Posted on Leave a comment

Spectacular Night Sky Nature Study Ideas for Your Homeschool

Take some time this next week to get outside at night and enjoy a beautiful night sky homeschool nature study. Allow plenty of time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness and just enjoy gazing up at the heavens. Use some of these suggestions to get started with some simple night sky observations.

Take some time this next week to get outside at night and enjoy a beautiful night sky homeschool nature study. Allow plenty of time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness and just enjoy gazing up at the heavens. Use some of these suggestions to get started with some simple night sky observations.

Spectacular Night Sky Nature Study Ideas for Your Homeschool


Outdoor Hour Challenge
Night Sky Study

Record your night sky observations using this free printable. Barb McCoy created it so you can get two simple journal pages from one sheet of paper. Print the page, cut it in half, and then staple at the top to make a Night Sky Journal. Print several pages if you want to create a larger journal.

Night Sky Journal Printable


Night Sky Journal Printable Notebook Page

Please fill out the form, below, to receive your free night sky journal page!

Get Your Night Sky Journal Page!

Subscribe to get your free night sky journal page.

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

    Stargazing: Perseids Meteor Shower Homeschool Ideas

    If you aren’t familiar with the Perseid Meteor Shower, it is one of the brightest and longest-lasting meteor showers. And, it happens in August, so it’s usually easy to view because the weather is warm, and the sky is likely to be reasonably clear. 

    Barb McCoy, founder of the Outdoor Hour Challenges, shares some Perseids Meteor Shower encouragement and a journal page:

    Last weekend I visited with a friend who is also a nature lover. She and I talked about the night sky for a long time and how much joy it brings to us to view the magnificent canvas of stars each night. We shared stories of past experiences with viewing meteor showers and agreed that it is something to make time for even if it is late at night.

    Our family was able to view the Perseid meteor shower over the last few nights…it doesn’t disappoint! As soon as it is dark you can view a few “shooting stars” so don’t think you have to keep your kids up too late. It is more spectacular later in the night but just getting your children aware of what is out there is worth the effort.

    We also looked up the next full moon for August and marked it on our calendar. We noted last night’s sunset and the time in our area..planning on checking it a few more times later in the month.

    Take some time this next week to get outside at night and enjoy a beautiful night sky homeschool nature study. Allow plenty of time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness and just enjoy gazing up at the heavens. Use some of these suggestions to get started with some simple night sky observations.

    My nature journal entry is a work in progress and as the month goes by I will add more of my thoughts to the box I made on the bottom of the page.

    Getting Started in Nature Study Suggestion


    If you already own the Getting Started in Homeschool Nature Study ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #4.

    *Note: the free Getting Started book has the first three challenges. Members enjoy all 10 Outdoor Hour Challenges.

    Have a short discussion with your child about which aspect of the night sky they are most interested in and focus on that as long as they are interested…could be a week or the whole month.

    Some night sky nature study ideas are:

    • stars
    • planets
    • meteors
    • or the moon

    Complete the notebook page from the Getting Started ebook if you want a more formal record of your study. 

    Moon phases homeschool nature study

    More Hands On Night Sky Homeschool Nature Study

    You might also like these fun ways to learn about the night sky:

    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 the outdoors at night with your children. If you have early risers, you can even enjoy some time then. It is a special time to share together.

    Take some time this next week to get outside at night and enjoy a beautiful night sky homeschool nature study. Allow plenty of time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness and just enjoy gazing up at the heavens. Use some of these suggestions to get started with some simple night sky observations.

    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.

    Posted on 2 Comments

    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!

    Creating a nature journal with your children is an experience you all can enjoy. I always told my children (and myself) that there’s really no right or wrong way to create a page, except if you never gave it a try. Over the years, I had to create a routine for nature journaling or we would procrastinate or forget it altogether.

    One way to give us a better chance of creating a nature journal was to take our journal and our supplies along on our nature walk so we could create a page right at the moment. But, this meant I needed to be a little prepared before we left the house.

    So, we created a nature journal supply kit.

    Nature Journal supplies basic. Here are some tips for creating a nature journal supply kit for your homeschool. It is simple, inexpensive and is easy to do!

    Creating a Nature Journal Supply Kit for Your Homeschool

    What did we take along with us?

    When the children were younger they exclusively used spiral bound journals because they were easier to take along with us when we did our sketching. We used No. 2 pencils and colored pencils pretty much for all the entries.

    Nature Journal supplies pouch with pens pencils

    For variety and as they grew older, we started to use colored pencils and thin markers to create our nature entries. Watercolors often gave a wonderful result but they required a bit more effort because you needed to bring along a water source, the brushes, and a paper towel or cloth in addition to the journal.

    Nature Journal Kit in ziploc

    I found that keeping our supplies all together in one spot and storing them in an easy to find place, made it more likely that we would actually complete a page while we were taking our Outdoor Hour.

    I suggest you find a container like a plastic crate, a tote bag, or a backpack to use as a storage container for your journal supplies. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Don’t use anything too large or too heavy or you won’t want to lug it around on your nature walks.

    Nature Journal supplies watercolors

    I have a plastic container that I purchased at the Dollar Tree store many years ago that has held up nicely, but I’m sure you have something sitting around your house that you could start off using for now.

    Gather your supplies and remember to keep it simple. A few No. 2 pencils with erasers, a small set of colored pencils, a small set of watercolors and a brush, some tape, a pair of scissors, a water container, and a pencil sharpener can form the foundation of your supply kit.

    Over time, your family will find favorite supplies to have when journaling on the road. The most important part of journaling is to have experiences to document on the journal pages. Start there. Create the opportunity for a good nature study and then follow up with a little time to work in your nature journal.

    “It was time for new nature notebooks for sure. We purchased these smaller versions of our old notebooks at a Michael’s, and I think they’ll be just perfect. We’ve tried them out, and we are finding the smaller size to be super convenient. I love all the fun colors!” – Amy Law

    The habit of nature journaling is something that will benefit your child long after they have grown up. It teaches important observation and documenting skills that will benefit other areas of study and real life.

    Handbook of Nature Study: an Outdoor Hour Homeschool Curriculum - Nature Journaling

    More Nature Journal Encouragement For The Entire Family

    Here are some more ideas and encouragement on nature journaling for you and your children:

    Posted on Leave a comment

    The Joy of Nature Study For Your Homeschool Year

    We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!

    “Make this a time to learn a little something new about your world. Finding time for these challenges will help this season be one that your child will not only learn something new but make special memories for a lifetime.” – Barbara McCoy (founder of The Outdoor Hour Challenges)

    We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!

    When Barbara McCoy retired, I knew that these gentle nature studies needed to still be available to homeschool famillies like mine.

    These are the very nature studies my children and I started homeschooling with. To us, they are deliberate delight!

    I shared a short introductory video, below:

    That is why we are now offering Homeschool Nature Study and your Outdoor Hour Challenge hostess, Shirley Vels, has joined us!

    Homeschool nature study annual plan. We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!

    Outdoor Hour Challenges Schedule of Nature Study

    The plan for the coming year is now available to members! In the photo above, you can see a preview of the courses and homeschool nature study curriculum we look forward to using! These plans were prepared by Shirley Vels, your Outdoor Hour Challenge hostess!

    Shirley and I are always planning something new for you! The new plans for the homeschool year are available each July so that members will know the topics ahead of time and can plan even more fun learning.

    We even have some new series coming soon!

    Autumn Handbook of Nature Study outdoor hour homeschool curriculum

    NEW Autumn Outdoor Hour Challenge Homeschool Curriculum

    The new Autumn Outdoor Hour Challenge homeschool curriculum is available to members. It is also now available for purchase in our nature study store.

    The Outdoor Hour Mom - nature study with Homeschool Nature Study series

    New Outdoor Mom Series

    Because nature study is for parents too, we have a new series starting in membership. These simple prompts will bring you joy, help you notice beauty and encourage you as you model nature study for your children.

    Outdoor Hour challenge Nature Crafts

    New Nature Crafts Series

    In addition to the Outdoor Mom series, we will also be offering a new Nature Crafts series for members. We are so excited about both of these offerings!

    New Outdoor Hour Challenge Every Friday

    Shirley Vels, your Outdoor Hour Challenge hostess, shares about how there is a new Outdoor Hour Challenge Nature Study each Friday. She also talks about how these nature studies bring The Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

    Nature journaling series at Homeschool Nature Study

    Monthly Nature Journal Activities

    In this continuing series for members, monthly nature journal activities take your outdoor experiences, your thoughts, new ideas or facts, and make them tangible. Here are some ideas to get you started nature journaling.

    We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!

    How to Get Started in Homeschool Nature Study

    You can download Getting Started – Nature Close to Home for FREE which helps you get started in homeschool nature study and outlines how to participate in the Outdoor Hour Challenges.

    We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!

    Nature Study in Your Own Backyard and Nature Journaling with Outdoor Hour Challenges

    To get each Friday’s homeschool nature study Outdoor Hour Challenge and for access to a continuing series of new nature studies, join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. With homeschool nature study membership, you will have everything you need to bring 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.

    We are excited to announce several fun resources that will make is easy for you to add the joy of nature study for your homeschool year!
    Posted on 2 Comments

    A Beautiful Lupine Wildflower Nature Study for Your Homeschool

    Enjoy a beautiful lupine wildflower nature study for your homeschool! Don’t miss the free lupine resource download and the free, live event! Details, below.

    Enjoy a beautiful lupine wildflower nature study for your homeschool! Don't miss the free lupine resource download and the free, live event!

    Lupine Wildflower Nature Study

    This Homeschool Nature Study is part of the Wildflower Course with an accompanying Outdoor Hour Challenge curriculum ebook.

    The lupine nature study includes:

    • indoor preparation and Handbook of Nature Study references
    • Outdoor Hour suggestions
    • additional resources on the host plant and butterflies that love lupine
    • custom notebook pages to use for the lupine flower and the pea family
    • advanced studies
    • drawing lesson

    You may wish to watch this short video of lupine (including a bee visit): Lupine.

    Make Your Homeschool a Little More Beautiful – A Free Event with a Lupine Nature Study!

    Make your homeschool a little more beautiful with literature, art and nature study! Explore the beloved picture book, Miss Rumphius, with Sarah, Nana and Tricia. What a FUN way to kick off your homeschool year!

    YOU are invited!

    • When: Wednesday, July 27th at 11AM PT/2PM ET
    • Where: Zoom platform

    Sign Up To Participate

    Get your free resources + info on the Live Event!

    Make Your Homeschool Year a Little More Beautiful

      Sign Up To Participate and For Your Free Resources

      When you sign up you will receive:

      • Information for joining us for the live July 27 event
      • Your Read Aloud Revival Family Book Club Guide on Miss Rumphius
      • A Homeschool Nature Study lupine Outdoor Hour Challenge
      • Access to the replay for one week after the event

      Please note: A replay will only be available to those who sign up. Be sure to fill out the form, below!

      Here’s How to Be Ready for the Event

      For your literature time with Sarah, reserve or pick up your copy of Miss Rumphius at your local library or order online today!

      For your art time with Nana, you will just need a very few suggested supplies, below:

      • a starter set of chalk pastels (Our favorites are here).
      • construction paper (Nana suggests white construction paper for this lesson)
      • baby wipes or damp paper towel for easy clean up

      For your nature study time with Tricia, have your lupine download on hand.

      Remember to sign up, above!

      Enjoy a beautiful lupine wildflower nature study for your homeschool! Don't miss the free lupine resource download and the free, live event!

      Share On Social Media!

      Be sure to share your Make Your Homeschool A Little More Beautiful time on social media and tag @readaloudrevival @outdoorhourchallenge and @chalkpastelart – We can’t wait to see you participating and to see your paintings!

      And please invite your friends!

      Posted on Leave a comment

      Outdoor Hour Challenge: Cicada Homeschool 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.

      Outdoor Hour Challenge Cicada Homeschool Nature Study

      Cicada Homeschool Nature Study

      Use this link to learn a little about the cicada: Very informative website with photos, sounds, and descriptions of North American cicadas. Note that some appear periodically, every 13 or 17 years: Cicada Mania.

      See the Creepy things Homeschool Nature Study curriculum for more cicada nature study ideas, videos, and printables!

      An alternative nature study would be the cricket or the grasshopper.

      You may be interested in reading this about cicadas:

      “But the most distinctive peculiarity, which has no parallel in any of the other groups, appears in the organs of sound (of the males). These consist of two large parchment sacs, ribbed and gathered into numerous plaits, furnished with powerful muscles, and situated in large cavities at the base of the abdomen. When in action, the air is driven in great force against the ribbed surfaces, and vibrations are set up which produce the sound in accordance with the number and form of the fluted spaces and ribs.”

      An Introduction to Entomology

      By John H. Comstock and Anna Botsford Comstock.

      Please note that I will not be posting the complete challenge here on the blog. You’ll find the detailed challenge in the Creepy Things Curriculum that’s available at the annual level of Homeschool Nature Study. Sign into your account and download the curriculum for the details, more links, and notebook pages.

      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.

      If you don’t have a membership yet, join today for immediate access to the courses, matching downloadable curriculum and so much more!

      Topics in this Creepy Things Course and Homeschool Nature Study curriculum include:

      • Banana slug
      • Tarantula
      • Black widow
      • Scorpion
      • Leech
      • Muskrat
      • Sphinx moth
      • Cicada
      • Millipede
      • Poison oak

      More Cicada Resources for You!

      Our sister website, You ARE an ARTiST, has a cicada art lesson with Nana.

      Homeschool Nature Study Membership
      Posted on 6 Comments

      Homeschool Nature Study Resource: Keeping a Nature Journal – Review

      Keeping 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.

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

      This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

      Homeschool Nature Study Resource

      This is a book that many of us own and is sitting on our shelf. It may also be a book that you have looked at online, have seen others using, or actually paged through at a bookstore. It is a familiar book that I have a love/hate relationship because of the perceived expectation that it creates for journalers.

      Many of us struggle with perfection. We think that a nature journal should be a place of beauty and value…which I agree with wholeheartedly. But, it also can be a place that we experiment and mess up from time to time. A smear here or a misspelled word or funky drawing we don’t like can also appear on a nature journal page. Those “mess ups” shouldn’t keep us from striving to create pages on a regular basis.

      Don’t let the great page examples overwhelm or discourage but allow them to create a reservoir of ideas to use over the years as you fill your journal.

      A review of Keeping a Nature Journal Homeschool Nature Study Resource

      Quick Thoughts About the Book

      Note: page numbers are from the first edition

      • This is a book for all ages to use as they learn to keep a nature journal.
      • You will find ideas for using a nature journal in all curriculum areas on page 165 (A Curriculum Web for Nature Journaling).
      • The “Getting Started with Drawing” section (pages 139-153) would be a wonderful basis for an art course using nature as your subject.
      • I found the section titled, “Subjects to Observe, Draw, Record throughout the Seasons“, to be a wonderful inspiration and I intend to refer to it for my own use. Each season is listed in the chart along with ideas for drawing birds, animals, plants and trees, weather and sky, and seasonal celebrations.
      • ***I see the second edition of this book has an expanded section showing more of Claire’s actual journal pages.

      Keeping a Nature Journal by Claire Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth gives this long term nature journal mom some fresh ideas that I can’t wait to use in the upcoming summer season.

      Find this great resource HERE.

      More Homeschool Reviews

      Are you making your nature journal your sidekick this summer?

      Previous Month’s Books and Reviews and More Nature Journaling Homeschool Resources

      Nature Study in Your Own Backyard and Nature Journaling with Outdoor Hour Challenges

      To get each Friday’s homeschool nature study Outdoor Hour Challenge and for access to a continuing series of new nature studies, join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. With homeschool nature study membership, you will have everything you need to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

      Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

      Posted on 5 Comments

      Monthly Nature Journal Activities For Your Homeschool

      Monthly nature journal activities take your outdoor experiences, your thoughts, new ideas or facts, and make them tangible. Here are some ideas to get you started nature journaling.

      Monthly nature journal activities take your outdoor experiences, your thoughts, new ideas or facts, and make them tangible. Here are some ideas to get you started nature journaling.
      Photos by Amy Law

      The Value Of Nature Journaling In Your Homeschool

      Paging through the completed journals gives such a sense of accomplishment, each page a nugget of learning from your nature study.

      This time of year is an opportunity to reflect on our goals and habits. I don’t know about you but one thing that has been a little neglected over the last year is my nature journal.

      Monthly Projects For Nature Journaling

      Our Homeschool Nature Study members will receive new nature journal activities each month! I jotted down a list of journal ideas for each month of the year. Creating a  page a month will be a simple and reachable goal and I hope it will help you and your family to complete a few pages too.

      Monthly nature journal activities take your outdoor experiences, your thoughts, new ideas or facts, and make them tangible. Here are some ideas to get you started nature journaling.

      Homeschool Nature Journal Supplies Needed?

      Let’s keep it simple. Pull your nature journal off the shelf or out of your backpack and take a look at what you have done so far and decide if your journal choice is inspiring you or hindering you.

      Or, if you are new to nature journaling, take a trip to the office supply store and look over your journal choices. It is important to like the feel and size of your journal. I like to use sketchbooks but some people like to use fancier journals.

      Here are a couple I have used in the past and really liked. They lie flat, are spiral bound, and they hold up to just about any medium I want to use (including watercolor with varying results).

      Some links may be affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

      Nature Journals

      The point is not to get hung up on choosing a journal but just pick one and get started!

      Monthly nature journal activities take your outdoor experiences, your thoughts, new ideas or facts, and make them tangible. Here are some ideas to get you started nature journaling.

      Art Supplies for Writing and Sketching

      I use a variety of things to write in my journal.

      • If you have a good black pen you like pull that out and keep it with your journal.
      • Gel pens
      • Prismacolor markers and Prismacolor watercolor pencils round out my nature journal writing and sketching choices.
      • Don’t forget a good old No. 2 pencil is always handy for making quick sketches in your journal.

      Other Journaling Supplies

      Other items that may be helpful for your nature journal activities include a small ruler, a jar lid for making circles, double sided tape to adhere items in your nature journal, a pencil sharpener, and a small cup and paint brush for working with watercolor pencils.

      More Encouragement

      Handbook of Nature Study nature journaling

      Nature Journal Series Overview By Month

      The first months of nature journal activities is ready for Homeschool Nature Study members in the Nature Journaling course in membership. This will give members the rest of the month to spend some time outdoors as part of the Outdoor Hour Challenge or other family activity and then create a journal using the suggestion.

      Each lesson is filled with ideas and how tos for your family:

      • June – Sketch Outside
      • July – Using Your 5 Senses

      More nature journal activities coming for members each month!

      Monthly Nature Journal Activities For Your Homeschool

      Share Your Nature Journals!

      Share a photo of your nature journal and tag us on social media @outdoorhourchallenge Join us in continuing this fun Nature Journal Project started by our founder, Barb McCoy!

      Browse examples by others on this Nature Journal Pinterest board.

      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

      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.

      Nature themed literature is a wonderful way to generate an interest in the natural world.  They can also be used to enhance an area of study by sharing information along with illustrations in a simple and non-threatening way.

      Children can usually sit still for a few minutes while you share a picture book and many times they will later pick up the book again all on their own and really study it.

      Using the Public Library to Enhance Your Nature Study

      You don’t need to spend lots of money building a library of nature literature (unless you want to). Using the public library as a source of books is easy and fun. How do you get started?

      • Pick an area of interest—trees,  forest animals, butterflies, etc. Really the sky is the limit.
      • Use your library’s computer search, enter in the topic and then find the books on the shelves.
      • Generally, children’s literature and children’s nature-themed non-fiction books are the best for all ages. Information will be on a level that will be appropriate for children to understand (and moms too).
      • Field guides will probably be in the adult non-fiction section and you can ask your librarian to point you to the shelf or you can use the library’s computer search to find the call number for your selection.
      • If you find an author or series you like, look for more books by that author or in that series.

      Weekly stops at the library will allow you to find information on any topic that comes up during your Outdoor Hour Challenge time. Questions can be recorded in the child’s nature journal and then answered during the next trip to the library.

      It is always exciting to find the answers to questions and satisfy a child’s curiosity.

      Out of School and Into Nature is a wonderful book for your library nature study.

      You can put a limit on the number of books your child can borrow on one topic. It is always disappointing to go to the library and find that someone has cleared the shelf of all the books on one topic. Take just enough to read in a week and then if you still have interest, check out another book on the same topic.

      How to Read a Nature Literature Book

      • Get comfortable with your child at your side or one on each side, making sure they can see the pages.
      • Start with the cover of the book and ask them what they see and what they think the book is all about.
      • Read the title and then the first few pages, slowly reading the words and allowing time for gazing at the pictures.
      • Every few pages pause for your child to tell you something about what you just read (narration). See if they have any questions.
      • If it is a short book, finish the book and have your child give their thoughts about the book. Did they have a favorite page or picture? Have them share something they learned about the topic from reading the book.
      • Use the book’s illustrations as the basis for an art lesson, copying a picture with colored pencils or markers onto paper.
      • Leave the book out for the child to look at again and hopefully enjoy a second time. (Make sure if you have little ones around that they can’t get to the book and mar it in some way.)
      • Keep your nature books together, perhaps organizing them by topic or by season.
      Fun with the art of Eric Carle! Tricia and her family checked out several Eric Carle books for their library nature study after their visit to the art museum.

      Nature Authors to Look Up at Your Library

      Please some are Amazon affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

      Lois Ehlert                                                           Eve Bunting

      Joyce Sidman                                                     Eric Carle

      Diane Siebert                                                     Diana Hutts Aston

      Jim Arnosky                                                        Jean Craighead George

      I have some books that are personal favorites that I will include here in this post. You can look for them at your local library.

      North American Wildlife: I am highly recommending this book to all Outdoor Hour Challenge families who live in North America. This is a perfect complement to the Handbook of Nature Study and will give your family a valuable tool in digging deeper into the wonders of nature in our own part of the world.

      Keeping a Nature Journal at The Curriculum Choice: This book can be used right alongside the Handbook of Nature Study. It will give you step by step help in creating nature journal pages that are simple but meaningful to your child. (Shirley’s review here).

      Take Along Guides for Homeschool at The Curriculum Choice: When I found my first “Take-Along Guide” at a used book store, I was interested so I purchased it.  But it was later when I began really reading it that I became really interested.

      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.

      Charlotte Mason Picture Book Biography: This lovely Charlotte Mason picture book biography tells the story of Miss Mason, painting a picture of the time she lived, her knowledge of how children learn and her passion for children to love learning. At our sister site, The Curriculum Choice.

      This is a life-long project and you can share that concept with your children, building the notion that nature study is a way of life long after homeschooling is over.

      Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Learning for the Whole Family

      Members will find a Nature Book Report you can complete if you would like to keep a record of your library nature study learning.

      To get each Friday’s homeschool nature study Outdoor Hour Challenge and for access to a continuing series of new nature studies, join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. You will have everything you need to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

      With membership, you will have access to Outdoor Hour Challenges curriculum and resources to enrich your homeschool.

      Be inspired! Be encouraged! Get outdoors!

      November 2013 Newsletter

      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.
      Posted on 2 Comments

      Is Nature Study Old-Fashioned for Your Homeschool?

      Why are we spending time in nature study? Is nature study old-fashioned for your homeschool? Do we really need to expose our children to this type of learning in our modern age, where everything is at our fingertips as far as finding answers to anything we want to know in books or on the internet?

      Is nature study old-fashioned for your homeschool? Discover how outdoor time and nature study are as fundamental to good learning as you can find.

      Is Nature Study Old-Fashioned for Your Homeschool?

      I think outdoor time and nature study are as fundamental to good learning as you can find. Charlotte Mason agrees.

      “And this is exactly what a child should be doing for the first few years. He should be getting familiar with the real things in his own environment. Some day he will read about things he can’t see; how will he conceive of them without the knowledge of common objects in his experience to relate them to? Some day he will reflect contemplate, reason. What will he have to think about without a file of knowledge collected and stored in his memory?”
      Charlotte Mason, volume 1 page 66

      Is nature study old-fashioned for your homeschool? Discover how outdoor time and nature study are as fundamental to good learning as you can find.

      The Benefits of Nature Study in Your Homeschool

      Is nature study old-fashioned? Nature study is foundational and fundamental to learning. Here you will find more encouragement to include nature study in your homeschool days.

      Homeschool Nature Study in Your Own Yard: Learn What is Closest – 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 Tips for Nature Study – Nature study should be something that doesn’t seem like work. Allow the child to soak in the nature study opportunities that come your way. 

      Creating a Nature Study Atmosphere: Start with Your Attitude – Creating a homeschool nature study atmosphere does not need to be difficult, dirty, or uncomfortable. In fact, the best nature study is done without much effort and is guided by your child’s interest in topics that come along.

      Is nature study old-fashioned for your homeschool? Discover how outdoor time and nature study are as fundamental to good learning as you can find.

      More Favorite Tips for Encouragement

      Let us help you get started! You will find our FREE Getting Started Outdoor Hour Challenges Guide HERE.

      You can use the ideas in those challenges to get started with a simple nature study time with your children. You can use each challenge as many times as you want.

      Outdoor Hour Challenges for Your Homeschool

      To get each Friday’s homeschool nature study Outdoor Hour Challenge and for access to a continuing series of new nature studies, join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. You will have everything you need to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

      With membership, you will have access to Outdoor Hour Challenges curriculum and resources to enrich your homeschool.

      Be inspired! Be encouraged! Get outdoors!

      by Barb, July 2008

      Posted on Leave a comment

      Homeschool Nature Study in Your Own Backyard: Learn What is Closest to Home

      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.

      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.

      In the book Last Child in the Woods, the author makes the point several times that today’s science textbooks and programs are missing the mark. Many, many young students know more about the tropical rainforests and volcanoes of the world than they know about their own backyards.

      Homeschool Nature Study in Your Own Backyard: Learn What is Closest to Home

      Is there a better way to introduce our children to the world of science? Yes, but it may mean we have to get dirty. We will need to spend time outdoors *with* our children and look at things through their eyes. It may mean that teaching science doesn’t follow a straight path or a certain scope and sequence. It changes science or nature study in your own backyard into more of a way of life rather than a school subject to be checked off your “to do” list each week.

      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.

      Encouragement From Last Child in the Woods

      Here’s a selection of quotes from one of my favorite sections in Last Child in the Woods:

      “Any natural place contains an infinite reservoir of information, and therefore the potential for inexhaustible new discoveries.”

      “For some young people, nature is so abstract-the ozone layer, a faraway rain forest-that it exists beyond the senses.”

      And the best of all from this section:
      “For a whole generation of kids, direct experiences in the backyard, in the tool shed, in the fields and woods, has been replaced by indirect learning, through machines. These young people are smart, they grew up with computers, they were supposed to be superior-but now we know that something’s missing.”

      Encouragement from Charlotte Mason


      If you have read any of Charlotte Mason’s writings, she tells us what is missing from most of our young people’s educations. Charlotte Mason advocated the sort of science learning that Richard Louv encourages in this book….an education where children are exposed to and encouraged to be out in nature.

      With her emphasis in the early years on nature study, Charlotte Mason is showing us how to make science meaningful to our children. It will not be some abstract idea or have a political agenda. Science really is as simple as the plan put before us by Charlotte Mason. We are the ones that make it complicated.

      Benefits of Nature Study in Your Own Backyard


      A nature walk can stimulate our children’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 bitter 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. (Check out my daughter’s table-top garden post on her blog at HeartsandTrees.)

      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.

       
      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. As Christians we want to appreciate the world that God made for us to live in. We want to be able to understand Him better by learning about all that He created.

      You don't need a special textbook or kit to get started. With nature study 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.

      Nature Study in Your Own Backyard with Outdoor Hour Challenges

      To get each Friday’s homeschool nature study Outdoor Hour Challenge and for access to a continuing series of new nature studies, join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. With homeschool nature study membership, you will have everything you need to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool.

      Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

      By Barb, June 2008