Here you will find the best nature study resources plus year round support for your homeschool family! With this Ultimate Guide to Nature Study Resources at your fingertips, you will have all the beautiful benefits of nature study in your homeschool plus tips and ideas for getting started.
“Out-of-door life takes a child afield and keeps him in the open air, which not only helps him physically and occupies his mind with sane subjects, but keeps him out of mischief. It is not only during childhood that this is true, for love of nature counts much for sanity in later life.” -Handbook of Nature Study, page 2
The Benefits Of Nature Study In Your Homeschool
“In studying nature close to home, our 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.
A nature walk can stimulate our child’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 frigid 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.
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.” – founder Barb McCoy
“The ability to group things together by type and find differences is one of the higher orders of intellect, and every opportunity to use it first-hand should be encouraged.” -Charlotte Mason, vol 1, page 64
Tips For Getting Started With Homeschool Nature Study
“In nature-study the work begins with any plant or creature which chances to interest the pupil.” –Handbook of Nature Study
Enjoy your time outdoors together and don’t spend your time lecturing or even talking very much at all. Here are some encouraging topics to consider:
- Nature Study the Gentle Way
- Nature Study for Preschoolers
- Nature Study for the Child Who Loves Reptiles
- Nature Study – Creating Habits Young
- Nature Study: How to Do It Naturally
- Nature Study for Teens
- Nature Study and Toddlers
- Birdwatching 101: Attracting Birds to Your Yard
- Taking Your Nature Study Indoors (great for when it is really cold or really warm!)
- Nature Study in the City
Encourage Nature Study Investigation by Using Questions:
How to Use Questions in Nature Study:
- What do you see?
- What do you know?
- What do you wonder?
The Best Resources For Nature Study In Your Homeschool
You truly do not need many resources to enjoy nature study in your homeschool. Here at Homeschool Nature Study we suggest:
- Outdoor Hour Challenges
- The Handbook of Nature Study book
- Homeschool Nature Study Membership
Outdoor Hour Challenges for Your Homeschool
Just how do you get started in homeschool nature study? How do families participate in the Outdoor Hour Challenges? It is so simple to get started and we will show you how. Grab one of our best nature study resources with our free Homeschool Nature Study Guide and discover the joys of nature study in your homeschool.
Get Your Free Getting Started in Homeschool Nature Study Guide
Includes 10 Outdoor Hour Challenges to start with in your homeschool plus:
- General Instructions for Getting Started
- A list of the very few materials and resources needed
- Corresponding custom notebook pages to use in your nature journal for each challenge
Each Outdoor Hour Challenge Has Three Parts:
inside preparation work, outdoor time, and then a follow up activity. You can complete all or part of each challenge as you go along. Each challenge is written so you can adapt it to your own backyard or local area. Use the ideas as a way to get started with simple weekly nature study using the Handbook of Nature Study.
“…the mother must not miss the 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.” –Handbook of Nature Study, Page 17
“It is a mistake to think that a half day is necessary for a field lesson, since a very efficient field trip may be made during the ten or fifteen minutes at recess, if it is well planned.”
–Handbook of Nature Study
The Outdoor Hour Challenges Only Have One Required Book
The Handbook of Nature Study By Anna Botsford Comstock ISBN 9780801493843
- You can also read the Handbook of Nature Study online.
- If you use this option, you should read this entry about using older editions: Using Older Editions of the Handbook of Nature Study.
The Handbook of Nature Study is Not a Field Guide
This is probably the single most useful aspect of this book. In the beginning I was stumbled by the fact that this giant book didn’t have many of the creatures in it that I wanted to study. I was trying to use it as a field guide and then as an encyclopedia….it just isn’t meant to be either of those things.
The Handbook of Nature Study does have many specific creatures to study, broken down into categories. You can look them up either in the table of contents or in the index. If you find that the specific creature you are looking for is not listed, you can turn to the introductory pages for the category.
Nature Journal Supplies and How Tos
- You will find some inspiration and ideas in Getting Started with Nature Journaling.
- Ideas for Drawing in Your Nature Journal
- Nature Journal or Nature Notebook
Enjoy ALL of these nature study resources with Homeschool Nature Study membership!
Other Online Homeschool Nature Resources
The Best Homeschool Nature Study Resources – A great compilation over on our sister site, The Curriculum Choice.
Bird Study with Art – includes a study of artist and naturalist John James Audubon.
Chalk Pastel Nature Journaling – a fun way to capture your nature adventures.
Homeschool Study of Beatrix Potter – let’s go visit Hill Top Farm and meet all of her favorite animals!
Homeschool Nature Study Year Round Support with Membership
Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool! We invite you to join us in nature study with the Outdoor Hour Challenges and Homeschool Nature Study Membership.
“Adults should realize that the most valuable thing children can learn is what they discover themselves about the world they live in. Once they experience first-hand the wonder of nature, they will want to make nature observation a life-long habit. All people are supposed to be observers of nature and there’s no excuse for living in a world so full of amazing plants and animals and not be interested in them.” -Charlotte Mason, vol 1, page 61