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5 Tips for Staying Consistent With Nature Study

These five tips will help you stay consistent with nature study in the new year – or any time of year!

Enjoy these five tips to stay consistent with nature study in the new year – or any time of year!

5 Tips for Staying Consistent With Nature Study

Nature study can be a wonderful part of any education, providing connection to the world around us, real world scientific discovery, and a chance to connect as a family. Here are 5 ways to make it a consistent priority in your days.

Know your Why!

Why ARE you doing nature study? Is it just to fill up a slot in the day, or do you have a specific purpose for it? We do nature study because it is a vital part of the way we study science!

Have a plan for a specific time for nature study.

This will look different for different people, and may change in different seasons. For us, it is late afternoon in the seasons of shorter days, and after dinner in the seasons of longer days. For those that have littles at home, the morning might work best.

Don’t be in a rush!

Give plenty of time for what you are doing! Whether you’re in your backyard or out on a trail, if children are being rushed, they really can’t observe.

Keep notebooking supplies, nature study books, and field guides near at hand.

This allows you to not spend too much time gathering supplies when you’re ready to write/draw your observations. You are ready when the opportunity arises!

Have fun with it!

Not only are you learning, but you’re making memories that you’ll share with your children for a lifetime!

Valuable Support For Your Homeschool Nature Study

We’ve heard from families that they were reluctant to start a nature study plan, but, they found that having a focus each week actually helped them to stay regular at getting outside. It also 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.

Amy Law is wife to Jeremy, and mom to three. They homeschool using Charlotte Mason’s principles, and love to spend lots of time in nature! You can often find them hiking the beautiful trails of their beloved Tennessee hills, while Amy attempts to capture the beauty of it all with her camera lens.

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3 Nature Study Myths and How to Overcome Them

Here is how to overcome 3 nature study myths. Does the thought of doing nature studies intimidate you? Let these ideas encourage you!

Does the thought of doing nature studies intimidate you? Have any of these myths stopped you from studying nature with your kids? Here is how to overcome 3 nature study myths that get in the way for many homeschoolers.

Right now it is cold outside and I’ll admit— I’m a fair-weather nature walker! 🙂 But these solutions will help you overcome nature study myths.

Here is how to overcome 3 nature study myths. Does the thought of doing nature studies intimidate you? Let these ideas encourage you!

1. You must be able to identify every leaf, animal track, songbird and seed.

I can identify the pumpkin!

Guess what? You do not need to be a nature expert in order to enjoy nature studies! Pick up a couple of nature handbooks and learn along with your children! Here is more on The Handbook of Nature Study.

2. You must go on a 5 mile hike uphill both ways to make it count as a nature walk.

If you are a mom of toddlers or preschoolers, the thought of taking them far from home (or a bathroom) can cause you to dread going on a nature hike. I’ll tell you one of my secrets— our backyard is one of our favorite nature adventurelands! We have a normal suburban backyard but if you look, there are many natural treasures out there to be discovered.

Our local museum also has several different types of gardens on its campus. I love to take my children there because it is close to home, close to a bathroom, and a do-able outing for me with several young children. Someday I would love to be able to take my kids on longer hikes, but for this season, close to home is where we will do our nature observations.

3. Your kids must love nature in order to do a nature study.

Honestly, I rarely tell my kids, “Hey, we’re going on a nature walk!” Usually we all just need to get out and burn off some energy. I just happen to take them to places where it is easy to find things to observe. While they are walking (or running) I often engage them in a game of I Spy or I’m thinking of something… red, up high etc. These simple games help teach my kids observation skills. Then when we are out and about, they are used to looking at their surroundings and often find critters, leaves, rocks, twigs and more on their own.

Here is how to overcome 3 nature study myths. Does the thought of doing nature studies intimidate you? Let these ideas encourage you!

Resources For Nature Study in Your Homeschool

If you’ve been hesitant to start nature studies with your kids, the following resources offer great tips on how to get started:

Nature Study Printables for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Included in Homeschool Nature Study membership!

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!

Maureen helps Christian mompreneurs operate their business from a place of joy, purpose, and excellence because they are clear on how their business is serving their family and others. As a homeschool mom, she believes success at home AND business without the mom-guilt, stress and burn-out is possible! Outside of work, she loves having good conversations over a hot chai or GT Gingerberry kombucha and spending time with her husband and seven children. Visit her at MaureenSpell.com

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How To Create Simple Nature Displays for Fun Homeschool Learning

It took me awhile to be ok with bringing nature inside. I mean, I was a little concerned about little critter hitch-hikers finding their way into my home. But after figuring out how to address that problem, I was all on board for creating a nature display for our nature treasures. And now we keep adding more around our home. Here’s a few things to think about when planning our nature display.

Creating simple nature displays is a wonderful way to expose your family to the beauty of the world around us. Nature study made easy!

Types of Nature Display Containers

First you need to decide what kind of nature display container you would like to use. I’ve seen:

  • baskets
  • shadow boxes
  • old printer press drawers
  • miniature display case
  • trays

Find Treasures on a Nature Hike

Next, go find some nature treasures! Go on a nature hike! Many of our nature treasures were found in our own back yard or neighborhood. Things to remember:

  • Know the rules for keeping nature objects. If you’re at a state park, national forest or nature preserve, you can only look– not take anything you find.
  • If you reside in the U.S., there are some rules regarding collecting bird feathers. Because of this, we don’t pick up bird feathers.  We did purchase some feathers at Hobby Lobby (which is where we got the peacock feathers.) See Is it Illegal to Pick up Bird Feathers
  • For objects such as pine cones, nuts and bark– you can put them on a cookie sheet and place in a 200 degree oven for about 20-30 min. Watch items carefully so they don’t burn. This will make sure you don’t have any unwanted critters.
  • For things like seashells, soak them in cold water. Change the water daily for a week. I did use a plant-base cleaner on the last day (adding a very small amount to the soaking water) but that isn’t necessary– especially if you are picking up empty shells.
Creating simple nature displays is a wonderful way to expose your family to the beauty of the world around us. Nature study made easy!

How to Create a Nature Study Wall Display

We decided to create a wall display first. I found our display box at Hobby Lobby, but when I went back to get more, I couldn’t find them there. They might have been a seasonal item.

For bigger items, we placed them directly in the space. But I found that clean, glass spice bottles are awesome for holding smaller items. We have a bottle of sand, shark teeth, tiny shells, crab pinches, and tiny rocks.

How to Create a Simple Nature Table

We quickly ran out of room in our wall display, so we added a small display on top of the bookcase. I love that my kids can pick up and observe objects and have a space to proudly place items they find. (The book on the stand is Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World (Julia Rothman) )

Do you have a nature display or nature box? What tips would you add?

More on Nature Tables and Displays for Your Homeschool

Unsure of what a nature table is exactly? Here is simple definition with some ideas and tips. These will help you begin the habit of gathering things for your homeschool nature table during your Outdoor Hour Challenge time.

Nature Table Pinterest Board filled with ideas!

Moss on Our Nature Table and Up Close

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!

By Maureen Spell, a long-time contributor to the Outdoor Hour Challenges. Maureen helps Christian mompreneurs operate their business from a place of joy, purpose, and excellence because they are clear on how their business is serving their family and others. As a homeschool mom, she believes success at home AND business without the mom-guilt, stress and burn-out is possible! Outside of work, she loves having good conversations over a hot chai or GT Gingerberry kombucha and spending time with her husband and seven children. Visit her at MaureenSpell.com

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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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Fall Nature Study Ideas for Preschoolers and Toddlers

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.

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.

Fall Nature Study Ideas for Preschoolers and Toddlers

I don’t know about you, but fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the crisp, cool weather that is not too hot and not too cold. I love the radiant beauty associated with the changing of the leaves, when everything around you sports varying hues of golds, reds, yellows, and browns. I love the attire associated with the weather as well – cozy sweaters, sassy boots, and cute scarves. Everything about it is wonderful.

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.

Go for Nature Walks

Fall is the perfect time to go for a walk around your community or even go for a hike in the woods. As you are walking around, teach your kids how to keep an eye (and ear) out for various aspects of nature. Tell them to listen to the birds chirping and the sound of gurgling streams. Take opportunities to point out squirrels collecting nuts and explain how they are preparing for hibernation. There is almost always something of interest going on around you – you just have to take the time to pay attention.

Check out Neighborhood Nature Walks With Young Children

Create a Nature Box or Scrapbook

If your child is the type to enjoy keeping mementos of their experiences, you could help them decorate a box or scrapbook for them to store and display the things that they find during your nature walks. Many kids love collecting things like nuts, uniquely shaped rocks, feathers, leaves, and flowers that they find. It would also be a great way for you to come home and do some research about each of the items to teach them more about their little treasures. Here’s a great video tutorial on making a paper bag nature journal for toddlers and preschoolers.

Keep an Art Journal

If your child is more in the camp of ‘observing and not disturbing’, a great alternative to a nature box or scrapbook is an art journal. You can help them to create one by drawing pictures of what they observe (or even snapping a picture) and jotting down little notes about them. This enables them to have a keepsake of their own without actually taking bits and pieces of nature home with them.

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.

Identify Trees and Leaves

Grab a tree guide and help your child learn about and identify the various types of trees that grow in your area. Talk about how some trees produce flowers, nuts, or fruit. Which trees are the tallest or oldest trees in your area? Are there any trees that are indigenous to your area? Point them out and discuss why those trees might only be found in your region (a great way to talk about habitats and climate.) As Fall progresses, and more leaves fall to the ground, you could even help them identify which trees the different leaves come from.

leaf rubbing

Do Leaf Rubbings

Another fun activity to do while you are out and about is to collect different types of leaves and then bring them home to do leaf rubbings. Not sure what this is? Check out Barb’s how to post and video plus this wonderful tutorial.

Go Bird-watching

Have a lot of birds in your area? Take some time to sit out in your yard and have fun observing and identifying the different types of birds that come to visit. You could even try to entice more birds to stop by with one of these DIY bird feeders. For even more bird-themed activities, check out our Bird Study for Different Learning Styles post.

Toddler and Preschool Nature Study Printables

Do you like the idea of involving young children in nature study but not sure how to start? Do you need a little help being intentional with your nature studies? Nature Study Printables is full of printable tools for you to use to get young children observing and talking about nature!

Preschool Nature Study with Homeschool Nature Study Membership!

Enjoy ALL of our preschool nature studies plus access to the Outdoor Hour Challenges curriculum for the whole family in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. Find out more about our Delightful Preschool Nature Study Plans for Your Homeschool.

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

By Maureen Spell, a long-time contributor to the Outdoor Hour Challenges. Maureen helps Christian mompreneurs operate their business from a place of joy, purpose, and excellence because they are clear on how their business is serving their family and others. As a homeschool mom, she believes success at home AND business without the mom-guilt, stress and burn-out is possible! Outside of work, she loves having good conversations over a hot chai or GT Gingerberry kombucha and spending time with her husband and seven children. Visit her at MaureenSpell.com

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June Nature Study Activities for Summer Fun

These June nature study activities are a perfect way to kick off summer learning in your homeschool.

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

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

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

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

– Charlotte Mason

Nature Study In Your Homeschool

How to Use the Outdoor Hour Challenges for Your Homeschool Family Nature Study – Here are some things to consider for your homeschool family nature study. Every family is different so use these tips to get started with simple and joyful Outdoor Hour Challenges.

Homeschool Nature Study in Your Own Backyard – 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.

5 Getting Started in Nature Study Tips – 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.

June Nature Study Activities

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

Day Hikes Near Home – I realized over time that we didn’t need to travel far to find places to go on short notice or even for a half day’s hike. I loved being able to roll out of bed, decide to go on a hike, and be out the door in a short period of time. So, how did I overcome the dilemma of finding places to hike near our home?

Study Nature as You Travel This Summer – If you are planning a trip to a natural area to enjoy the outdoors, you may want to include nature study for your summer travel plans. Implement some of the ideas below to enhance your outdoor time.

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

Beautiful Lupine Wildflower Nature Study – Enjoy a beautiful lupine wildflower nature study for your homeschool! Don’t miss the free lupine resource download and the free event!

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!

More Nature Study Resources for Summer Fun

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

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.

June Nature Study Activities in Membership

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

Enjoy all of these and more in homeschool nature study membership:

  • Summer Senses
  • Mosquitoes
  • Summer Tree Observations
  • Summer Weather Observations
  • Bats
  • First Day of Summer Notebook Page
  • Fun Summer Photo Challenge
  • Monarch Butterfly Study
Nasturtiums! We went to our local garden store to search for them, and then worked in our nature journals at a nearby park. @amy.law

Have you subscribed to our Homeschool Nature Study YouTube channel?

  • Turtle and Pondweed Study
  • Mouse Study
  • Yellow Jacket and Mud Dauber
  • Owl
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Sunflower and other garden flowers
  • Raccoons and Skunks
  • Spectacular Night Sky Nature Study Ideas! (with a free printable)
  • and much more!

Plus a New June Outdoor Mom Post and a June Nature Craft!

These fun Outdoor Mom and Nature Craft activities are for our annual Homeschool Nature Study members! We invite you to join the family summer fun!

Nature Crafts for Kids: Boat

Victoria shares this really fun nature craft! “Summer is nearly upon us but the odd rain shower still hangs around, so now is the best time to make these little nature boats. Float them on a puddle after a summer rainfall, send them drifting across a pond or sailing down stream. these little nature boats will bring copious amounts of joy to a summers day.”

How to Make a Dandelion Crown: Nature Crafts for Kids

How to Make a Dandelion Crown Nature Craft

We are weeks away from Summer and the hedgerows and fields are glowing with dandelions, so now is the time to make dandelion crowns. One of the best uses for dandelions (there are MANY) is to create bright golden crowns to adorn our heads.

June Homeschool Outdoor Mom activities! So this summer I want to encourage you to take lots of walks. Eat lots of picnics outdoors. Take your shoes off and paddle in cool streams with your children and lie down in flower-filled meadows looking up at the blue skies and finding shapes in the clouds. Take time to plan a long, slow, purposeful summer with your families.

The Outdoor Homeschool Mom in June

This June, be encouraged by Shirley with all of her lovely Outdoor Mom prompts! Shirley shares, “So this summer I want to encourage you to take lots of walks. Eat lots of picnics outdoors. Take your shoes off and paddle in cool streams with your children. Lie down in flower-filled meadows looking up at the blue skies and find shapes in the clouds. Take time to plan a long, slow, purposeful summer with your families.”

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

These June nature study activities are a perfect way to kick off summer learning in your homeschool.

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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    Homeschool Nature Study for Teens: Three Steps For Success

    Once my children were teens, our nature study sort of stalled out. I made the mistake of presenting our outdoor studies in the same way that I had always done with them in the past. I would pick a topic, share some information from the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study, and then we would be out on the search for the subject.

    It was a habit but not really the habit I had set out to create. Where was the enthusiasm I had seen when they were younger? Why did we end of feeling like it was an item to check off our to-do list? I knew we could do better.

    Make your homeschool nature study for teens engaging and fun with these three steps for success. Includes practical examples.

    Homeschool Nature Study with Teens – Adapting to Different Needs

    “Nature Study – It is the intellectual, physical, and moral development by and through purposeful action and reaction upon environment, guided so far as needed by the teacher.” John Dearness, 1905

    “Some children are born naturalists, but even those who aren’t were born with natural curiosity about the world and should be encouraged to observe nature.”

    Charlotte Mason, vol 2 page 58

    The Challenge of Teens and Nature Study

    These questions led me back to the internet to research more closely how nature study develops into upper level science.

    “The Field Lesson. When planning a field lesson, three points should be kept in mind:
    First. The aim, to bring the children into sympathy or in touch with nature, through the study of that part of nature in which they have been interested.
    Second. The conditions out of doors, where the children are at home, where they must have greater freedom than in the schoolroom, and where it is more difficult to keep them at definite work, and to hold their attention.
    Third. The necessity of giving each child something definite to find out for himself, and of interest to the children so that each will try to find out the most and have the greatest number of discoveries to tell.”

    Nature Study and The Child, Charles B. Scott, 1900.
    Make your homeschool nature study for teens engaging and fun with these three steps for success. Includes practical examples.

    I found with my teenagers that there needed to be a different sort of follow-up to our nature observations…more than just a nature journal. They needed to be more connected to their nature study by finding patterns and relationships between past experiences and new ones.

    “But true science work does not stop with mere seeing, hearing, or feeling; it not only furnishes a mental picture as a basis for reasoning, but it includes an interpretation of what has been received through the senses.”

    Nature Study for the Common Schools, Wilbur Samuel Jackman, 1891

    This is the part of nature study I found the most meaningful to my children. To take what they already knew and to build on it with new observations, developing a real interest in knowing more. I could no longer just relate facts, no matter how interesting the facts were.

    Here is the key: Teens need to find the answers to their own questions and then express those answers in a way that makes sense to them.

    Three Steps To A Better Nature Study Experience for Homeschool Teens

    My research found that this pattern – observation, reasoning, expression – is nothing new or unique to nature study. This pattern is the process that all science is built upon. I have created a printable that explains this process and you can download and read it here (NOTE: Homeschool Nature Study members have this guide in your Getting Started course in membership):

    Get Your Three Steps To Nature Study Success Guide!

    Subscribe to get your free nature study success guide.

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

      Three Steps to a Better Nature Study Experience How to Offer Age-Appropriate Nature Study for the Whole Family

      Homeschool Nature Study members will find this resource in your Getting Started course when logged in to membership.

      If you are not yet a member, you can download this resource for free, below:

      Make your homeschool nature study for teens engaging and fun with these three steps for success. Includes practical examples.

      What Can Parents Do? How to Encourage Homeschool Nature Study With Your Teens

      It would be ideal if all nature study could be spontaneous but that hardly seems practical in a busy homeschooling week. For ease of scheduling, there must be some provision for getting outside each week (or in a perfect world it would be every day).

      Aim for three things in your nature study:

      • to really see what you are looking at with direct and accurate observation
      • to understand why the thing is so and what it means
      • and then to pique an interest in knowing more about the object

      What if my teen is still not interested in nature study?

      Sometimes, despite all my efforts, my teens’ interest wasn’t equal to my interest in nature study.  I could take them to the most fascinating places to explore and they would just want to sit and talk or take a walk by themselves. The setting was perfect and the subjects abounded, but they are more interested in throwing rocks or digging a hole.

      I knew the value of getting teens to get outside and see the wonderful things that existed right there under their noses. I knew I could not force them to do nature study but giving up was not an option. The answer is patience. The best way to handle this issue was to allow them the space and time to experience nature on their own terms.

      In My Homeschool Mom Experience:

      Here is a real-life example My two boys and I regularly made visits to my dad’s pond together.  When younger, they would go right to the business of scooping up water and critters and talking in excited voices about what they were finding. But once they reached the teen years, I noticed a different atmosphere, an attitude of “we’ve been here and done that”. I tried to remind myself that this was their normal teenage reaction to just about everything. They rarely appeared to be too excited on the outside. More often than not, they would later on relate the whole experience in a more favorable light to their dad or one of their siblings. Apparently, the outside of a teenager doesn’t accurately reflect the inside at all times.

      So if you have older children and they appear to not be interested at first, don’t give up. It may be that they just aren’t showing it outwardly but inside the experiences are deeply affecting them. Don’t give up on the habit of nature study with your teens.

      Enhancing a Nature Walk with Teens

      Digital Photography: A love of the natural world does not come automatically for all children and sometimes we need to find a way to hook them into getting outdoors. Most of our children have a lot of screen time each week. Rarely are they without a device that has a camera function. Take advantage of this tool in enhancing your time outdoors!

      Although there are advantages to taking a walk “unplugged”, there are distinct benefits to allowing your teens to take photos as part of their nature study time.

      • It slows them down.
      • Helps them focus and really see an object.
      • Everyday things in their own backyard can now be captured and viewed.
      • They can see the beauty.
      • They make their own connections.
      • Perfect for our teens…they are comfortable with the technology and love to share with their friends.

      More Homeschool High School Nature Study Encouragement

      Here is even more information on how nature study can enrich your homeschool teen’s high school experience:

      Advanced Studies in Each Outdoor Hour Challenge Homeschool Nature Study

      Each week when we release a new Outdoor Hour Challenge, we include advanced studies with our older students in mind.

      Charlotte Mason Style Exam Questions for Homeschool High School

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

      Make your homeschool nature study for teens engaging and fun with these three steps for success. Includes practical examples.

      Include Nature Study in Your High School Plans

      Gradually I have learned the value in allowing some leeway in the high school nature study topics we learn more about because I can see the growth in my children’s love for and connection to the world they live in. I hear their appreciation for the complex system of life that was created for us to enjoy and benefit from.

      Written by Outdoor Hour Challenge founder, Barb McCoy and updated by Tricia.

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      January Nature Studies Perfect for Winter Homeschooling

      Enjoy January nature studies perfect for winter homeschooling! Make plans to get outside for a brisk nature walk and then to follow up with a nature journal page recording all of the interesting things you found while outside.

      Enjoy January nature studies perfect for winter homeschooling! Make plans to get outside for a brisk nature walk and then to follow up with a nature journal page recording all of the interesting things you found while outside.
      Photo by Amy Law

      January Nature Studies Perfect for Winter Homeschooling

      The best times I can remember with my children are the times we just took it slow and easy, looking for the little things that most people pass by. Turn over a rock and see what’s underneath. Look up in the branches of the trees and see if you can find any birds or other critters. Take a walk and listen to the crunch of the snow. Breathe the air and enjoy the day.

      Go On a Winter Nature Walk

      Getting outside for a walk in winter may be one of the most refreshing activities you could do with your children. Simple and fun!

      snow experiments for your January homeschool
      Melting snow nature study activity

      Learn About Snow in January

      In this homeschool snow study there is so much to discover! Included is a field guide to snow, experiments like filtering, guidance from the Handbook of Nature Study and more!

      Enjoy January nature studies perfect for winter homeschooling! Make plans to get outside for a brisk nature walk and then to follow up with a nature journal page recording all of the interesting things you found while outside.

      Study Insects In Your January Homeschool

      We are focusing on winter insects in our homeschool nature study outdoor hour challenges. We are using the Winter Wednesday course and Handbook of Nature Study curriculum with our members. You can join our membership at any time. You will find a button at the end of this post that will take you to the signup page.

      When Winter Weather Drives Your Homeschool Nature Studies Indoors

      Taking your winter nature studies indoors when the weather outdoors is proving to be a challenge may be just the thing you need every once in a while. We have a lovely post from the archives to inspire your homeschool nature studies indoors for those days that you can’t face getting outdoors.

      Are you ready? Enjoy these Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool Resources as you watch birds in your backyard this February!

      January Homeschool Bird Study

      Winter Bird Study for Your Homeschool – Even when the landscape is covered in snow or ice or mud, there are always birds that will come to visit if you create a little bird-friendly habitat with some seeds, suet, and freshwater. You can observe birds right from your window if the weather isn’t friendly. Or, if you have the right conditions, take a bird walk in a nearby wood. Winter is an amazing time to stroll your neighborhood looking for resident or visiting birds.

      January Stopping By the Woods Study and More

      January always brings with it new hope and promises of a fresh start. We are going to kick off our January homeschool nature studies by using Robert Frost’s beautiful poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” as a springboard. Explore them here.

      As we move through the month we will be on the hunt for gall dwellers, looking at quartz and learning all about mullein.

      Winter Nature Study Crafts for Kids

      Winter is in full swing so with the plummeting temperatures looming on the horizon let’s take advantage and make these beautiful ice sun catchers! Victoria shares how in the Nature Crafts in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. Find out more about our nature study crafts for kids!

      Winter Homeschool Nature Study with Art and Music Appreciation

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

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

      More Winter Homeschool Nature Study Resources

      Here are even more winter nature studies for you to enjoy together:

      Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

      Enjoy all kinds of January nature studies perfect for winter homeschooling! Get outside for a brisk nature walk and follow up with a nature journal page.

      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.

      Posted on Leave a comment

      First Day of Winter Nature Walk Ideas for Your Homeschool

      Enjoy these first day of winter nature walk ideas for your homeschool! Getting outside for a walk on the first day of winter may be one of the most refreshing activities you could do with your children.

      The temperatures drop and we huddle inside more and more, especially on the shortest day of the year! Make plans to get outside for a brisk nature walk and then to follow up with a nature journal page recording all of the interesting things you found while outside.

      Get outside with your family with these first day of winter nature walk ideas for your homeschool! Simple and fun prompts to do together.

      First Day of Winter Nature Walk Ideas for Your Homeschool

      Encourage everyone to use all of their senses on this walk. Here are some winter nature walk ideas:

      • Did they see something colorful or unusual?
      • How does the air feel on your skin?
      • Is there a particular fragrance to the air?
      • Can you listen carefully for a minute or two to distinguish any particular sounds?

      Another idea is to ask your children to find differences in the landscape, comparing your neighborhood habitat on this winter day to what they remember about the first day of summer. This is a little harder and you may need to help them get started with a few of your own observations.

      Get outside with your family with these first day of winter nature walk ideas for your homeschool! Simple and fun prompts to do together.

      More Winter Homeschool Nature Study Resources

      Here are even more winter nature studies for you to enjoy together:

      Take Your Homeschool Winter Study Indoors

      Taking your winter nature studies indoors when the weather outdoors is proving to be a challenge may be just the thing you need every once in a while. We have a lovely post from the archives to inspire your homeschool nature studies indoors for those days that you can’t face getting outdoors.

      Make Memories Together This Winter

      Most importantly, take along a good attitude and leave yourself open to whatever the experience brings. Allow your children to direct you to things they find interesting and then share in their excitement. A good nature walk is pleasurable for everyone and allows you and your children to develop a relationship with our Creator.

      The best times I can remember with my children are the times we just took it slow and easy, looking for the little things that most people pass by. Turn over a rock and see what’s underneath. Look up in the branches of the trees and see if you can find any birds or other critters. Sit quietly by the edge of a pond or stream and see what comes along. Breathe the air and enjoy the day.

      There’s a printable in Homeschool Nature Study Membership for the First Day of Winter Nature Walk for you to use as part of this activity. A simple list and a sketch will make a perfect follow up to your outdoor time.

      Get outside with your family with these first day of winter nature walk ideas for your homeschool! Simple and fun prompts to do together.

      Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

      First published by Outdoor Hour Challenge founder, Barb McCoy.

      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.