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October Nature Study Activities For Children Of All Ages

October can often be the most mild and inviting time to be outdoors! The mornings are cool, the sunshine abundant, and the afternoons offer the perfect invitation to take a walk crunching the leaves under the foot. I hope your month is full of sunshine and outdoor walks too with these engaging October nature studies.

October Nature Study Activities

October can often be the most mild and inviting time to be outdoors! The mornings are cool, the sunshine abundant, and the afternoons offer the perfect invitation to take a walk crunching the leaves under the foot. I hope your month is full of sunshine and nature walks too.

photo by Amy Law

Outdoor Nature Study Plans with the Outdoor Hour Challenges

  • Autumn Favorites Outdoor Hour Challenge Curriculum
  • Autumn Curriculum
  • Fall leaf study grid
  • Signs of autumn study
  • Under the fallen leaves autumn fun
  • Fall color walk with printable color cards
  • Swallows and swifts and learning about bird migration
  • Goose

  • Turkeys
  • Horses
  • Salmon and trout
  • Seasonal tree study
  • Apples and how they grow
  • How to start a field notebook
  • Autumn weather and changes in your own backyard

The October Outdoor Mom

Anne reveled in the world of color about her. What is this? “Oh Marilla”, she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it”?

Anne of Green Gables

Your Outdoor Hour Challenge hostess, Shirley Vels, shares lovely prompts just for mom in The Outdoor Mom course for annual members: I’m sure most of us resonate with Anne and her love for October. There is no doubt in my mind that October is my favourite time of the year!

The smell of woodsmoke in the air, the gentle mists that gather each morning as the sun pops its face over the horizon, the chill that makes soft clouds form as you speak, the splendour of the autumnal trees and the golden light that seems unique to this time of the year filtering through the golden tree tops and painting beautiful dappled shadows on the ground is all simply quite heavenly!

Autumn Fern Nature Journal Entry

Nature Journaling Video on Ferns: Nature Crafts

Your nature illustrator, Victoria Vels, shares a beautiful fern nature journal entry. Follow along as she shares her process in a step-by-step video in the Nature Crafts course for annual Homeschool Nature Study members. Autumn is here with all its vibrant colour changes, so it’s time to document the beauty with this fern themed autumn nature journal entry. Follow along with me as I create this autumnal spread, experimenting with colours and painting techniques. Gather up your specimens, literature and facts and lets get started!

Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenges for Pumpkins and Apples

All the apples and pumpkins for nature study fun! When the air turns cooler and the leaves start to change color, it is always fun to learn more about apples and pumpkins! Enjoy this ultimate guide of fun apple and pumpkin nature study ideas for your homeschool.

New for Homeschool Nature Study members: apple printables, apple observations, apple taste test plus visiting a pumpkin farm and more!

Fall Leaf Study

There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week! Go on a fall leaf tour!

Fall Color for Preschoolers

A really great thing about fall is that it is a great time to get outdoors with the kids and explore nature. With that being said, here are some great fall nature study ideas for toddlers and preschoolers that I hope you (and your little ones) will enjoy.

Autumn Outdoor Hour Curriculum

More Fall Nature Study for Your Homeschool

Homeschool Nature Study Activities for Every Month of the Year!

Check out all we have for our members for each month:

October can often be the most mild and inviting time to be outdoors! The mornings are cool, the sunshine abundant, and the afternoons offer the perfect invitation to take a walk crunching the leaves under the foot. I hope your month is full of sunshine and nature walks too.

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

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

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

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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Delightful Preschool Nature Study Plans for Your Homeschool

Enjoy relaxed preschool nature study plans for your homeschool with nature table suggestions, simple nature study activities, field trip ideas, images to print, coloring pages, and so much more. What a privilege to introduce children to the glorious world God created!

Have children eager to be outside? You can think of the earliest years outdoors with your children as the way to grow a love and curiosity about the natural world. This habit develops gradually over their childhood. The earlier you start building a habit of nature study in your family, the easier it will be to encourage children to be engaged in nature study.

Don’t miss the free sample of preschool curriculum, below!

Delightful Preschool Nature Study Plans for Your Homeschool

Delightful Preschool Nature Study Plans for Your Homeschool

Preschool nature ideas for each month of the year include:

  • an animal, bird, flower and tree of the month – that is four nature studies each month!
  • nature table suggestions and items for free play
  • image cards
  • monthly activities
  • library books suggestions
  • casual monthly nature study
  • preschool hands on activities for active learning: singing drawing, tasting

“..the mother must not miss this 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.”

Charlotte Mason, Volume 1, page 45

These Outdoor Nature Study Plans Can Be Used Family Style

Most of these nature study plans point to existing Outdoor Hour Challenges in our membership. The new Preschool course includes nature studies plus the plans refer to spring, summer, autumn and winter topics.

These are studies the whole family can explore! So these preschool plans are a great place for the whole family to start with.

48 Outdoor Hour Challenges!

But what if there is a rainy day and you can’t get outdoors? The activities in our Preschool Nature Study Plans will give you new ideas for fun learning.

Sample a Month of Nature Study Plans For Preschool

Try a free sample of the preschool nature study plans included in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. This sample includes a month of nature study plans! Get your copy in the form, below:

Get Your Preschool Nature Study Curriculum Sample!

Subscribe to get your free Preschool Nature Study Curriculum Sample for Homeschool.

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

    Preschool Nature Study Curriculum Included in Homeschool Nature Study Membership

    Our Preschool Nature Study Curriculum is the newest addition to the Homeschool Nature Study membership. There are even more resources coming to members in the coming months!

    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!

    Join us for even more homeschool nature studies for all the seasons! With a new nature study each week, you will have joyful learning leading all the way through the homeschool year for all your ages!

    You might also like:

    This Nature Study curriculum written by founder, Barbara McCoy. Additional resources by Tricia. 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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    Project Based Homeschool Nature Study: Keeping a Calendar of Firsts

    Keeping a perpetual calendar of nature firsts is a wonderful long-term nature study project for families. It’s a simple way to learn the cycle of life in your world, noting the nature firsts that catch your attention each year. Comparing the dates of the firsts in nature will give you a more accurate telling of the passage of time.

    Keeping a perpetual calendar of nature firsts is a wonderful long-term nature study project for families. It’s a simple way to learn the cycle of life in your world, noting the nature firsts that catch your attention each year. Comparing the dates of the firsts in nature will give you a more accurate telling of the passage of time.

    Keeping a Calendar of Nature Firsts

    Calendars: It’s a great idea to have children keep a calendar to record when and where they saw the first oak leaf, the first tadpole, the first primrose, the first ripe blackberries. Then next year they can pull out the calendar and know when to anticipate seeing these things again, and they can note new discoveries. Imagine how this will add enthusiasm for daily walks and nature hikes! A day won’t go by when something isn’t seen to excite them.

    Charlotte Mason-in modern English
    calendar of firsts nature study

    Download Your Free Calendar Page

    (Note that members have this printable in your Planning Resources course in Homeschool Nature Study membership!)

    Get Your Nature Study Calendar Page!

    Subscribe to get your free nature study calendar page.

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      You can use a calendar page for each month with the list of days down the side or a more traditional grid style calendar where you fill in the boxes as you go. Whichever way you choose will work if you just remember to weekly take a minute or two to note any nature firsts you observed. Make sure to record the date (including year), time, and or location of your observation.

      Keeping a calendar of firsts a great project based activity for your homeschool nature study. Here's how to make it work.

      Nature Study Items To Look For Each Year

      • First elk
      • First ground squirrels
      • First snow
      • First robin, junco, swallow, hummingbird
      • Last leaves on the aspen (Yes, you can keep track of “lasts” as well.)
      • First campfire of the season
      • First fire in the wood stove
      Keeping a calendar of firsts a great project based activity for your homeschool nature study. Here's how to make it work.

      More Nature Study Firsts for You to Observe in Your Homeschool

      • First bee seen
      • Frogs chirping– first day heard
      • First mosquito bite
      • First skunk smell
      • First trillium or other wildflower blooming
      • First acorns on the ground
      • First green grass
      • First tulips blooming
      • First day warm enough for shorts and t-shirts
      • First freezing temperatures
      • First snowfall

      As you can see from the list, you are not limited to any one season or any one area for your firsts. Challenge your children to come up with some nature firsts of their own.

      A calendar of firsts can be kept by the entire family or by each individual child. The observations can be listed in words and/or pictures!

      The beauty of this project is that it can be started at any time and can be completed over many years with no guilt if you forget to record something for a period of time. If that happens, just pick up where you left off.

      Keeping a calendar of firsts a great project based activity for your homeschool nature study. Here's how to make it work.

      More Ways to Include Nature Study in Your Homeschool

      Here are a few more ideas you might enjoy:

      Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

      Written by Outdoor Hour Challenge founder, Barb McCoy in 2015. Updated by Tricia 2022.

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      Turkey Homeschool Nature Study Activities for November

      “The gobbler is the most vainglorious bird known to us; when he struts to show his flock of admiring hens how beautiful he is, he lowers his wings and spreads the stiff primary quills until their tips scrape the ground, lifting meanwhile into a semi-circular fan his beautiful tail feathers, he protrudes his chest, and raises the iridescent plumage of his neck like a ruff to make a background against which he throws back his red, white, and blue decorated head.”

      Handbook of Nature Study
      This turkey homeschool nature study includes fun activities and a free printable - everything you need for fall learning.

      Fun Turkey Homeschool Nature Study Ideas

      Wild turkeys are a funny bunch of birds. Homeschool Nature Study founder Barb McCoy says, “we lived in California, many times we saw turkeys in the woods and sometimes trotting down the back roads. They make a funny sound as they move through the trees and poke around on the ground for tidbits to eat.  Then, if you get lucky, you’ll see the male turkey strutting his stuff and displaying his beautiful tail feathers!

      This turkey homeschool nature study includes fun activities and a free printable - everything you need for fall learning.

      Homeschool Bird Study – Turkeys

      If you have a wild turkey or even a domestic turkey to observe, you’ll enjoy the suggestions in the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study.  Another suggestion is to watch the videos in the original challenge to get a taste of what turkeys are all about and then read the Handbook of Nature Study lesson and finish with a nature journal page with your children.”

      The full turkey homeschool nature study is included in membership – along with all the fun, fall favorite topics and a member calendar filled with daily nature study prompts!

      November Homeschool Nature Study Activities

      November Homeschool Nature Study Activities

      Before the whole month of November slips away, let’s make time to observe what nature is doing at this time of year. Start off by completing the reading of pages 1 and 2 in the Handbook of Nature Study as a refresher.

      Take a few minutes to think about how keeping a regular nature study period each week has benefited your family. Ask your children what they have learned so far this autumn season about the birds, insects, and plants in your neighborhood.

      November Homeschool Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenges

      Members can browse the November Outdoor Hour Challenges! Pine cone science, a year long brook study and more

      leaf prints homeschool nature study craft

      Victoria says, “As autumn gets into full swing, what better way to mark the change of seasons than with these super simple leaf prints. We are heading into that period of autumn where the leaves are on the cusp of igniting into rich shades of red and orange. Here in the UK, we usually have about a week of vibrancy before one strong wind comes along and blows all the colour to the ground. So it is best to capture its beauty while we can.”

      Let this give you encouragement to keep participating in the Outdoor Hour Challenge as the weather turns colder and wetter.

      Follow up your Outdoor Hour Challenge turkey time with a Turkey Walk with Chalk in Turkey Art Activities.

      Free Your November World Printable Journal Page

      your November World homeschool nature study

      Use the ideas in this challenge to get outside and find something of interest to note about your November World. Complete the notebook page in the Autumn Course included in membership or create a page in your own blank journal.

      Get Your November World Notebook Page!

      Subscribe to get FREE Your November World Notebook page.

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

        More Fall Homeschool Nature Study and Homeschool Ideas

        Here are even more ideas for your November homeschool:

        November is such a month of change and transition…don’t miss getting outside to view it for yourselves! Be sure to share your outdoor time on social media and tag @outdoorhourchallenge on Instagram or Outdoor Hour Challenges too!

        This turkey homeschool nature study includes fun activities and a free printable - everything you need for fall learning.

        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 Fall Homeschool Nature Study In Your Own Backyard

        The benefits of autumn or fall homeschool nature study in your own backyard are endless! These simple resources get you started making memories together.
        Photos by Amy Law

        When the calendar flips to September you might be ready for an autumn or fall homeschool nature study in your own backyard. How about your part of the world? Are you feeling like autumn or is it lingering summer? Whatever your world looks like you can take a fall walk and discover some fall color…maybe not your leaves but look for berries, nuts, and weeds that are changing color.

        autumn nature study with light coming through the treees

        The Benefits of Nature Study in the Fall

        The benefits of fall nature study seem to be endless! The most important of all is making memories together as a family. The crisp, cooler air and the brilliant blue sky (on sunny days) highlight all of the fall leaf color for us. Being outside does wonders for moods. And having an outdoor ‘laboratory’ for discovery is as simple as swinging open your backdoor.

        The fall Outdoor Hour Challenges are among our very favorites. My children and I have wonderful memories of looking for not only different leaf color but leaf shapes. With the cooler weather, we tend to take nature walks even more.

        Plus, a fall homeschool nature study gives an opportunity for all ages to learn as little or as much as they would like to.

        Fall Nature Study Lesson Plans

        We have Outdoor Hour Challenge Homeschool Nature Study Curriculum filled with weeks of fall nature study plans! You can also take a look at this sampling of the resources we have for you to enjoy simple, fall homeschool nature study in your own backyard.

        • Seasonal Tree Observations Outdoor Hour Challenge
        • Fall Color Walk with Printable Color Cards in membership (great for your youngest adventurers)
        • How to Make Leaf Rubbings (video)
        • Tips for Drawing Leaves
        • Learn Why Leaves Change Color
        • Advanced studies on the chemistry of leaves
        • Coming soon: apples, pumpkins, bats, turkeys and more!

        The benefits of autumn or fall homeschool nature study in your own backyard are endless! These simple resources get you started making memories together.

        Fall Notebooking Pages For Your Homeschool

        There are so many easy printable pages in Homeschool Nature Study membership for quick and fun nature walks!

        • Access to a Fall Leaf Nature Study Grid for printing (you can place in your journal and ‘check off’ scavenger hunt style. Includes a bookmark for coloring in the colors of the fall leaves near you)
        • Autumn nature study journal pages for each Outdoor Hour Challenge
        • Autumn coloring pages
        • Under the Fallen Leaves notebooking page
        • Autumn Changes in Your Own Backyard
        • Learning About Leaves – with journal page
        • Autumn Weather Tracking chart printable
        • Signs of Autumn Notebook Page
        • Printable Fall Series Field Notebook

        And SO much more! (with more topics coming!)

        More Homeschool Nature Study for Your Fall Learning

        Join Us For Fall Homeschool Nature Study

        We’ve heard from families that they were reluctant to start a nature study plan, stating that they thought it would restrict their freedom to focus on one topic. But, they found that having a focus each week actually helped them to stay regular at getting outside and it helped them be better at taking a few minutes to learn about an object they encountered, even if it wasn’t the original aim for getting outdoors.

        We make it easy with resources you can use at your own pace and on your own schedule. Or, you may choose to follow our annual nature study plans closely and have everything at your fingertips.

        Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

        The benefits of autumn or fall homeschool nature study in your own backyard are endless! These simple resources get you started making memories together.

        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 Outdoor Mom Series – New Feature for Homeschool Moms

        This month we start a new Outdoor Mom series focused on the Outdoor Hour Mom. Yes, this is all about you! As homeschool moms we give…A LOT, which is why it is so important that we carve out a little time to nurture our own well-being.

        This month we start a new Outdoor Mom series focused on the Outdoor Hour Mom. Yes, this is all about you! As homeschool moms we give…A LOT, which is why it is so important that we carve out a little time to nurture our own well-being.

        This does not have to be finding swathes of time to do something extravagant. Most of us don’t have that time.

        But it is important to develop a heart for the simple joys that come from the most ordinary of tasks and the most fleeting of moments. For it is these things that help us create moments of calm throughout our day and it is in these unhurried moments that we can see and hear the voice of our Saviour and experience His peace.

        Our vision for the Outdoor Mom series is to inspire you to slow down, find beauty in the ordinary, in celebrating your home, in ordinary everyday tasks; your hobbies, interests and of course, nature journaling, nature and the seasons.
        This is Shirley Vels in her garden!

        What Is The Outdoor Mom Series?

        Our vision for the Outdoor Mom series is to inspire you to slow down, find beauty in the ordinary, in celebrating your home, in ordinary everyday tasks; your hobbies, interests and of course, nature journaling, nature and the seasons.

        Join Homeschool Nature Study membership to enjoy the NEW Outdoor Mom series – with nature journal prompts – by your Outdoor Hour hostess, Shirley Vels.

        Annual Members: Find the NEW Outdoor Mom posts in the Outdoor Mom course.

        We Invite You To Participate!

        Not a member? We invite you to us!

        You can also participate with the prompts below:

        How Do You Join?

        Answer all or just one of the prompts in a post on Instagram – and tag us at @outdoorhourchallenge! You can also answer in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on our blog in a comment. If you answer on your blog, make sure to leave me a link in a comment so that I can pop over and read your responses.

        • During our outdoor time this week we went….
        • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…
        • Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…
        • In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting….
        • I added nature journal pages about….
        • I am reading…
        • I am  dreaming about…
        • A photo I would like to share…

        Whether your family spends a few minutes a week outside or hours at a time, share what is going on in your world.

        Outdoor Mom’s Journal

        Here is an entry by Barbara McCoy!

        The most inspiring thing we experienced was.….traveling to two national parks, Zion and Grand Canyon! My husband and I spent three days at each park and put a lot of miles on the old pedometer as we hiked and hiked and hiked.

        zion national park nature journal

        I added nature journal pages about.….both Zion and Grand Canyon. I created “twin” sorts of entries for each park. I am in the process of finishing off my pages but here is a sneak peek.

        Please join us! Share something that you have done lately. We are looking forward to reading your entries and comments!

        Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

        Shirley and her family have used the Handbook of Nature Study and Barb’s Outdoor Hour Challenges from the beginning of their homeschooling. Having begun their homeschool journey in Cape Town South Africa and finished it in the UK, the challenges and the Handbook of Nature Study have proved to be adaptable and relevant across continents. Shirley lives in Chester, England and blogs at Building A Household of Faith where she writes about homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way, nature study and encouraging homeschooling moms in their great charter as Christian wives, mothers and keepers of the home. She also hand-dyes yarn in her home studio Under An English Sky, which is inspired by the English countryside and of the great living books she and her family enjoyed over their homeschooling journey.

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        Creating a Nature Journal Supply Kit for Your Homeschool

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

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

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

        So, we created a nature journal supply kit.

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

        Creating a Nature Journal Supply Kit for Your Homeschool

        What did we take along with us?

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

        Nature Journal supplies pouch with pens pencils

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

        Nature Journal Kit in ziploc

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

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

        Nature Journal supplies watercolors

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

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

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

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

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

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

        More Nature Journal Encouragement For The Entire Family

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

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        Using the Public Library to Enhance Your Nature Study

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

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

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

        Using the Public Library to Enhance Your Nature Study

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

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

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

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

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

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

        How to Read a Nature Literature Book

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

        Nature Authors to Look Up at Your Library

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

        Lois Ehlert                                                           Eve Bunting

        Joyce Sidman                                                     Eric Carle

        Diane Siebert                                                     Diana Hutts Aston

        Jim Arnosky                                                        Jean Craighead George

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Learning for the Whole Family

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

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

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

        Be inspired! Be encouraged! Get outdoors!

        November 2013 Newsletter

        You don’t need to spend lots of money building a library of nature literature. Using the public library as a source of books is easy and fun.
        Posted on 2 Comments

        Is Nature Study Old-Fashioned for Your Homeschool?

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

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

        Is Nature Study Old-Fashioned for Your Homeschool?

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

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

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

        The Benefits of Nature Study in Your Homeschool

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

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

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

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

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

        More Favorite Tips for Encouragement

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

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

        Outdoor Hour Challenges for Your Homeschool

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

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

        Be inspired! Be encouraged! Get outdoors!

        by Barb, July 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Encouragement From Last Child in the Woods

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

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

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

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

        Encouragement from Charlotte Mason


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

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

        Benefits of Nature Study in Your Own Backyard


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Nature Study in Your Own Backyard with Outdoor Hour Challenges

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

        Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

        By Barb, June 2008