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The Ultimate Guide To Nature Journaling: Tips For Writing About Nature

We’ve gathered the best tips for writing about nature in this ultimate guide to nature journaling. What a wonderful, joyful way to expand your homeschool nature study!

We've gathered the best tips for writing about nature in this ultimate guide to nature journaling. What a wonderful, joyful way to expand your homeschool nature study!

As part of the Outdoor Hour Challenge I always suggest and encourage a nature journal entry to follow the outdoor time. I know from experience that this takes the nature study to a higher level and each person can personalize their study by slowing down to record a sketch or some narrative in their nature journal.

“We stifle the desire to write if we first lay down rules and formulas as to how to write. Let the child have a personal experience; then allow it to write. Did you ever have a pupil who could not write a composition, but who could write a letter that was full of originality and personality? Why could it write the one and not the other? Too often, I fear, we prevent children from writing by trying to make them write. Of what use is writing anyway, if it is not self-expressive? So let the child have something real and personal to write.Then when the child has written, throw away the blue pencil and suggest tactfully how the piece may be improved here and there. Do not hinder the child.”

The Nature Study Idea, Liberty Hyde Bailey

I have been reading a lot about nature journals this summer as part of research for a new project and I came across this quote by Liberty Hyde Bailey (contemporary of Anna Botsford Comstock). I have found in our family that what he says is very true. If our children have something they are excited about….they relish the idea of sharing it with someone. They can’t wait to talk about it or write about it.

Nature Journal Idea: Write a Letter About Your Nature Study

So enjoy a new idea (it was new to me). After you have your outdoor time and your child has a great experience, have them write a letter to someone about it. They can include sketches or just writing, telling the story of their adventure. Perhaps this will encourage them to dig a little deeper about their subject and since they have plenty to write about….it won’t seem like work.

Nature Journaling as Part of Your Nature Study

For more nature journaling inspiration, enjoy these ideas!

how to make easy preschool nature journals

Enjoy FREE printable pages for a Preschool Nature Journal, along with a how to video. Fun for your youngest ones!

Writing About Nature: A Creative Writing Book for Your Homeschool

The Writing About Nature book will help a wide range of writers who find their passion for nature moves them to document in words the creatures, plants, rhythms and cycles experienced in the great outdoors.

We've gathered the best tips for writing about nature in this ultimate guide to nature journaling. What a wonderful, joyful way to expand your homeschool nature study!

Writing About Nature – Book Review

Writing About Nature by John A. Murray (affiliate link to was a book that came highly recommended on as a book to help to those that are aspiring to write about nature or their nature experiences. In my case, I don’t intend for everything I write to be published, quite the contrary. I write mostly for my own enjoyment and to keep a record of those things I find the most interesting as I make observations both in my own yard and as I travel.

From the Preface of Writing About Nature: “To give those who can not or will not attend schools the means to learn about the subject on their own, at whatever pace they choose. To provide teachers from high school on up with fifteen lessons to be completed in a semester, written by someone who has taught the subject enough to know what works and what does not work.”

The book is organized by topics: journals, essays, the writing process, opening and closing, word pictures, figurative language, character and dialogue, story-telling, fiction and poetry, revision, and research.

My favorite chapter was on the journal. I have gleaned more out of this part than any other because my aim is not to write magazine articles or essays to publish, but to satisfy my desire to record my time in the natural world in a way that is not only an accurate record but enjoyable to read. After reading this chapter, I completed the practice exercise that suggested writing a journal that covers one season of the year….writing each day through the whole quarter, noting the changes that occur as nature moves through a circle of time. I did the spring season from March to June earlier this year. What a wonderful journal to look back upon!

Learning About the Writing Process

My second favorite chapter in this book was on the writing process. It outlined and explained how different writers have successfully used methods of writing that fit different objectives. There are quotes and portions of writing from famous writers like Thoreau, Abbey, and Mark Twain.

I was able to glean some tips for experimenting with ways to write about nature like keeping random field notes and then writing from those or using a quick write method which makes for a more conversational style of writing. Playing with words and ideas is something that is enjoyable for me so this chapter gave me fresh ways of creating a more polished piece of nature writing.

Each chapter has practice exercises. These suggestions can sometimes be done rather quickly but there are some exercises that take more time that you will need to plan for if you are doing this as part of a writing course.

Writing About Nature: Creative Writing for Homeschooling High School

Teaching high school students? This book would be a wonderful supplement to a high school writing course, a creative writing course, or as an extension of an advanced nature study course.

  • This book is not meant to be read cover to cover and then be put up on the shelf. It is meant to stimulate your writing skills and techniques over time.
  • Contains a complete anthology, index, and list of creative writing programs to investigate.
  • 15 chapters that can be complete writing units taking a week or longer to complete.

I am going to be pulling this off my reference shelf whenever I feel I need to freshen up my nature writing.

Last Child in the Woods review

More Nature Study Books and Reviews

We've gathered the best tips for writing about nature in this ultimate guide to nature journaling. What a wonderful, joyful way to expand your homeschool nature study!

Homeschool Nature Study Membership

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

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

Handbook of Nature Study for your homeschool

by Barb McCoy, founder of the Outdoor Hour Challenges

Happy writing!

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