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Fun Summer Nature Study Photo Challenge

Enjoy a fun summer nature study photo challenge plus first day of summer ideas! I don’t know about you but I’m so very ready for the summer season! The most noticeable change is the amount of daylight. The sun is up early and it lingers in the evenings.

Enjoy a fun summer nature study photo challenge plus first day of summer ideas! I don’t know about you but I’m so very ready for the summer season! The most noticeable change is the amount of daylight. The sun is up early and it lingers in the evenings.

Nature study can be easy and fun when you have access to the Outdoor Hour Challenges! Pick the topics that interest your family the most and then get started with the activities, videos, and follow up notebook pages.

While you’re just starting your summer nature study planning, please consider an Outdoor Hour Challenge. Maybe observe your weather and plan to make a special day of activity on June 21st as we all usher in the summer season.

Terrific Ideas for Your First Day of Summer Nature Study Activities

Here are some ideas to get you started on your summer fun!

Photo by Erin Vincent

Summer Nature Study Photo Challenge for Your Homeschool

Join us for a FUN summer nature study photo challenge! You can complete the challenges in any order you would like. You can take the photos or your children can take the photos. This is a fun, relaxed activity that I hope brings some joy to your outdoor time.

Join us for a FUN summer nature study photo challenge! You can complete the challenges in any order you would like. You can take the photos or your children can take the photos. This is a fun, relaxed activity that I hope brings some joy to your outdoor time.

This printable Summer Nature Study Photo Challenge is available in the Summer Handbook of Nature Study Curriculum in Homeschool Nature Study Membership. You can enjoy this and an entire summer’s worth of nature study Outdoor Hour Challenges plus a calendar filled with daily nature study prompts in membership.

First Day of Summer Photo Walk

Take a camera or a phone camera outdoors and find some special First Day of Summer subjects. Take a photo, print out a few and safely tuck them into your nature journal. You can combine this with the Summer Photo Challenge.

First Day of Summer Flower Field Trip

Take a trip to your local garden nursery and let your child pick a plant to add to your backyard garden or patio container garden. After you plant your flower, sketch it into your nature journal along with the name of the flower and the date you planted it.

You can combine this activity with any of the printable journal pages in our free Getting Started Guide or those in Homeschool Nature Study membership.

Summer Nature Study with Art
Photo by Erin Vincent

Summer Nature Study with Art

Enjoy a free Summer Treehouse art lesson – just imagine all you could observe outdoors in nature in your very own treehouse that you design and sketch! Find the lesson towards the bottom of the post.

Summer Watermelon Recipe

Summer Watermelon Recipe

Watermelon Popsicles Recipe – are you a huge watermelon fan too?

First Day of Summer Notebook Page

First Day of Summer Notebook Page

After a nature walk, preferably under a shade tree, complete the First Day of Summer notebook page in Homeschool Nature Study membership – for your nature journal.

You might also like:

Share Your Summer Photos!

Be sure to tag us on Instagram @outdoorhourchallenge #outdoorhourchallenge so we can comment and share your photos!

Are you as excited about summer as I am?

A FUN Summer Nature Study Photo Challenge plus First Day of Summer Ideas! Nature study can be easy and fun when you have access to the Outdoor Hour Challenges! Pick the topics that interest your family the most and then get started with the activities, videos, and follow up notebook pages.

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.

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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.
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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

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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

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5 Getting Started Tips for Nature Study in Your Homeschool

Here are 5 getting started tips for nature study in your homeschool. What a delight nature study learning is and what joys you will discover outside your back door. We will help you with simple encouragement along the way.

Here are 5 getting started tips for nature study in your homeschool. What a delight nature study learning is and what joys you will discover outside your back door. We will help you with simple encouragement along the way.
Photos by Amy Law

Tips From The Handbook of Nature Study

You will find some of the very best tips for nature study from Handbook of Nature Study author, Anna Comstock.

“Nature study is, despite all discussions and perversions, a study of nature; it consists of simple, truthful observations that may, like beads on a string, finally be threaded upon the understanding and thus held together as a logical and harmonious whole.”

Handbook of Nature Study, page 1

Nature study is a long term project, building from year to year. Take it one subject or topic at a time and see the results.

“During autumn the attention of the children should be attracted to the leaves by their gorgeous colors. It is well to use this interest to cultivate their knowledge of the forms of leaves of trees; but the teaching of the tree species to the young child should be done quite incidentally and guardedly. If the teacher says to the child bringing a leaf, “This is a white-oak leaf,” the child will soon quite unconsciously learn that leaf by name. Thus, tree study may be begun in the kindergarten or the primary grades.”

Handbook of Nature Study, page 622
What a delight learning is and what joys you will discover outside your back door. We will help you with simple encouragement along the way.

Begin slowly and naturally to share a love of things in nature with your children.

“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, page 15

You don’t need to devote large blocks of time to nature study to be successful.

“When the child is interested in studying any object, he enjoys illustrating his observations with drawings; the happy absorption of children thus engaged is a delight to witness.”

Handbook of Nature Study, page 17
Nature journals are a natural extension of the learning that happens. 

Nature journals are a natural extension of the learning that happens during nature study. 

“If nature study is made a drill, its pedagogic value is lost. When it is properly taught, the child is unconscious of mental effort or that he is suffering the act of teaching. As soon as nature study becomes a task, it should be dropped; but how could it ever be a task to see that the sky is blue, or the dandelion golden, or to listen to the oriole in the elm!”

Handbook of Nature Study page 6
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. 

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. 

More Favorite Tips for Encouragement

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. Make sure to subscribe to this blog for more tips for nature study.

Homeschool Nature Study Membership - Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life!

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.

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

Be inspired! Be encouraged! Get outdoors!

Enjoy 5 tips for nature study in your homeschool. What a delight nature study is and what joys you will discover outside your back door.
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Creating a Nature Study Atmosphere in Your Homeschool: 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.

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.
Photos by Amy Law

The nature study we talk about here is meant to be simple, a constant vigilance for something to be interested in right in your own neighborhood.


Creating a Homeschool Nature Study Atmosphere – It Starts With You

Nature Study- You can do this and your children will thank you. That really is my main message for this post and this Homeschool Nature Study website.

Nature Study Close to Home

Traveling to national parks can be a goal for everyone and I feel so very blessed to live in a part of the county where they are at my fingertips. But your own backyard can produce meaningful nature study if you are aware of things that come along…you need to be watching and listening.

Creating a homeschool nature study atmosphere does not need to be difficult, dirty, or uncomfortable. The best nature study is little effort and is guided by your child's interest.

No Need for Homeschool Group Learning

Participating in nature clubs can be a wonderful experience for a nature study atmosphere but having a few minutes with just your own kids outside each week can be just as wonderful.

Be Flexible With Your Time

Focusing on one nature study topic gives your family a full picture of that aspect of nature but don’t miss out on other subjects that come around because they are not on topic. Take a detour if needed and remember that nature study should be a life-long endeavor.

I have observed that families that make nature study a consistent part of their everyday life are the ones that feel the most satisfaction. Honestly, it warms my heart to see and hear about the times where families have an opportunity arise and they drop everything to pursue the learning more. A spider in a web, a bird’s song, the weather, rocks in pockets….take a few minutes to share it with your children.

dragonfly homeschool nature study

You may be surprised how your attitude changes with knowledge. 

In the end, what matters most is the way you view nature. Children are very keen observers and they will know when you are not excited about something. I can’t say I am always excited about every nature study topic…snakes and fish come to mind…but I do try to share my passion for learning new things and encourage my children to learn more about topics of interest. Funny thing is that once you start learning about things like snakes, the more interesting they become. The closer you look at a fish, the more beautiful it is.

Join us in Homeschool Nature Study Membership for a NEW Outdoor Hour Challenge each Friday!


You will find encouragement and resources to get your nature study atmosphere started. It is all done for you. Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool!

Outdoor Hour Challenge Getting Started Guide – the beginning of so many good times with your children outdoors!

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.

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

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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.

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.
Photos by Amy Law

“From the time she was no higher than a daisy, Anna was wild about nature.”

Suzanne Slade

One of the most natural ways for people to learn is through story. This sweetly illustrated biography of Anna Comstock gives a glimpse into the life of the woman who wrote the wonderful book The Handbook of Nature Study. Knowing more about her life makes her writing even more special! – my friend, Amy Law.

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story is a lovely book written by Suzanne Slade and beautifully illustrated by Jessica Lanan.

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.

The Anna Comstock Story Picture Book Biography Review

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

“This picture book biography examines the life and career of naturalist and artist Anna Comstock (1854-1930), who defied social conventions and pursued the study of science. From the time she was a young girl, Anna was fascinated by the natural world. She loved exploring outdoors, examining wildlife and learning nature’s secrets. From watching the teamwork of marching ants to following the constellations in the sky, Anna observed it all. And her interest only increased as she grew older and attended Cornell University. There she continued her studies, pushing back against the common belief of the day that implied science was a man’s pursuit.

Eventually, Anna became known as a nature expert, pioneering a movement to encourage schools to conduct science and nature classes for children outdoors, thereby increasing students’ interest in nature. In following her passion, this remarkable woman blazed a trail for female scientists today.” –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.

“The nature story is never finished. There is not a weed or an insect or a tree so common that the child by observing carefully, may not see things never yet recorded.”

-Anna Comstock

Here at Homeschool Nature Study, we highly recommend this book for your homeschool! It is a wonderful way to learn all about – and be inspired by – the author of the Handbook of Nature Study. You might also like our Anna Botsford Comstock Quotes for Nature Lovers and Last Child in the Woods.

Bring The Handbook of Nature Study to Life in Your Homeschool!

Learn More About The Handbook of Nature Study for Your Homeschool

We have some great resources for learning what The Handbook of Nature Study is all about:

You might also like my review of a Charlotte Mason Picture Book biography: The Teacher Who Revealed Worlds of Wonder – on our sister site, The Curriculum Choice. Charlotte Mason adored nature study!

My Homeschool Nature Book Report

In Homeschool Nature Study membership, you will find a printable nature book report page under your Nature Journaling course. Use this when you enjoy the Anna Comstock Story or any other nature book!

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.

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.

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Anna Botsford Comstock Quotes for Nature Lovers

Enjoy these Anna Botsford Comstock Quotes for nature lovers! Anna Botsford Comstock is the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. The Handbook is a staple in the Outdoor Hour Challenges we share. This is a wonderful reference guide for you, the homeschool teacher to use. We show you how!

Anna Botsford Comstock Quotes for Nature Lovers

Nature study is, despite all discussions and perversions, a study of nature; it consists of simple, truthful observations that may, like beads on a string, finally be threaded upon the understanding and thus held together as a logical and harmonious whole.

Anna Botsford Comstock, The Handbook of Nature Study
Enjoy these Anna Botsford Comstock Quotes for nature lovers! Anna Botsford Comstock is the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. The Handbook is a staple in the Outdoor Hour Challenges we share. This is a wonderful reference guide for you, the homeschool teacher to use. We show you how!

The Teaching of Nature Study– …the object of the nature-study teacher should be to cultivate in the children powers of accurate observation and to build up within them understanding.

The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock

Every parent interested in introducing nature study to their children needs to read Part 1 of the Handbook of Nature Study. Although the book itself is hundreds of pages long, the first twenty-four pages are golden and a must read. There are so many gems of wisdom contained within those few pages that you don’t want to miss.

Enjoy these Anna Botsford Comstock Quotes for nature lovers! Anna Botsford Comstock is the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. The Handbook is a staple in the Outdoor Hour Challenges we share. This is a wonderful reference guide for you, the homeschool teacher to use. We show you how!

First, but not most important, nature-study gives the child practical and helpful knowledge. It makes him familiar with nature’s ways and forces, so that he is not so helpless in the presence of natural misfortune and disasters.

The Handbook of Nature Study

Read them with highlighter in hand.

You can read the pages on Google Books as well: Handbook of Nature Study.

Enjoy these Anna Botsford Comstock Quotes for nature lovers! Anna Botsford Comstock is the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. The Handbook is a staple in the Outdoor Hour Challenges we share. This is a wonderful reference guide for you, the homeschool teacher to use. We show you how!

It is a mistake to think that a half day is necessary for a field lesson (nature walk), since a very efficient field trip may be made during the ten or fifteen minutes at recess, if it is well planned.

The Handbook of Nature Study

There is a reason she is included in National Wildlife’s Conservation Hall of Fame. Her words are as valuable and relevant today as they were back at the turn of the 20th century. I invite you to read her words and be encouraged to include an outdoor life in your family’s week.

Enjoy these Anna Botsford Comstock Quotes for nature lovers! Anna Botsford Comstock is the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. The Handbook is a staple in the Outdoor Hour Challenges we share. This is a wonderful reference guide for you, the homeschool teacher to use. We show you how!

She who opens her eyes and her heart nature-ward even once a week finds nature study in the schoolroom a delight and an abiding joy… She finds, first of all, companionship with her children; and second, she finds that without planning or going on a far voyage, she has found health and strength.

The Handbook of Nature Study

Nature study cultivates in the child a love of the beautiful; it brings to him early a perception of color, form and music.

The Handbook of Nature Study

Nature study cultivates the child’s imagination since there are so many wonderful and true stories that he may read with his own eyes.

The Handbook of Nature Study


I had the opportunity to visit Anna Botsford-Comstock’s cottage in Ithaca, New York. You can read about that experience here: Recollection From a Visit to Anna Botsford-Comstock’s Lake Cottage.

Enjoy these Anna Botsford Comstock Quotes for nature lovers! Anna Botsford Comstock is the author of The Handbook of Nature Study. The Handbook is a staple in the Outdoor Hour Challenges we share. This is a wonderful reference guide for you, the homeschool teacher to use. We show you how!

The simple steps that Anna Botsford Comstock shared for nature study are our guide here at Homeschool Nature Study. It is easy and rewarding.

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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.

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The Habit of Gathering Things for Your Homeschool Nature Table

Unsure of what a nature table is exactly? Here is simple definition with some ideas and tips. These will help you begin the habit of gathering things for your homeschool nature table during your Outdoor Hour Challenge time.

The Habit of Gathering Things for Your Homeschool Nature Table

Unsure of what a nature table is exactly? Here is simple definition with some ideas and tips. These will help you begin the habit of gathering things for your homeschool nature table during your Outdoor Hour Challenge time.

What is a Nature Table?

A Nature Table Is…

1. A table, shelf, box, or tray where teachers and families can gather and collect natural items for exploration and discovery.

2. A collection of natural objects gathered by the teacher or student for closer observation.

3. A place for the child to touch and interact with the natural items.

4. A place that changes with the seasons and interests of the student.

5. A collection of inanimate, living, and once living objects.

6. A place to encourage the outdoors to come indoors.

7. An aid to looking more closely at nature from your own backyard.

8. A part of a nature center, hopefully near a window for firsthand observation of things in your own yard or neighborhood.

9. A place to gather tools and ideas for further investigation.

Unsure of what a nature table is exactly? Here are some tips to help you begin the habit of gathering things for your homeschool nature table.

How A Nature Table Can Work in Your Homeschool

The habit of collecting nature items for a homeschool nature table helps us transition from season to season. At the start of each season, we would evaluate which things on the table we would keep and which things could be taken back outside. Leaves get crunchy and flowers wilt over time, so they were easy to recycle. The other items like rocks and shells can live on the nature table or be stored in a box for future observations or display. I’m sure you’ll come up with a system of rotating items for your family that makes sense to you.

During our family nature walks, my boys would gather things to bring home for our nature collection. They were always asking me to carry things for them and soon my pockets would be stuffed with rocks, acorns, and other interesting natural items. If they had too many items, I would make them choose a few favorites.

Handbook of Nature Study quote on nature collection

Often, we would draw the items once we were home but many times these treasures went straight to our homeschool nature table. This habit of gathering items while outside together was one that connected our time in nature with our indoor life and learning.

Inevitably, the table would be covered with lots of things, and I decided we needed a system of displaying the items. I gathered a few baskets and plates and boxes for holding the bits they brought home from our outdoor excursions. (See the post linked below on how this worked with our rock collection.)

items for your nature table

Practical Suggestions For Creating Your Nature Table

  • Please use common sense when adding things to the nature table. Please be cautioned about potentially hazardous items like glass jars, sharp objects, and/or possibly poisonous items like berries, mushrooms, and leaves.
  • The nature table can be a part of a larger nature observation center in your classroom or home. Positioning the table near a window for outdoor observation is a great way to use the nature table as a place to gather nature study tools like magnifying glasses, binoculars, a nature journal, and field guides.
  • Consider changing items from year to year to freshen up your seasonal nature table.
  • Do not look at the items collected as something to necessarily save from one year to the next.
  • Allow a place for new objects and for areas of interest.
  • Let your children gather and collect items for the table if possible.

 

Here are some ideas from the past to inspire

If you’re not a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study yet, please consider joining to gain the benefit of having a nature study library at your fingertips.

Unsure of what a nature table is exactly? Here is simple definition with some ideas and tips. These will help you begin the habit of gathering things for your homeschool nature table during your Outdoor Hour Challenge time.

More Resources For Homeschool Nature Study

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! There are endless resources available for you to help create the habit of nature study within your family.

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get Outdoors!