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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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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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Animal Tracks Nature Hunt: Mammals Homeschool Study

Go on an animals tracks nature hunt for a great mammals homeschool study. Use these nature study lesson plans, suggestions, ideas and resources for identifying animal tracks!

Go on an animals tracks nature hunt for a great mammals homeschool study. Use these nature study lesson plans and resources for identifying animal tracks!

Mammals in Winter

Many mammals are nocturnal and you will rarely spot them to observe up close. Some mammals hibernate in the winter and they are not easily observed either. Many more mammals are just plain shy and rarely show their faces. Reading about them and learning their behaviors will help you find and observe them in the wild if you are diligent. It may not be this week or this year but you will be ready if you do the study ahead of time.

Easy Mammals Homeschool Nature Study Lesson Plans

Any study of mammals can be done with what you have on hand. Do you have a pet dog, cat, mouse, or rat? Do you have a relative or neighbor that has a dog or cat they will let you observe? How about visiting a pet store? Be creative.

For this challenge, you can use the Handbook of Nature Study to pick a mammal to study this winter. You could also choose to use the Discover Nature in Winter book to read about mammals and then use the information there to look for animal tracks during your outdoor time. Either way will give your family a great study of a mammal.


Animal Tracks Nature Hunt Ideas for Your Homeschool

Inside Preparation Work using the Discover Nature in Winter book:
Read chapter nine in Discover Nature in Winter. Mammals in general tend to be shy of humans. In the winter, it is even more difficult to observe mammals. The chapter suggests looking for signs of mammals instead like tracks and scat. Highlight ideas for your family to try this week while you are outdoors and looking for mammals.

how to find animal tracks in a homeschool nature study

Review the chart showing different animal tracks on page 182 and 183. Try sketching some of the tracks into your nature journal as a reference for future outdoor time. In our area, we often come across animal scat as we hike and we are going to familiarize ourselves with the various kinds of scat by studying the illustrations in this chapter.

Without the Discover Nature in Winter book:
You can still look up some animal tracks online using this link: Animal Tracks at Beartracker

Homeschool outdoor hour challenge time with the Handbook of Nature Study

Your Homeschool Outdoor Hour Challenge Time


This week the challenge is to get outdoors and look for signs of animals.
You can look for:

  • tracks
  • scat
  • holes
  • scratches
  • hair
  • other things that mammals leave behind

Remember to make your nature study time like an investigation or nature hunt.

Animal Tracks Follow-Up Homeschool Activities:


1. Keep a record of animal tracks you have observed in the snow or mud. Record your findings in your nature journal along with a drawing, the date, the weather, the time of day, and the type of animal if you have identified it at this time. You can use your own blank journal.
2. Compare a dog’s and a cat’s footprints in the snow or mud.
3. Research an animal that hibernates and record what you learn in your nature notebook.

You can also sketch your animal and what its tracks look like.

Homeschool Nature Study Membership Resources For Your Animal Tracks Hunt

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

Our members will enjoy even more for this animal tracks nature hunt with the Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Course!

These member resources will also be helpful:

  • Brand NEW Mammals Outdoor Hour Challenge Nature Study lesson post – all about sheep!
  • Mammal Notebook Page
  • Winter Series notebook page

Know you are ready to join us?

Go on an animals tracks nature hunt for a great mammals homeschool study. Use these nature study lesson plans and resources for identifying animal tracks!

Be sure to take photos of your animal tracks nature hunt time and share them with us! Tag us on social media on Instagram or Facebook and use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge – we can’t wait to see!

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The Ultimate Mammals Homeschool Nature Study Using 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!

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!

Mammals Homeschool Nature Study Using Outdoor Hour Challenges (in Nature Study Membership)

  • Animal Tracks Hunt – Mammals Outdoor Hour Challenge
  • Bats – Summer course
  • Bear – Forest Fun course
  • Beavers
  • Cats – Spring course
  • Cattle and Deer – Winter Continues course
  • Chipmunks – Autumn course (An example of a chipmunks and squirrel study with Homeschool Nature Study here)
  • Coyote – High Desert course
  • Elk – High Desert ebook
  • Goats – More Spring Nature Course
  • Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel – High Desert course
  • Horses – Autumn course
  • Moose – Forest Fun course
  • Mountain Lion – High Desert course
  • Mouse – More Summer course
  • Muskrat – Creepy Things course
You can enjoy a simple mammals homeschool nature study with these resources we have gathered for you to use in your own backyard.
  • Pig – Autumn Continues course
  • Pocket Gopher – High Desert course
  • Porcupine – Forest Fun course
  • Rabbits
  • Raccoons – Summer course
  • Rats
  • River Otter – High Desert course
  • Sheep – More Winter course
  • Skunks – Summer course
  • Skunks and Badgers
  • Squirrels and Squirrels with Rodent Notebooking Page
  • Winter Mammals from Winter Wednesday course
  • Winter Mammals Hiberation – Winter Wednesday course
  • Winter Mammal Tracks – Winter course
  • Wolf, Fox, and Dog
  • Woodchuck, Groundhog, Prairie Dog, and Marmot
We’re starting with a favorite topic, black bears! Enjoy a bear nature study in your homeschool with this Outdoor Hour Challenge and bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool.

Additional Mammal Homeschool Activities Included with Membership

  • Mammal Outdoor Hour Challenge Notebook Page
  • Mammal notebook page
  • Running List of Mammals printable notebook page
  • Looking for Signs and Tracks
  • Mammal nature study journal idea printable. Mammals at the zoo.
homeschool nature study membership for families

Join The Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

Can you believe all of these mammals resources you will find in membership? You will also find a continuing series on mammals 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!

first published 2011 by Barb and updated by Tricia 2022

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Forbs and Pocket Gophers

Forbs and Pocket Gophers

I love it when I’m researching and learning about one topic and it leads me to another interesting topic. This often happens with nature study when an answer to a question just makes you curious about something else.

I’ve been reading about pocket gophers because we have many that live and are active in the habitat behind our house here in Central Oregon. Their holes are everywhere! (If you’re interested in learning about pocket gophers, there’s an Outdoor Hour Challenge in the High Desert ebook that will help you get started.) We’ve been wondering just what they eat and it turns out their diet includes “forbs”.

I had no idea what a “forb” was, so we decided to research the term.

Forb:

“A forb or phorb is an herbaceous flowering plant that is not a graminoid (grass, sedge, or rush). The term is used in biology and in vegetation ecology, especially in relation to grasslands and understory.”

-From Wikipedia

Basically, most wildflowers are forbs. Grass is not a forb.

A pocket gopher’s diet consists mainly of forbs, eaten from the roots and pulled down into their tunnels. Most pocket gophers do not venture too far from their tunnel entrances to look for vegetation to eat.

So my dear readers, follow those “rabbit trails” when you are researching a topic. You never know what gem you will discover. I learned a new term to use in my nature study.

 

Pocket Gopher Nature Study Outdoor Hour challenge

 

 

 

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Outdoor Hour Challenge -Cattle and Deer Nature Study

The Outdoor Hour Challenge this week gives you the option to study a cow, a deer, or even both!

cattle nature study

If you choose to read the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study on cattle, you’ll learn a great deal of information about cattle and cows. On the acreage behind our house, we have a summer herd of cattle, mostly cows and calves. We’ve learned so much by observing them in their daily activities as they graze, chew, rest, butt heads, and groom each other. The lesson from Anna Botsford Comstock will help you research the history of this animal, learn of its usefulness, and then guide you with many suggested observations.

deer with fawn nature study

In addition, this Outdoor Hour Challenge contains links to learn about deer. If you have local deer to observe like we do, you can choose to use your time this week to focus on a deer instead. Use the information to prepare for your next deer sighting.

Please feel free to study one or both animals this week.

Cattle and Deer Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudyView the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Cattle and Deer

cattle deer 2cattle deer 1cattle 2Cattle 1

If you have access to the Winter Nature Study Continues ebook, there are four notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebook

To purchase an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, click on over to the Join Us page at any time.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020Please use the discount code NATURE5 to receive $5 of an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

 

This is an Amazon affiliate link to a book that I purchased and love to use alongside the Handbook of Nature Study.

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Outdoor Hour Challenge: Muskrat Nature Study

This week’s nature study topic is the muskrat. Muskrats get their common name from the musk or fragrance they emit to attract a mate and to mark a territory. This is just one of the interesting facts about this mammal that you can learn from your study of the muskrat. Use the links below to get started and learn alongside your child.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Muskrats

  • Research the muskrat in a field guide or a book you find at your local library.  Here’s an online resource for this challenge: Common Muskrat.  This one is also very informative: Common Muskrat.

 

Alternate study this week

You may choose to complete a related study learning more about:

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Beaver

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Mouse (More Nature Study Summer Ebook)

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Rat

See the Creepy things ebook for more muskrat nature study ideas, videos, and printables!

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 ebook that’s available both in the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships. Sign into your account and download the ebook for the details, more links, and notebook pages.

Creepy Thing Ebook Cover image

If you don’t have a membership yet, click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 26 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Topics in this ebook include:

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

 

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Use the discount code SUMMERNATURE  for $10 off an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

Code expires 8/1/2020.

 

 

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Mammal Nature Study and Journals

Mammal Nature Study and Journals

Do you have some time on your hands these days for a little extra nature study?

Here’s a short of list of the newer Outdoor Hour Challenges you may want to complete that feature some totally awesome mammals. I’m personally working my way through the list in my own study and following up with nature journal pages for each one. I still have a few more to go!

Forest Fun ebook cover graphic

Black Bear Nature Study

Porcupine nature journal page

Porcupine Nature Study

Moose Nature Study

High Desert Ebook cover graphic

 

Elk Nature Study

Coyote mammal nature journal

Coyote Nature Study

Douglas squirrel golden mantled ground squirrel mammal nature journal

Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel Nature Study

Mountain Lion mammal nature journal

Mountain Lion Nature Study

Pocket Gopher Nature Study

river otter nature journal

River Otter Nature Study

 

You can click the link below to find all the mammal related nature study ideas here on the Handbook of Nature Study. I invite you to click on over and find something too!

Outdoor Hour Challenge Mammal Nature Study Index @handbookofnaturestudy

 

This is the perfect time to purchase an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership using the discount code SPRINGTOGETHER and receive $10 off.

That means you will receive all the benefits of a membership for just $35!

Benefits by Level graphic 2019 to 2020 updated January 2020

 

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New Printables for Members – Iridescence and Stripes and Spots

Now available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships:

1. Iridescence in Nature Notebook Page– This is such a fascinating topic! Do some research about the benefits of iridescence in nature and then create a notebook page with your notes and sketches.

2. Stripes and Spots in Nature Notebook Page – We all know animals, birds, and insects that have stripes and spots. Use a reference of your choice to discover their usefulness and then complete the notebook page as a follow up.

Iridescence in Nature Notebook Page

Stripes and Spots in Nature Notebook Page

(See the end of this post for more information on how you can become a member.)

Note: If you have any subjects you would like me to create nature notebook pages for, please let me know in a comment here on the blog or in an email: harmonyfinearts@yahoo.com

Printables for Members Button

Print a complete list of printables available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships by clicking the button above.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist January 2020

Use the discount code  SPRINGTOGETHER for $10 off an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership!

may page image

Members also have access to the Nature Planner pages in their library. Print out this month’s page and use it to stimulate your weekly nature study time.

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Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge: River Otters

River otters are a favorite animal around our house and this week’s nature study is going to introduce you to this active and entertaining animal. We frequently see them along our local river and are amazed at how fast they can swim! Check your local resources (nature centers, aquariums, or zoos) for a place to view river otters on your next field trip.

In the meantime, use the information in the Outdoor Hour Challenge to learn more about river otters and follow up with a nature journal page. I’ve listed a few activities below to get you started, but please remember that members have access to the full and complete challenge in the High Desert ebook.

Outdoor Hour challenge River Otter Nature Study

Here are a few ideas to get you started with a river otter nature study:

Otter at High Desert Museum

Please note that I won’t be posting the complete challenge here on the blog, but you will find the detailed challenge in the High Desert ebook that’s available both in the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships. Sign into your account and download the ebook for the details, more links, and notebook pages.

Alternate study: Outdoor Hour Challenge-Beavers

High Desert Ebook cover graphic

If you don’t have a membership yet, you can click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 25 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Topics in this ebook include:

  • Bitterbrush
  • Sagebrush
  • Greater sage-grouse
  • Succulents
  • Mountain Lion
  • Coyote
  • Pocket Gopher
  • Bristlecone Pine
  • Elk
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Juniper
  • Snowberry
  • Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel
  • River Otter

 

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist January 2020

Please use the discount code INITTOGETHER to receive $10 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership