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Top Picks for Field Guides for Homeschool Nature Study

Building a library of field guides for your reference shelves is something that you can do as you work through the Outdoor Hour Challenges or as part of creating a homeschool library. These are our carefully selected, top picks for field guides for homeschool nature study.

You don’t need to in-vest a lot of money all at one time but choose a topic of interest and search out a good field guide as you can afford it. It is an investment in your family’s growing interest in nature study that will enrich your life for many years to come.

These are our carefully selected, top picks for field guides for homeschool nature study. Includes options for all ages.

What is a Nature Study Field Guide?

First of all, what is a field guide? A field guide is a book that helps you identify wildlife like plants and animals or other objects you find in nature like rocks or weather phenomenon. It is usually created to cover a specific region or area of the world. The guide usually has photos or illustrations of the object along with descriptions of the subject that help the reader identify it. Field guides are usually arranged to group subjects by color, shape, or habitat. Each guide will have introductory pages to explain how that particular field guide is organized.

Find out more about The Handbook of Nature Study book!

Three Field Guides To Use Alongside The Handbook of Nature Study

Our collection of field guides has grown year by year. I will share three choices that there are for field guides to use alongside the Handbook of Nature Study: Audubon Society Field Guides, Peterson Field Guides, and Golden Guides.

Audubon Society Field Guides

  • Actual photographs-glossy and in color
  • Separate section with thorough descriptions for identification
  • Vinyl cover for more durable wear or carrying in your day pack
  • Some topics available in Western or Eastern North American editions
  • My favorite: Birds

Peterson Field Guides

Read my full review of the Peterson Field Guides at The Curriculum Choice! Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists

  • Illustrations of typical specimens
  • Field marks for birds
  • Leaves, nuts, cones, needles shown for identification in the tree guide
  • My favorite: Trees

Golden Guides

  • Compact size and interesting to look at
  • Illustrations in color
  • More than a field guide with help in getting the most out of each study
  • My favorite: Pond Life

More Nature Themed Books to Enjoy

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story is a beautiful picture book biography about the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. Anna Botsford Comstock was passionate about children getting out of the classroom and into nature to learn first hand about our beautiful world.

A Nature Themed Book List for Easy Summer Learning – Over the years, our family has built a nature themed library of our favorite and most useful resources. There are picture books featuring the natural world, fiction with a nature theme, and non-fiction reference and activity filled books. Even now with my children all grown and on their own, I use this nature library for my own benefit and enjoyment.

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.

Favorite Nature Books for Your Homeschool Nature Studies at The Curriculum Choice – This collection of nature books I’m sharing with you not only includes many of our favorites, but many favorites of the Curriculum Choice Authors.

Homeschool Nature Study members have access to two resources to complement your nature book fun! Members enjoy a Nature Book Report Printable which is a wonderful follow up to your reading. There is also a Nature Book Project list to help you purposefully add nature books to your homeschool learning.

Living Science Beyond the Books – Every parent hopes their child receives a solid science education. This is the case whether our children are homeschooled or attending a traditional school. Many parents, including myself, know we received very little “real” science education growing up and when it comes time to teaching or supporting science learning in our children, we tend to feel slightly inadequate. This doesn’t need to be the case!

Planting a Rainbow Book Activities – After many, many days of grey, dreary weather–we needed a change! So for this week I checked out Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.

Birds, Nests and Eggs – The book Birds, Nests, and Eggs is the perfect beginner’s book for homeschool nature study. It’s also a wonderful take along guide that features many of the common birds that we see in our yards and neighborhoods.

These are our carefully selected, top picks for field guides for homeschool nature study. Includes options for all ages.

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 Barb McCoy, founder of the Outdoor Hour Challenges.

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