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Homeschool Fall Leaf Study And Activities (perfect for all ages)

To celebrate the first day of fall or autumnal equinox, we invite you on a fall leaf study in your homeschool! There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week!

To celebrate the first day of fall or autumnal equinox, we invite you on a fall leaf tour in your homeschool! There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week!

Celebrate The First Day of Fall

Here is a fun idea for the first day of fall and your fall leaf tour!

To celebrate the first day of fall or autumnal equinox, we invite you on a fall leaf tour in your homeschool! There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week!

Homeschool Fall Leaf Study And Activities

This study is designed to be completed with what you have around you. As the leaves turn, head outside, notice fall colors and collect some different colored leaves.

Compare Leaves from Two Different Trees

  • Leaf shape and leaf margins.
  • Leaf arrangement on the stem.
  • Leaf color, texture, and size. (You can measure if you wish.)
  • Come back in from your walk and follow up with a journal page.

Take a Fall Color Walk For Your Nature Study

To continue your fall leaf tour, take a fall color walk! We also start to take more hikes now that the afternoons are a bit cooler. We have our favorite trails and try to get outside every day to see what we can find of interest.

Read in the Handbook of Nature Study page 14, “The Field Excursion”. The reason I want you to read this section is so you have a better understanding of how to prepare you children for a short outdoor excursion with a purpose. Let them know ahead of time the reason you are going outdoors, have them gather their supplies, and then make the excursion outside to look for fall colors.

With our Printable Autumn Series Field Notebook included in membership, you can enjoy these studies and journal pages:

  • Seasonal tree study
  • Goldenrod
  • Oaks & acorns
  • Fall bird study
  • Squirrels
  • Mushrooms
  • Pumpkins
  • Field Notebook List

Fall Color Challenge Activity: Match Leaf Color to Your Art Supplies

A more detailed advanced study for upper level students is included in membership. Here is a peek at what you can enjoy as you continue your fall leaf tour.

Collect a variety of colorful leaves and bring them inside. Have fun matching the colors of the leaves to your colored pencils, chalk pastels, crayons or other art supplies. You might want to sketch your leaves in your nature journal.

Watercolor pencils on the left and regular colored pencils on the right.

Fall Homeschool Nature Study Ideas

Track Weather in Your Homeschool

Autumn seems to be a season that many of us look forward to and in my part of the world we welcome the cooler temperatures and the crisp morning air. We begin to see a few days of wet weather and one activity that seems to make its way into my nature journal is to keep track of that cooler wet weather.

To celebrate the first day of fall or autumnal equinox, we invite you on a fall leaf tour in your homeschool! There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week!

Simple Fall Homeschool Nature Study Ideas with Apples, Pumpkins and Pears

Our Homeschool Nature Study members enjoy these wonderful challenges!

  • Apple Challenge – Simple nature study featuring apples and the Handbook of Nature Study.
  • Pumpkins – Study your pumpkins and then eat them too!
  • Pear Challenge – Yummy nature study featuring pears and the Handbook of Nature Study with advanced study options too.
To celebrate the first day of fall or autumnal equinox, we invite you on a fall leaf tour in your homeschool! There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week!

Autumn Series with the Handbook of Nature Study: Outdoor Hour Challenge Curriculum

There are so many fall favorites for you to explore over the next months!

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!

More Fall Nature Study for Your Homeschool

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

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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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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The Joy of Nature Study For Your Homeschool Year

We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!

“Make this a time to learn a little something new about your world. Finding time for these challenges will help this season be one that your child will not only learn something new but make special memories for a lifetime.” – Barbara McCoy (founder of The Outdoor Hour Challenges)

We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!

When Barbara McCoy retired, I knew that these gentle nature studies needed to still be available to homeschool famillies like mine.

These are the very nature studies my children and I started homeschooling with. To us, they are deliberate delight!

I shared a short introductory video, below:

That is why we are now offering Homeschool Nature Study and your Outdoor Hour Challenge hostess, Shirley Vels, has joined us!

Homeschool nature study annual plan. We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!

Outdoor Hour Challenges Schedule of Nature Study

The plan for the coming year is now available to members! In the photo above, you can see a preview of the courses and homeschool nature study curriculum we look forward to using! These plans were prepared by Shirley Vels, your Outdoor Hour Challenge hostess!

Shirley and I are always planning something new for you! The new plans for the homeschool year are available each July so that members will know the topics ahead of time and can plan even more fun learning.

We even have some new series coming soon!

Autumn Handbook of Nature Study outdoor hour homeschool curriculum

NEW Autumn Outdoor Hour Challenge Homeschool Curriculum

The new Autumn Outdoor Hour Challenge homeschool curriculum is available to members. It is also now available for purchase in our nature study store.

The Outdoor Hour Mom - nature study with Homeschool Nature Study series

New Outdoor Mom Series

Because nature study is for parents too, we have a new series starting in membership. These simple prompts will bring you joy, help you notice beauty and encourage you as you model nature study for your children.

Outdoor Hour challenge Nature Crafts

New Nature Crafts Series

In addition to the Outdoor Mom series, we will also be offering a new Nature Crafts series for members. We are so excited about both of these offerings!

New Outdoor Hour Challenge Every Friday

Shirley Vels, your Outdoor Hour Challenge hostess, shares about how there is a new Outdoor Hour Challenge Nature Study each Friday. She also talks about how these nature studies bring The Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

Nature journaling series at Homeschool Nature Study

Monthly Nature Journal Activities

In this continuing series for members, monthly nature journal activities take your outdoor experiences, your thoughts, new ideas or facts, and make them tangible. Here are some ideas to get you started nature journaling.

We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!

How to Get Started in Homeschool Nature Study

You can download Getting Started – Nature Close to Home for FREE which helps you get started in homeschool nature study and outlines how to participate in the Outdoor Hour Challenges.

We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!

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

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.

We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!
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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!

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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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How Nature Study Enriches High School Biology In Your Homeschool

Just how to include homeschool nature study as part of high school biology? Here you will find a break down of nature study suggestions and accompanying resources for each module of your homeschool biology lessons. I really think it depends on the family and how much nature study you have time to fit in with your high school age children.

How to include homeschool nature study as part of high school biology? Nature study definitely enriches high school biology. Here is a break down of nature study suggestions and accompanying resources for each module.

Homeschool Nature Study and High School Biology

There are two ways to approach homeschool nature study with high school biology.
1. Start with nature study and supplement with a text.
2. Use a text and supplement with nature study.

If you decide on approach number one, take each area of focus in the Outdoor Hour Challenge and add in supplemental information from a textbook.

Please note that affiliate links are included in our recommendations below. Please see our disclosure policy.

Using Apologia Exploring Creation with Biology

  • OH Challenge: Garden Plants =Text Module 8 and 15
  • OH Challenge: Insects =Text Module 3 and 12
  • OH Challenge: Trees =Text Module 14
  • OH Challenge: Mammals =Text Module 10 and 16
  • OH Challenge: Flowerless Plants =Text Module 4 and 14
  • OH Challenge: Birds =Text Module 16
  • OH Challenge: Crop Plants =Text Module 8 and 15

For the second option, here is how I enhanced the Apologia biology text with nature study ideas…many of these ideas are on my Biology Squidoo Lens.

Module 1: Microbiology for Homeschool

Read biography of Carl Linnaeus
Read Microbe Hunters, chapter 1 Leeuwenhoek

How to include homeschool nature study as part of high school biology? Here is a break down of nature study suggestions and accompanying resources for each module.

Module 2: Microbiology and Homeschool Biology Pond Study

Read Microbe Hunters, chapter 2 Spallanzani and chapter 3 Pasteur
Start a pond study to complement the study of microscopic organisms-protozoa
Use A Golden Guide to Pond Life
Read biography of Louis Pasteur
Field trip to a pond: Complete nature journal pages for things observed in real life.

Enjoy a Turtle Homeschool Nature Study.

Module 3: Continue Pond Study-Algae


Handbook of Nature Study section on insects of the brook and pond
Examine pond water under the microscope.
Complete nature journal pages on pond insects you observe.

beautiful moss homeschool nature study

Module 4: High School Biology Nature Study Focus on Mushrooms and Other Fungi

Work with yeast
Work with molds
There are some ideas for study in the flowerless plants section of the Handbook of Nature Study.
Take a nature walk to look for mushrooms and then complete nature journal pages for each one identified.

Modules 5-7: During These Modules We Used Local Field Guides to Identify Various Subjects From Our Nature Walks Each Week

The Biology Coloring Book by Robert Griffin-color appropriate pages to help visualize the abstract concepts in these modules

Homeschool nature study is definitely a part of high school biology! Here is a break down of nature study suggestions and accompanying resources for each module.

Module 8: Gardening for High School Biology

Growing pea plants to support Mendelian genetic study (just for fun).
Read a biography of Gregor Mendel. (The picture book Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas looks like a wonderful way to include younger students).
Grow radishes as part of experiment 8.4
Worked on a garden plan for the following summer.

Module 9: Homeschool Rocks and Minerals Study

Read a biography of Charles Darwin
Handbook of Nature Study section on rocks and minerals
Using a field guide we identified several local rocks and made nature journal entries for each one.

Module 10: Mammals Study for High School Biology

Identify a local mammal and then draw where it fits in the food web.
Learn about your local watershed and then diagram it or draw a map for your journal.
Complete nature journal entries for mammals observed during this module.

Find more ideas in this Mammals Nature Study Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges.

Module 11: Invertebrates for Homeschool Biology Studies

Dissection of an earthworm
Nature study focus on Invertebrates-garden snails, earthworms
Handbook of Nature Study section on invertebrate animals other than insects
Complete nature journal entries for invertebrates observed during our Outdoor Hour time
Complete a one small square activity and look for invertebrates or signs of invertebrates in your own garden or yard.

Earthworm Study for Your Homeschool

Module 12: High School Biology Study on Insects

Nature study focus on arachnida (spiders) and/or insects and/or lepidoptera
Dissection of a crayfish
Handbook of Nature Study section on insects
Complete nature journal entries for insects observed during our Outdoor Hour time.

marine biology studies for homeschool biology

Module 13: Amphibians and Fishes

Dissection of a perch and a frog
Nature study focus on amphibians
Handbook of Nature Study section on fishes
Handbook of Nature Study section on amphibians
Keep an aquarium and use the Handbook of Nature Study suggestions for observations.

More in Homeschool Ocean Study and Marine Biology Resources.

Module 14: Plants

Collect leaf samples and make a pressed leaf collection
Nature study focus on flowerless plants
Handbook of Nature Study section on flowerless plants

plants and wildflowers for high school biology study with homeschool nature study

Module 15: Garden Flowers and Seeds

Insectivorous plants-observe a Venus Flytrap or Sundew
Nature study focus on garden flowers-parts of a flower
Collect and press flowers
Germinate seeds
Handbook of Nature Study section on plants/garden flowers
Start a seasonal tree study for a tree in your own yard

The Ultimate List of Garden and Wildflower Nature Study for Your Homeschool

The Ultimate List of Birds Homeschool nature study using the Outdoor Hour Challenges

Module 16: High School Biology Nature Study Focus on Birds, Reptiles or Mammals

Handbook of Nature Study section on birds
Handbook of Nature Study section on reptiles
Handbook of Nature Study section on mammals
Keep a pet and make observations based on suggestions in the Handbook of Nature Study.
Hang a birdfeeder and keep a log of birds that visit.
Go bird watching and make journal entries for each bird you identify.

The Ultimate List of Birds Homeschool Nature Study Resources Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges

You can see how you can take an idea and then expand on it using nature study. If you use the basic ideas I have illustrated with the biology topics, you can make a study of nature high school level. Keep everything relevant to your local area and it will be a joy to work on each week. Your family will learn so much together as part of the Outdoor Hour Challenges.

SaMore Resources For Your Homeschool High School Biology and Nature Study

All of the Outdoor Hour Challenges that pair with homeschool high school biology are included 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!

Homeschool nature study definitely enriches high school biology! Here is a break down of nature study suggestions and accompanying resources for each module.

Spublished August 2009 by Barb

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Charlotte Mason Nature Study: Simple Ideas for Wildflowers

These timeless Charlotte Mason nature study ideas are as relevant today as when they were written and I’m forever grateful for the encouragement these gave me when I was a new homeschooler. The ideas for this post have been taken from Volume One of Charlotte Mason’s homeschooling series.

Charlotte Mason Nature Study: Simple Ideas for Wildflowers includes ideas for how to help your child engage in nature and study wildflowers.

Charlotte Mason – Simple Nature Study Ideas for Wildflowers

My children benefited from Miss Mason’s simple and consistent approach to learning. We didn’t waste time learning things for a test, but were encouraged to explore and observe the natural world right outside our doorstep.

I would like to offer you the road map to learning about wildflowers in a “Charlotte Mason” way by giving you a short list that summarizes her ideas found in Volume One on page 51 under the subheading of “Flowers and Trees”.

Elements of a Wildflowers Nature Study

Your child should be able to:

  1. Describe the shape, size, and placement of the leaves.
  2. Note whether there is a single blossom or a head of flowers.
  3. Observe the flower and its habitat so well that it can be recognized in any location in the future.
  4. Use a field guide to learn about the wildflower (with help from a parent if needed).
  5. Collect, press, and make a record of the flower’s habitat and location. ***
  6. Optional: Make a watercolor of the flower or the whole plant.

*** It’s important to note that we shouldn’t be picking flowers in great numbers. Many wildflowers do not last long once picked and therefore are wasted if not going straight into a flower press. Here is Anna Botsford Comstock’s advice on picking wildflowers from the Handbook of Nature Study:

“Some flowers are so abundant that they can be picked in moderation if the roots are not disturbed, if plenty of flowers are left for seed, and if the plant itself is not taken with the flower….Everyone should have the privilege of enjoying the natural beauty of the countryside. Such enjoyment is impossible if a relatively small number of people insist upon picking and destroying native plants for their own selfish interests.”

HNS page 460
blue flag iris

More Wildflowers Nature Study Ideas for Your Homeschool

If you’d like help in getting started with a wildflower study, I have some thorough posts with some ideas for your family:

There are three sets wildflower curriculum available in Homeschool Nature Study membership!

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

Charlotte Mason Nature Study: Simple Ideas for Wildflowers includes ideas for how to help your child engage in nature and study wildflowers.
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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