draw a goat
This goat homeschool nature study is packed with fun from fainting goats to advanced mammal studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool!

Virtual Field Trip to Learn About Goats

For a fun virtual field trip, be sure to follow all the goat adventures with Accidental Country Folk. Jodi shares more than goats – including a fancy chicken named Ms. Frizzle on Instagram too!

The Ultimate Guide to Mammals Study Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges

You can enjoy a simple mammals homeschool nature study with these resources we have gathered for you to use in your own backyard. It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures! Go to The Ultimate Guide to Mammals Study Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges.

NOTE: All of the mammals homeschool nature study resources listed are available as an Outdoor Hour Challenge in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. If you have a membership, you will be able to pull up the Outdoor Hour Challenge curriculum and print any notebook pages, coloring pages, or other printables for your mammals nature study.

Wondering how to start? Grab our FREE Getting Started with Homeschool Nature Study Guide!

homeschool nature study membership

Visit our website to find an affordable membership option that suits you. Why not give membership a try for a month and go from there. We would love to have you along for the adventure!

This goat homeschool nature study is packed with fun from fainting goats to advanced mammal studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool! Here's a peek at what you can expect to enjoy in this Outdoor Hour Challenge for Homeschool Nature Study members.
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Earthworms Homeschool Nature Study: Invertebrates

This earthworm homeschool nature study is packed with great learning for all ages and even includes advanced invertebrate studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool! Here’s a peek at what you can expect to enjoy in this Outdoor Hour Challenge for Homeschool Nature Study members.

This earthworm homeschool nature study is packed with great learning for all ages and even includes advanced invertebrate studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool! Here’s a peek at what you can expect to enjoy in this Outdoor Hour Challenge for Homeschool Nature Study members.

Earthworms Homeschool Nature Study: Invertebrates

“Any garden furnishes abundant material for the study of earthworms. They are nocturnal workers and may be observed by lantern or flashlight….For the study of the individual worm and its movements, each pupil should have a worm with some earth upon his desk.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 424

Take 15 minutes of your outdoor hour time to find a place in your yard to dig for worms. If you have a garden or flower bed, you may be successful in finding earthworms just a few inches down in the soil. Use some of the suggested activities from the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study to carefully observe your earthworms.

This earthworms homeschool nature study for our members includes:

  • Handbook of Nature Study references and indoor preparation time
  • Suggestions and questions for your Outdoor Hour Time
  • A list of questions to ask during your earthworm nature study time
  • Follow up activity for your nature journal

Members will find the full homeschool nature study in the Spring with Art and Music Appreciation Outdoor Hour course and curriculum.

You can use the notebook page provided with Spring with Art and Music Appreciation course or your own blank nature journal to record you observations and sketches. Don’t forget to sketch and label your earthworm.

Wondering how to start? Grab our FREE Getting Started with Homeschool Nature Study Guide!

More Resources For Learning About Earthworms

Join Homeschool Nature Study membership today!

Visit our website to find an affordable membership option that suits you. Why not give membership a try for a month and go from there. We would love to have you along for the adventure!

first published May 2010 and updated May 2022

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First Day of Spring: Simple Ways to Study Nature in Your Homeschool

We are excited to get started on this first day of spring with simple ways to study nature and a fresh set of homeschool nature study ideas. It hardly seems possible that we are at the beginning of another spring season but here we go! We look forward to another season of encouraging nature study. Have fun and get outdoors with your children!

First Day of Spring: Simple Ways to Study Nature in Your Homeschool

Inside Preparation Work
1. If you have not read pages 23-24 (How to Use This Book) in the Handbook of Nature Study, please read it now. In addition, read the section on The Field Excursion on page 15. Highlight interesting sections as reminders.
2. Prepare your children for your outdoor time by explaining the purpose. For this challenge, use the ideas from Outdoor Hour Challenge #2—Using Your Words in our FREE Getting Started Homeschool Nature Study Guide which is take a short walk in your yard or neighborhood and then come back inside and record words to describe your experience.

We are excited to get started on this first day of spring with simple ways to study nature and a fresh set of homeschool nature study ideas.

Spring Splendor Nature Walk Ideas

Homeschool Nature Study Members: Before beginning this series of challenges, use the Spring Splendor Notebook Page (Challenge on page 8 of your Spring Nature Study Curriculum and notebook page linked there as well) to build enthusiasm for the spring series of nature study. Keep the page in the front of your nature journal as a reminder of the three questions you hope to answer and the three activities you hope to accomplish.

Outdoor Hour Homeschool Nature Study Time

1. Enjoy some time outdoors this week as part of this challenge, including a few minutes of quiet observation if possible. Observe what early spring looks like in your neighborhood. Use all your senses. If you have young children, taking a walk and enjoying the season is the main point. You can work on adding words as your child gains confidence in nature study.
2. Homeschool Nature Study Members: Use the Spring Nature Walk Worksheet notebook page if you want more structure to your time outdoors.
3. Collect an item to sketch into your nature journal, perhaps a leaf or a flower.
4. Advanced Study: Take photos of spring flowers, birds, trees, leaves, or other objects you see during your outdoor time. Try taking photos from different angles and up close.

Follow-Up Activity

1. Use the Spring Splendor notebook page (Homeschool Nature Study Members) or your nature journal to record your time outdoors, including the prompts for descriptive words. You can brainstorm words with your children if they have trouble. Sketch or watercolor your spring scene in your nature journal or onto your notebook page.
2. Advanced Follow-Up: Make a slideshow with the images you took of your spring splendor walk. You can also print the images and include them in your nature journal.
3. Homeschool Nature Study Members: Optional coloring pages: Spring Woods 1 and Spring Woods 2.

We are excited to get started on this first day of spring with simple ways to study nature and a fresh set of homeschool nature study ideas.

More Spring Homeschool Nature Study

You might also like these simple ways to study nature in your homeschool!

Outdoor Hour Challenges with Homeschool Nature Study

If you enjoy any of these first day of spring nature study ideas, please share with us! Take a photo, share on social media and tag @outdoorhourchallenge on Instagram and use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge – we would love to see and to comment!

John Muir quote

Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

Can you believe all of these spring homeschool resources you will find in membership? You will also find a continuing homeschool nature study series plus all the Outdoor Hour Challenges for nature study in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. There are 25+ continuing courses with matching Outdoor Hour curriculum that will bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool! In addition, there is an interactive monthly calendar with daily nature study prompt – all at your fingertips!

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

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Charlotte Mason Nature Study For Your Homeschool

Just how do you enjoy a Charlotte Mason nature study for your homeschool? Let’s look at some advice from Charlotte Mason herself and apply it in a simple way to our own outdoor times.

Charlotte Mason Nature Study for Your Homeschool

All quotes are from Charlotte Mason (modern English), volume 3

“One afternoon a week, the students in our ‘Practicing School’ [taught by the student teachers at Charlotte Mason’s teacher’s college] go for a ‘nature walk’ with their teacher. They notice things by themselves, and the teacher tells them the name or gives other information only if they ask for it.”

“The teachers are careful not to turn these nature walks into an opportunity to give science lessons, because they want the children’s attention to be focused on their own observations.”

“They’re allowed to notice things with very little direction from the teacher. By doing this, children accumulate a good collection of ‘common knowledge.’ ”

-Charlotte Mason

“Even more important, students learn to know and take pleasure in objects from nature like they do in the familiar faces of friends.”

-Charlotte Mason

Nature Study in Your Own Backyard

I have certainly given my share of “science lessons” during our nature walks and nature time. I am getting better about letting the children direct me to what they are curious about. I see the wisdom in allowing them to explore and learn in a way that makes sense to them, but I can be available to assist them with questions they might have. I am pretty comfortable with telling them that I don’t know the answer to their question and then find someone or some resource that does have the answer.

“The nature walk shouldn’t be used as a chance to dispense miscellaneous tidbits of scientific facts.”

-Charlotte Mason

These principles are the same whether your nature study takes place in your backyard, on the trail, or during some other nature study outing. As the parent, you set the mood. If you quietly observe your children, you will see what they are drawn to learn more about without much effort.

Try it the next time you are having your outdoor time.

Photo by Amy Law

Charlotte Mason Style Exam Questions for Homeschool High School

Several of the courses included in Homeschool Nature Study membership include Charlotte Mason style exam questions for advanced students. Author Barb McCoy says, “This series has proved to be a huge success in our family, helping to bring nature study up to a level for my teens. Also, I saw families with large age ranges of children completing the challenges together, each on their own level and enjoying it.”

You can feel free to pick and choose which questions you will give your homeschool high school student according to their interest and abilities.

You can successfully continue nature study with your teenagers. They may need some encouragement to make the study their own by adjusting your subjects, your methods of follow-up, and your attitude towards what nature study should look like.

More Resources for Charlotte Mason Nature Study Time

Besides our free Getting Started in the Outdoor Hour Challenges download, we invite you to enjoy these wonderful nature resources.

You will find hundreds of Charlotte Mason style homeschool nature studies plus all the Outdoor Hour Challenges in our Homeschool Nature Study membership.

Join The Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

You will find hundreds of Charlotte Mason style homeschool nature studies plus all the Outdoor Hour Challenges in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. There are 25+ continuing courses with matching Outdoor Hour curriculum that will bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool! In addition, there is an interactive monthly calendar with daily nature study prompt – all at your fingertips!

How do you enjoy a Charlotte Mason nature study for your homeschool? Look at advice from Charlotte Mason herself and apply it to outdoor times.
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The Ultimate Guide To Nature Study Resources

Here you will find the best nature study resources plus year round support for your homeschool family! With this Ultimate Guide to Nature Study Resources at your fingertips, you will have all the beautiful benefits of nature study in your homeschool plus tips and ideas for getting started.

“Out-of-door life takes a child afield and keeps him in the open air, which not only helps him physically and occupies his mind with sane subjects, but keeps him out of mischief. It is not only during childhood that this is true, for love of nature counts much for sanity in later life.” -Handbook of Nature Study, page 2

The Benefits Of Nature Study In Your Homeschool

“In studying nature close to home, our 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.

A nature walk can stimulate our child’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 frigid 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.

Pine cone homeschool nature study.
Photo by Amy Law

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.” – founder Barb McCoy

“The ability to group things together by type and find differences is one of the higher orders of intellect, and every opportunity to use it first-hand should be encouraged.” -Charlotte Mason, vol 1, page 64

Tips For Getting Started With Homeschool Nature Study

“In nature-study the work begins with any plant or creature which chances to interest the pupil.”Handbook of Nature Study

Enjoy your time outdoors together and don’t spend your time lecturing or even talking very much at all. Here are some encouraging topics to consider:

Outdoor Hour Challenge waterfalls
Photo by Amy Law

Encourage Nature Study Investigation by Using Questions:

How to Use Questions in Nature Study:

  • What do you see?
  • What do you know?
  • What do you wonder?
Outdoor Hour Challenges
Photo by Amy Law

The Best Resources For Nature Study In Your Homeschool

You truly do not need many resources to enjoy nature study in your homeschool. Here at Homeschool Nature Study we suggest:

  1. Outdoor Hour Challenges
  2. The Handbook of Nature Study book
  3. Homeschool Nature Study Membership

Outdoor Hour Challenges for Your Homeschool

Just how do you get started in homeschool nature study? How do families participate in the Outdoor Hour Challenges? It is so simple to get started and we will show you how. Grab one of our best nature study resources with our free Homeschool Nature Study Guide and discover the joys of nature study in your homeschool.

Get Your Free Getting Started in Homeschool Nature Study Guide

It is simple to get started. We will show you how. Grab this free Homeschool Nature Study Guide and discover the joys of nature study in your homeschool.

Includes 10 Outdoor Hour Challenges to start with in your homeschool plus:

  • General Instructions for Getting Started
  •  A list of the very few materials and resources needed
  • Corresponding custom notebook pages to use in your nature journal for each challenge

Each Outdoor Hour Challenge Has Three Parts:

inside preparation work, outdoor time, and then a follow up activity. You can complete all or part of each challenge as you go along. Each challenge is written so you can adapt it to your own backyard or local area. Use the ideas as a way to get started with simple weekly nature study using the Handbook of Nature Study.


“…the mother must not miss the opportunity of being outdoors to train the children to have seeing eyes, hearing ears and seeds of truth deposited into their minds to grow and blossom on their own in the secret chambers of their imaginations.” Handbook of Nature Study, Page 17

“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

Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool!
Photo by Amy Law

The Outdoor Hour Challenges Only Have One Required Book

The Handbook of Nature Study By Anna Botsford Comstock ISBN 9780801493843

The Handbook of Nature Study is Not a Field Guide

This is probably the single most useful aspect of this book. In the beginning I was stumbled by the fact that this giant book didn’t have many of the creatures in it that I wanted to study. I was trying to use it as a field guide and then as an encyclopedia….it just isn’t meant to be either of those things.

The Handbook of Nature Study does have many specific creatures to study, broken down into categories. You can look them up either in the table of contents or in the index. If you find that the specific creature you are looking for is not listed, you can turn to the introductory pages for the category.

Top Tips for Using the Handbook of Nature Study as Your Guide

Helpful Tips for Incorporating the Handbook of Nature Study in Your Homeschool

Handbook of Nature Study: Friend or Foe in Your Homeschool

https://buildingahouseholdoffaith.com/

Nature Journal Supplies and How Tos

Homeschool Nature Study membership for year round support
A beautiful variety of homeschool nature study topics

Enjoy ALL of these nature study resources with Homeschool Nature Study membership!

Other Online Homeschool Nature Resources

The Best Homeschool Nature Study Resources – A great compilation over on our sister site, The Curriculum Choice.

Bird Study with Art – includes a study of artist and naturalist John James Audubon.

Chalk Pastel Nature Journaling – a fun way to capture your nature adventures.

Homeschool Study of Beatrix Potter – let’s go visit Hill Top Farm and meet all of her favorite animals!

Homeschool Nature Study Membership!

Homeschool Nature Study Year Round Support with Membership


Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool! We invite you to join us in nature study with the Outdoor Hour Challenges and Homeschool Nature Study Membership.

“Adults should realize that the most valuable thing children can learn is what they discover themselves about the world they live in. Once they experience first-hand the wonder of nature, they will want to make nature observation a life-long habit. All people are supposed to be observers of nature and there’s no excuse for living in a world so full of amazing plants and animals and not be interested in them.” -Charlotte Mason, vol 1, page 61

Here you will find the best homeschool nature study resources plus year round support for your family! Includes tips for getting started.
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Winter Homeschool Nature Study with Art and Music Appreciation

This winter homeschool nature study curriculum contains all the nature study Outdoor Hour Challenges, custom notebook pages for nature study as well as art and music appreciation, and three months’ worth of art and music appreciation.

Writing this winter homeschool nature study curriculum has helped us appreciate the winter season more than we ever have before. Part of our enthusiasm has come from spending more time outdoors bundled up with our families exploring the winter landscape.

Blankets of snow for your winter homeschool nature study!
Image by Amy Law

Winter changes our normal view of things by emptying the trees of their leaves and covering the ground in thin or thick blankets of snow. The colors of winter are more vivid and the sky seems more brilliantly blue at times with its puffs of white clouds dotting the horizon.

The season of cold can bring surprising nature study subjects your way and if you are open and aware of these opportunities, you will soon find yourself loving or at least appreciating this winter season.

Our sincere wish is that this book will help your family find some joy in winter homeschool nature study. In addition to nature study, this curriculum offers you a chance to include some winter artist study and music appreciation as well. Give everything a chance and see what happens!

With much joy,

Homeschool Nature Study Team, Home of the Outdoor Hour Challenge

Winter Homeschool Nature with Art and Music Appreciation is available in membership, along with access to 26+ Outdoor Hour Challenge Homeschool Curriculum and courses, weekly Outdoor Hour Challenges, a monthly nature calendar with daily nature study prompts and more!

This winter homeschool nature study curriculum contains not only nature study but notebook pages plus three months’ worth of art and music appreciation.
You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse members also enjoy this course! Image by Erin Vincent.

The Winter Homeschool Nature Study for Members Includes:

You will have a complete plan at your fingertips for your spring nature study, art appreciation, and music study. You will need to have the Handbook of Nature Study in order to complete the nature study challenges. All of the art prints are included in the curriculum and there are links to viewing them online as well.

  • 10 Outdoor Hour Challenges – All the Outdoor Hour Challenges in this curriculum are based on the Handbook of Nature Study and include page numbers and suggested learning observations. More about the Handbook of Nature Study, here.
  • 10 Outdoor Hour Challenge notebook pages and nature journal suggestions.
  • 3 months’ worth of art and music appreciation- 3 composers and 3 artists with links, prints to view, coordinating projects, a coloring page, and notebook pages. More on our sister site and the Homeschool Fine Arts curriculum, here.
  • Links for further enrichment for each Outdoor Hour Challenge, artist study, and composer study.
  • Complete list of resources and instructions to get started with your winter study.
  • Topics Include: winter cattail study, tree study, sky, weather, pine tree, salt study, winter bird, small square study, early spring flower, signs of spring walk
winter homeschool nature study - snow melting activity
Image by Amy Law

Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenge Homeschool Curriculum Included

Each challenge has three parts: inside preparation work, outdoor time, and then a follow up activity. You can complete all or part of each challenge as you go along. Each challenge is written so you can adapt it to your own backyard or local area. Use the ideas as a way to get started with simple weekly nature study using the Handbook of Nature Study. Some of the challenges include pages to read from the Discover Nature in Winter book.

Winter Series Art Appreciation Curriculum Included

Each month there is a suggested piece of artwork to study with your family. You can view the print on your computer, print out the page from the curriculum, or you can follow the provided link to see the artwork in a larger format. Plans for viewing, studying, and then completing a follow up piece of artwork are included with each painting.

Music Appreciation Homeschool Curriculum Included

To enhance your winter nature study, this curriculum includes a suggested piece of music for your family to listen to each month. The plans for each composer include links to biographies, links to listen to the music online, suggestions for CDs to purchase, and plans for completing your music appreciation studies. Each month has a suggested art activity to go along with the musical selection as well.

We have aimed to keep these challenges and studies as simple as possible with very few additional resources needed.

This winter homeschool nature study curriculum contains not only nature study but notebook pages plus three months’ worth of art and music appreciation.