Posted on Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

Queen Anne’s Lace Nature Study

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

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

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

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

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

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

family homeschool nature study

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

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

Ready for the picking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

nature journaling

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

nature journaling

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

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

~ Handbook of Nature Study
homeschool nature journaling

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

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

Homeschool Nature Study for Your Family

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

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

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

Tricia and her family fell in love with the Handbook of Nature Study and the accompanying Outdoor Hour Challenges early in their homeschooling. The simplicity and ease of the weekly outdoor hour challenges brought joy to their homeschool and opened their eyes to the world right out their own back door! She shares the art and heart of homeschooling at You ARE an ARTiST and Your Best Homeschool plus her favorite curricula at The Curriculum Choice.

Posted on Leave a comment

Charlotte Mason Nature Study: Simple Ideas for Wildflowers

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

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

Charlotte Mason – Simple Nature Study Ideas for Wildflowers

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

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

Elements of a Wildflowers Nature Study

Your child should be able to:

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

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

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

HNS page 460
blue flag iris

More Wildflowers Nature Study Ideas for Your Homeschool

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

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

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

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

The Ultimate List of Garden and Wildflowers Homeschool Nature Study (Outdoor Hour Challenges)

You can enjoy a simple garden and wildflowers homeschool nature study with these resources we have gathered for you to use in your own backyard. It is such a delight to study and learn about a garden and the beauty of wildflowers!

It is such a delight to study and learn about a garden and the beauty of wildflowers with our garden and wildflowers homeschool nature study for all ages.

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

The Ultimate List of Garden and Wildflowers Homeschool Nature Study Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges

NOTE: If the challenge is included an Outdoor Hour Challenge Curriculum ebook in Homeschool Nature Study Membership, it is noted directly after the challenge. If you have a membership, you will be able to pull up the ebook and print any notebook pages, coloring pages, or other printables for your nature study.

  • Autumn Apples – Autumn
  • Bachelor’s Buttons – Summer Continues
  • Bee Larkspur/Delphinium – Summer Continues
  • Black Eyed Susans – More Nature Study Summer
  • Black Swallowtail – Spring Continues
  • Bleeding Hearts – Winter Continues
  • Blue Flag Iris – More Nature Study Spring
  • Crocus – Winter
  • Daisy – More Nature Study Summer
  • Daffodil – Winter
  • Earthworms – Spring
  • Geranium – Spring Continues
It is such a delight to study and learn about a garden and the beauty of wildflowers with our garden and wildflowers homeschool nature study for all ages.
  • Monarch Butterfly – More Nature Study Summer
  • Nasturtiums – Spring Continues
  • Pansy – More Nature Study Winter
  • Pears – More Nature Study Autumn
  • Petunias – Spring Continues
  • Robins – More Nature Study Spring
  • Salvia – Autumn Continues
  • Snails – More Nature Study Spring
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet Peas – More Nature Study Spring
  • Tulip – Winter
  • Violets – Winter Continues
It is such a delight to study and learn about a garden and the beauty of wildflowers with our garden and wildflowers homeschool nature study for all ages.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Nature Study

These challenges can be found in Homeschool Nature Study membership.

  • Wild Mustard and Wild Radish
  • Shooting Stars
  • Lupine
  • Purple Chinese Houses
  • Yarrow
  • Henbit
  • Cow Parsnip
  • Columbine
  • Chicory
  • Cocklebur
  • Fireweed
  • Salsify
  • Forget-Me-Not
  • Paintbrush
  • Common Silverweed

Homeschool Nature Study: Wildflower and Weed Challenges

  • Azalea – Forest Fun
  • Bitterbrush – High Desert
  • Bloodroot – Winter Continues
  • Bluets – Spring Continues
  • Burdock – Autumn Continues
  • Buttercups – More Nature Study Spring
  • Cattails Spring Observations – Spring
  • Cattails Summer Observations – Summer
  • Cattails Winter Observations – Winter
  • Chicory – Wildflowers Continue
  • Cocklebur – Wildflowers Continue
  • Columbine – Wildflowers Continue
  • Common Silverweed – More Wildflowers
  • Cow Parsnip – Wildflowers Continue
  • Dandelions – Spring course (Here is an example of a Dandelion Outdoor Hour!)
  • Dodder – More Nature Study Spring
  • Dutchman’s Breeches – Winter Continues
  • Evening Primrose – Summer
  • Fern – More Nature Study Spring
  • Field Horsetail – Autumn
  • Fireweed – More Wildflowers
  • Forget-Me-Nots – More Wildflowers
  • Hedge Bindweed – More Nature Study Spring
  • Henbit – Wildflowers Continue
  • Hepatica – Winter Continues
  • Jack in the Pulpit – Spring Continues
  • Jewelweed – Autumn 2015
  • Lupine – Wildflowers
  • May Apple – Spring Continues
  • Milkweed –More Nature Study Autumn
  • Mullein – More Nature Study Winter
  • Mustard and Radish (wild) – Wildflowers
  • Paintbrush – More Wildflowers
  • Pearly Everlasting – Summer Continues
  • Poison Oak – Creepy Things
  • Pondweed – More Nature Study Summer
  • Poppies – More Nature Study Spring
  • Prickly Lettuce – Autumn
  • Purple Chinese Houses – Wildflowers
  • Queen Anne’s Lace Autumn Observations – Autumn
  • Queen Anne’s Lace Summer Observations – Summer
  • Rabbitbrush – Forest Fun
  • Big Sagebrush – High Desert
  • Salsify – More Wildflowers
  • Shooting Stars – Wildflowers
  • Skunk Cabbage – Forest Fun
  • Snowberry (shrub) – High Desert
  • Squirrel Corn – Winter Continues
  • Teasel – Autumn Continues
  • Thistles – More Nature Study Autumn
  • Trillium – Spring Continues
  • Vine Study – More Nature Study Spring
  • White Water Lily – Summer Continues
  • Winter Berries – Autumn Continues
  • Winter Weeds – Winter Wednesday and More Winter
  • Yarrow – Wildflowers
  • Yellow Adder’s Tongue – Spring Continues
  • Yellow Ladies Slipper – Spring Continues
  • Crop Plants – Clover
  • Crop Plants – Beans
  • Crop Plants – Corn
  • Crop Plants – Cotton
  • Crop Plants – Strawberries
  • Crop Plants – Pumpkins
  • Crop Plants – Tomatoes
Homeschool Nature Study Membership

Join The Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

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

first published January 2011 by Barb, updated by Tricia March 2022

The Ultimate List of Garden and Wildflowers Homeschool Nature Study Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges
Posted on Leave a comment

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge: Indian Paintbrush Wildflower Nature Study

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge

Indian Paintbrush Wildflower Nature Study

There are so many species of paintbrush that you’ll need to look in your local field guide to see which ones you may have in your region. Most paintbrushes bloom between May and September, often in large clusters with other flowers. They are easily identified by the brightly colored spike at the top of the stem, looking much like the end of a paintbrush.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Indian Paintbrush

If you have a membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you’ll find the complete challenge with images, more links to resources and videos, journaling ideas, a notebook page, and ideas for studying flowers in the figwort family. You’ll need to sign into your Ultimate or Journey level membership to see the book download. See the sample below to see what is included in each Outdoor Hour Challenge.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower 3 Covermaker
Ebook includes nature study lessons for common silverweed, fireweed, salsify, Indian paintbrush, and forget-me-nots.

 

Here’s a sample from the Wildflower ebook: Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Ebook #3.

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

ns_thesebooks

Posted on Leave a comment

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge: Forget-Me-Nots Wildflower Nature Study

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge

Forget-Me-Nots Wildflower Nature Study

We’ve reached the end of the third wildflower series of Outdoor Hour Challenges here on the Handbook of Nature Study. I sure have enjoyed taking a few minutes each week to learn about these common wildflowers. Next week, we start the herb series of challenges with the study of cilantro!

But this week, take a few minutes to read about and view some images of forget-me-nots in preparation for a wildflower study of a sweet little flower many of you have in your local area. Our yard has quite a few small patches of these blue beauties. It took me a few years to realize that these were actually forget-me-nots!

Outdoor Hour Challenge forget me nots

 

Where should you look?

  • Look up the range map on USDA: Forget-Me-Not Range and also the Woodland Forget-Me-Not range. Check to see if you have forget-me-nots in your local area.
  • Look for forget-me-nots in meadows, stream banks, and shrub-steppe habitats with aspens.  Normal blooming time is from May to August.

Remember that the complete challenge with videos, printables, and careful observation suggestions is available to Ultimate and Journey level members here on the Handbook of Nature Study.  You will need to sign into your Ultimate or Journey level membership to see the book download.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower 3 Covermaker
Ebook includes nature study lessons for common silverweed, fireweed, salsify, Indian paintbrush, and forget-me-nots.

 

Here’s a sample from the Wildflower ebook: Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Ebook #3.

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

 ns_thesebooks

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Forbs and Pocket Gophers

Forbs and Pocket Gophers

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

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

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

Forb:

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

-From Wikipedia

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

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

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

 

Pocket Gopher Nature Study Outdoor Hour challenge

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge: Salsify Wildflower Nature Study

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge

Salsify Wildflower Nature Study

When I first saw salsify, I thought it was a giant dandelion. Upon closer examination, I realized the leaves and flowers are quite different. Here in the U.S., there are 2 plants that are called salsify:

Salsify or oyster plant (tragopogon porrifolius) which has a white root and purple flowers.

Salsify or goat’s beard (tragopogon dubius) which has a black root and yellow flowers.

alsify wildflower june 2021

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Look for salsify along roadsides, vacant lots, pastures, and disturbed areas. Normal blooming time is from May to September.
  • This should be a fairly easy flower to spot if it’s blooming. It looks like a really large dandelion, purple or yellow depending on where you live. The seed head is also a larger version of the dandelion.

Outdoor Hour Challenge salsify

If you have a membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you’ll find the complete challenge with images, more links to resources and videos, journaling ideas, a notebook page, and ideas for studying flowers in the aster family. You’ll need to sign into your Ultimate or Journey level membership to see the book download.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower 3 Covermaker
Ebook includes nature study lessons for common silverweed, fireweed, salsify, Indian paintbrush, and forget-me-nots.

Here’s a sample from the Wildflower ebook: Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Ebook #3.

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

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge: Fireweed Wildflower Nature Study

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge

Fireweed Wildflower Nature Study

Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) gets its name from its ability to quickly populate a recently burned out or disturbed area. It’s hard to believe how this wildflower springs to life after a devastating wildfire, but it does so among the ashes!

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Look for pink spires of flowers on top of tall leafy stems with narrow willow-like leaves. See the images in this ebook and in the links below. Here’s a nice YouTube video for you to watch: Fireweed.
  • Look up the range map on USDA: Fireweed Range. Check to see if you have fireweed in your local area. Use the printable fact sheet from the USDA to learn all you can about this common wildflower: Fireweed Plant Guide.

Outdoor Hour Challenge fireweed

If you have a membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you’ll find the complete challenge with images, more links to resources and videos, journaling ideas, a notebook page, and ideas for studying flowers in the evening primrose family. You’ll need to sign into your Ultimate or Journey level membership to see the book download.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower 3 Covermaker
Ebook includes nature study lessons for common silverweed, fireweed, salsify, Indian paintbrush, and forget-me-nots.

 

Here’s a sample from the Wildflower ebook: Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Set 3 Sample

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

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge: Silverweed Wildflower Nature Study

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge

Silverweed Wildflower Nature Study

We’re starting the new Outdoor Hour Challenge series of wildflowers with the common silverweed. This plant is in the rose family and many of us in North America will be able to spot it after a simple study of its characteristics and an image or two. Thankfully, the silverweed has a very distinctive leaf pattern which helps us distinguish it from other small yellow flowered wildflowers.

Here are a few ideas to get you started. If you have a membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you’ll find the complete challenge with images, more links to resources and videos, journaling ideas, a notebook page, and ideas for studying flowers in the rose family. You’ll need to sign into your Ultimate or Journey level membership to see the book download.

Outdoor Hour Challenge silverweed

  • Look for common silverweed in sandy habitats along stream banks, shorelines, and meadows. It is low growing and there are mats of flat rosettes with creeping red colored runners. Another identifying feature is the leaves that have up to 20 leaflets with smaller ones mixed in among the larger ones. There is a single golden yellow flower on a leafless stalk.
  • The usual bloom time ranges from May to August.

 

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower 3 Covermaker
Ebook includes nature study lessons for common silverweed, fireweed, salsify, Indian paintbrush, and forget-me-nots.

 

Here’s a sample from the Wildflower ebook: OHC Wildflower Set 3 Sample

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

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

June 2021 Nature Study Plans – Outdoor Hour Challenge

I always get excited when we start a new series of challenges. Plus, who isn’t ready for a little wildflower nature time? Join us each Friday as we work through the Wildflower Ebook #3.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower 3 Covermaker

I’m hoping to create journal pages for each of the four wildflowers in this month’s Outdoor Hour Challenges.

 

june 2018 common silverweed

We have silverweed, fireweed, and salsify in our front yard so we won’t have to travel far to make careful observations.

I hope you can join us for some flower nature study this month!

6/4/2021 – Silverweed Nature Study

6/11/2021 – Fireweed Nature Study

6/18/2021 – Salsify Nature Study

6/25/2021 – Indian Paintbrush Nature Study

Circles in Nature notebook page

Pollinator Observation notebook page

New Printables in the Members Library

Circles in Nature Notebook Page: Take a walk and look for circles in nature. Use the notebook page to sketch and record some of your observations.

Pollinator Observation Notebook Page: Learn about the pollinators in your neighborhood and then use this notebook page to keep track of your research.

Printables for Members Button

Click the graphic above to view the complete list of printables available as part of an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

 

June 2021 nature planner page

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

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

If you’d like to have access to the member’s printables and the newsletter archive, I invite you to join with an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. Your membership will be valid for one year from the date of purchase. Click the graphic above to see the many benefits of an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.