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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

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.

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.

Often, we would draw the items once we were home but many times these treasures went straight to our 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

  • 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!

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Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling for Your Homeschool

I have seen many books on nature journaling but the Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling is definitely the most thorough and potentially helpful of any book I’ve ever found for our homeschool. <<<<< This book is going to help me in my journaling and drawing skills immensely.

have seen many books on nature journaling but the Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling is definitely the most thorough and potentially helpful of any book I’ve ever found for our homeschool.

This review includes Amazon.com affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling – Review

I finally received The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws from our public library and it has taken a few weeks to get through an initial read through of this detailed and thorough book. My first reaction was one of happy surprise.

I would have been happy with this book just being a helpful “how to” sort of book with suggestions and hints for getting started with drawing in my nature journal. It was much more than I expected! The sections at the beginning of the book were a delight as they unfolded many ideas and insightful help in the philosophy and methodology behind nature journaling. Laws reminds us that careful and thoughtful observations should be the backbone of our nature study.

“Copying the journaling approaches of others will not reduce your own creativity or make you a clone of another person. You will incorporate what you find useful into your own style and discard what does not work for you.” John Muir Laws (page 63)

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling is full of inspiring illustrations that are not just in the book to be pretty. He breaks his example pages down to show how we can use the ideas and patterns in our own journals.

have seen many books on nature journaling but the Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling is definitely the most thorough and potentially helpful of any book I’ve ever found for our homeschool.

 

There are many, many specific drawing tutorials for everyday subjects you may encounter in your nature travels like frogs, flowers, trees, birds, and so much more. This section of the book could be the basis for a complete course in nature journaling. If my children were still homeschooling, my brain would be organizing the material so we could work through it methodically.

“Before you pick up your journal again, reform your intentions; let go of the goal of making a pretty picture. You don’t have to be good at drawing to discover amazing things through the process of journaling. John Muir Laws (page 86)

One of my favorite sections in this book is the two page spread that is titled, “A Road Map from Wishes to Practice”. On these two pages, John Muir Laws puts into words so much of what I try to encourage my blog readers to remember about journaling – everyone can draw with practice!

Use This Book to Bump Your Journaling Skills to the Next Level

If you are new to drawing or feel you don’t have a gift for drawing, this book is going to be a perfect bridge for you to get from where you are to the next level. It has specific step by step tutorials that will give you the confidence to start a practice of journaling. The author gives us all encouragement that we can take our skills to the next level with lots of practice and we will only fail if we give up or don’t try!

I highly recommend The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling. I am going to be purchasing it to help me in my nature goal for 2017 to create a nature journal page each week. It will be a very beloved and well used book that I will keep in my personal nature reference library. I may be purchasing a few as gifts to share with some young friends I know that love nature and drawing.

have seen many books on nature journaling but the Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling is definitely the most thorough and potentially helpful of any book I’ve ever found for our homeschool.

Additional Thoughts

  • If you read this book, don’t miss the first 17 pages. There are some fundamental ideas found there that I truly think will shape my thinking about science and nature study for a long time to come. He has gathered some important ideas on these pages and I would hate to think you are going to skip them to get to the drawing tutorials.
  • He suggests using the prompts I notice, I wonder, and It reminds me of to help us go a little deeper in our nature journaling.
  • There are project ideas that help you get started as you face a blank page. Check out pages 20 and 21.
  • Although this book is written by someone who lives on the west coast of the United States, the ideas and tutorials are applicable to anyone no matter where you live.
  • There is a comprehensive supplies list with specific suggestions that I found extremely helpful. I am a firm believer that having quality materials and a variety of media to choose from makes all the difference in your results.
  • Not only does he have a list of supplies, he has pages dedicated to showing you exactly how to use the pencils, pens, colored pencils, gouche, watercolors, and watercolor pencils in your nature journal, including some common mistakes beginners make using the materials. Helpful!
  • If you have never checked out the author’s website, you NEED to: John Muir Laws.

Look for this book at your public library or put it on your Amazon wishlist!

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling is definitely the most thorough and potentially helpful of any book I’ve ever found for our homeschool.

first published 2017

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The Ultimate Guide to National Parks Nature Study for Your Homeschool

Ready to enjoy a trip to a national park? Use this guide to national parks nature study for your homeschool and enjoy nature study learning while you explore the great outdoors!

Ready to enjoy a trip to a national park? Use this guide to national parks nature study for your homeschool and enjoy nature study learning while you explore the great outdoors!
Yellowstone National Park – Yellowstone Falls – Hodges, August 2020

What a treasure! Barbara McCoy and her family travel so many of America’s national parks, monuments and state parks. Here, I have gathered all that she has shared over the years and have added in a few of my family’s travels too. While many of Barb’s photos did not transfer over and are not included in these posts, her words and tips are so very valuable!

Barb and I got to take a trip to Florida together a few years ago – and we spent time studying nature. We even got to see an alligator. I shared about the memories we made together in my Florida Nature Studies.

Enjoy this Guide to National Parks Nature Study for Your Homeschool. We hope it helps you make glorious memories with your family!

Guide to National Parks Nature Study for Your Homeschool

Ready to enjoy a trip to a national park? Use this guide to national parks nature study for your homeschool and enjoy nature study learning while you explore the great outdoors!
Grand Canyon National Park – south rim – Hodges, August 2020.
Muir Woods
Ready to enjoy a trip to a national park? Use this guide to national parks nature study for your homeschool and enjoy nature study learning while you explore the great outdoors!
Yellowstone National Park – Grand Prismatic – Hodges 2020.

Hands On Learning – American Landmarks Art Lessons

Do you dream of trekking America’s landmarks and national parks with your kids? With our sister website, You ARE an ARTiST, you can let Nana take you and your children on a trip around our great United States without leaving the comforts of your home. Trekking American landmarks with chalk pastels are as easy as walking to your kitchen table and setting out your chalk pastels with a pack of construction paper. Nana will do the rest.

No hiking shoes or sore feet required! Browse I Drew It Then I Knew It American Landmarks

Want even more ideas? Enjoy 99 Nature Study Ideas to Get Your Family Outdoors and Study Nature As You Travel This Summer.

Ready to enjoy a trip to a national park? Use this guide to national parks nature study for your homeschool and enjoy nature study learning while you explore the great outdoors!

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!

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get Outdoors!

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How Homeschool Nature Study Enriches High School Biology

Just how to include homeschool nature study as part of high school biology? Here you will find a break down of nature study suggestions and accompanying resources for each module of your homeschool biology lessons. I really think it depends on the family and how much nature study you have time to fit in with your high school age children.

How to include homeschool nature study as part of high school biology? Nature study definitely enriches high school biology. Here is a break down of nature study suggestions and accompanying resources for each module.

Homeschool Nature Study and High School Biology

There are two ways to approach homeschool nature study with high school biology.
1. Start with nature study and supplement with a text.
2. Use a text and supplement with nature study.

If you decide on approach number one, take each area of focus in the Outdoor Hour Challenge and add in supplemental information from a textbook.

Please note that affiliate links are included in our recommendations below. Please see our disclosure policy.

Using Apologia Exploring Creation with Biology

  • OH Challenge: Garden Plants =Text Module 8 and 15
  • OH Challenge: Insects =Text Module 3 and 12
  • OH Challenge: Trees =Text Module 14
  • OH Challenge: Mammals =Text Module 10 and 16
  • OH Challenge: Flowerless Plants =Text Module 4 and 14
  • OH Challenge: Birds =Text Module 16
  • OH Challenge: Crop Plants =Text Module 8 and 15

For the second option, here is how I enhanced the Apologia biology text with nature study ideas…many of these ideas are on my Biology Squidoo Lens.

Module 1: Microbiology for Homeschool

Read biography of Carl Linnaeus
Read Microbe Hunters, chapter 1 Leeuwenhoek

How to include homeschool nature study as part of high school biology? Here is a break down of nature study suggestions and accompanying resources for each module.

Module 2: Microbiology and Homeschool Biology Pond Study

Read Microbe Hunters, chapter 2 Spallanzani and chapter 3 Pasteur
Start a pond study to complement the study of microscopic organisms-protozoa
Use A Golden Guide to Pond Life
Read biography of Louis Pasteur
Field trip to a pond: Complete nature journal pages for things observed in real life.

Enjoy a Turtle Homeschool Nature Study.

Module 3: Continue Pond Study-Algae


Handbook of Nature Study section on insects of the brook and pond
Examine pond water under the microscope.
Complete nature journal pages on pond insects you observe.

beautiful moss homeschool nature study

Module 4: High School Biology Nature Study Focus on Mushrooms and Other Fungi

Work with yeast
Work with molds
There are some ideas for study in the flowerless plants section of the Handbook of Nature Study.
Take a nature walk to look for mushrooms and then complete nature journal pages for each one identified.

Modules 5-7: During These Modules We Used Local Field Guides to Identify Various Subjects From Our Nature Walks Each Week

The Biology Coloring Book by Robert Griffin-color appropriate pages to help visualize the abstract concepts in these modules

Homeschool nature study is definitely a part of high school biology! Here is a break down of nature study suggestions and accompanying resources for each module.

Module 8: Gardening for High School Biology

Growing pea plants to support Mendelian genetic study (just for fun).
Read a biography of Gregor Mendel. (The picture book Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas looks like a wonderful way to include younger students).
Grow radishes as part of experiment 8.4
Worked on a garden plan for the following summer.

Module 9: Homeschool Rocks and Minerals Study

Read a biography of Charles Darwin
Handbook of Nature Study section on rocks and minerals
Using a field guide we identified several local rocks and made nature journal entries for each one.

Module 10: Mammals Study for High School Biology

Identify a local mammal and then draw where it fits in the food web.
Learn about your local watershed and then diagram it or draw a map for your journal.
Complete nature journal entries for mammals observed during this module.

Find more ideas in this Mammals Nature Study Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges.

Module 11: Invertebrates for Homeschool Biology Studies

Dissection of an earthworm
Nature study focus on Invertebrates-garden snails, earthworms
Handbook of Nature Study section on invertebrate animals other than insects
Complete nature journal entries for invertebrates observed during our Outdoor Hour time
Complete a one small square activity and look for invertebrates or signs of invertebrates in your own garden or yard.

Earthworm Study for Your Homeschool

Module 12: High School Biology Study on Insects

Nature study focus on arachnida (spiders) and/or insects and/or lepidoptera
Dissection of a crayfish
Handbook of Nature Study section on insects
Complete nature journal entries for insects observed during our Outdoor Hour time.

marine biology studies for homeschool biology

Module 13: Amphibians and Fishes

Dissection of a perch and a frog
Nature study focus on amphibians
Handbook of Nature Study section on fishes
Handbook of Nature Study section on amphibians
Keep an aquarium and use the Handbook of Nature Study suggestions for observations.

More in Homeschool Ocean Study and Marine Biology Resources.

Module 14: Plants

Collect leaf samples and make a pressed leaf collection
Nature study focus on flowerless plants
Handbook of Nature Study section on flowerless plants

plants and wildflowers for high school biology study with homeschool nature study

Module 15: Garden Flowers and Seeds

Insectivorous plants-observe a Venus Flytrap or Sundew
Nature study focus on garden flowers-parts of a flower
Collect and press flowers
Germinate seeds
Handbook of Nature Study section on plants/garden flowers
Start a seasonal tree study for a tree in your own yard

The Ultimate List of Garden and Wildflower Nature Study for Your Homeschool

The Ultimate List of Birds Homeschool nature study using the Outdoor Hour Challenges

Module 16: High School Biology Nature Study Focus on Birds, Reptiles or Mammals

Handbook of Nature Study section on birds
Handbook of Nature Study section on reptiles
Handbook of Nature Study section on mammals
Keep a pet and make observations based on suggestions in the Handbook of Nature Study.
Hang a birdfeeder and keep a log of birds that visit.
Go bird watching and make journal entries for each bird you identify.

The Ultimate List of Birds Homeschool Nature Study Resources Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges

You can see how you can take an idea and then expand on it using nature study. If you use the basic ideas I have illustrated with the biology topics, you can make a study of nature high school level. Keep everything relevant to your local area and it will be a joy to work on each week. Your family will learn so much together as part of the Outdoor Hour Challenges.

SaMore Resources For Your Homeschool High School Biology and Nature Study

All of the Outdoor Hour Challenges that pair with homeschool high school biology are included in Homeschool Nature Study membership!

You’ll receive new ideas each and every week that require little or no prep – all bringing the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool!

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get Outdoors!

Homeschool nature study definitely enriches high school biology! Here is a break down of nature study suggestions and accompanying resources for each module.

Spublished August 2009 by Barb

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Charlotte Mason Nature Study: Simple Ideas for Wildflowers

These timeless Charlotte Mason nature study ideas are as relevant today as when they were written and I’m forever grateful for the encouragement these gave me when I was a new homeschooler. The ideas for this post have been taken from Volume One of Charlotte Mason’s homeschooling series.

Charlotte Mason Nature Study: Simple Ideas for Wildflowers includes ideas for how to help your child engage in nature and study wildflowers.

Charlotte Mason – Simple Nature Study Ideas for Wildflowers

My children benefited from Miss Mason’s simple and consistent approach to learning. We didn’t waste time learning things for a test, but were encouraged to explore and observe the natural world right outside our doorstep.

I would like to offer you the road map to learning about wildflowers in a “Charlotte Mason” way by giving you a short list that summarizes her ideas found in Volume One on page 51 under the subheading of “Flowers and Trees”.

Elements of a Wildflowers Nature Study

Your child should be able to:

  1. Describe the shape, size, and placement of the leaves.
  2. Note whether there is a single blossom or a head of flowers.
  3. Observe the flower and its habitat so well that it can be recognized in any location in the future.
  4. Use a field guide to learn about the wildflower (with help from a parent if needed).
  5. Collect, press, and make a record of the flower’s habitat and location. ***
  6. Optional: Make a watercolor of the flower or the whole plant.

*** It’s important to note that we shouldn’t be picking flowers in great numbers. Many wildflowers do not last long once picked and therefore are wasted if not going straight into a flower press. Here is Anna Botsford Comstock’s advice on picking wildflowers from the Handbook of Nature Study:

“Some flowers are so abundant that they can be picked in moderation if the roots are not disturbed, if plenty of flowers are left for seed, and if the plant itself is not taken with the flower….Everyone should have the privilege of enjoying the natural beauty of the countryside. Such enjoyment is impossible if a relatively small number of people insist upon picking and destroying native plants for their own selfish interests.”

HNS page 460
blue flag iris

More Wildflowers Nature Study Ideas for Your Homeschool

If you’d like help in getting started with a wildflower study, I have some thorough posts with some ideas for your family:

There are three sets wildflower curriculum available in Homeschool Nature Study membership!

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

Charlotte Mason Nature Study: Simple Ideas for Wildflowers includes ideas for how to help your child engage in nature and study wildflowers.
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Great Sunflower Project for Your Homeschool

What is the Great Sunflower Project? This is a citizen science activity that you can participate in with your children. If you can grow a sunflower (or selected other flowers), you can join the project with just a few minutes invested later this summer.

The Great Sunflower Project is a citizen science activity that you can participate in with your children this summer.

Great Sunflower Project for Your Homeschool

Is the Great Sunflower Project difficult?

The basic idea for this activity is to sit quietly and observe any bees that visit your sunflower. This is a perfect summer nature study project for families with children of all ages.

What is the Sunflower Nature Study time commitment?

Participants are asked to make three observations of at least 5 minutes each. That’s it! Of course, you can participate more than that if your kids enjoy counting bees.

The Great Sunflower Project is a citizen science activity that you can participate in with your children this summer.

Why we count bees as part of the Great Sunflower Project

The decline in bees affects everyone! This project helps collect data for scientists to use to track the bee population. If you would like to read more, click over to the website: Great Sunflower Project.

Interested in more information?

Here’s a sunflower nature study video on YouTube to go with your sunflower time.

I just planted my sunflower seeds for my summer garden. I purchased my Lemon Queen sunflowers from Renee’s Garden. Lemon Queen is the variety of flower preferred by the Great Sunflower Project. These are beautiful yellow sunflowers with lots of pollen.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in a comment or in an email.

Combine your sunflower nature study with this citizen science project. There are several great nature study ideas in Homeschool Nature Study membership.

homeschool nature study membership

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!

Find Out More About Homeschool Nature Study Membership HERE

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get Outdoors!

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Study Nature As You Travel This Summer

Right now we are all ready to be outside and doing our normal summer activities. If you are planning a trip to a natural area to enjoy the outdoors, you may want to include nature study for your summer travel plans. Implement some of the ideas below to enhance your outdoor time.

Why not incorporate Nature Study into your family's summer travel plans? These tips and tricks will help you get started.

Four steps to preparing for nature study as you travel this summer

It is so important to prepare ahead by researching the places you will be visiting. You may even need to make reservations to visit your preferred natural area.

From my original post:

“The difference between a good outdoor experience and a great outdoor experience with an opportunity for nature study is sometimes just a matter of preparation. Summer nature study is a perfect fit for most families with the weather being more enjoyable and with longer days to enjoy. Whether you are visiting a new city, exploring your own city, or taking a road trip, including nature study in your plans can make your time more fun and interesting. Our family tries to include some element of outdoor time to each traveling experience.”

Why not incorporate Nature Study into your family's summer travel plans? These tips and tricks will help you get started.

Research the Nature Habitat

1. Do a little research ahead of time for the habitat you will be visiting. Determine what you will encounter on your trip that might make for interesting nature study. I linked some ideas below along with some simple nature study books to get you started. Make sure to use your local library to find more books to prepare your family before your trip so you have some things to look forward to seeing in real life. For example, if you are going to be visiting an ocean beach, learn what plants, birds, and animals make their home there. You can also use the Handbook of Nature Study to read about things you think you might encounter during your summer travels.

Please note the links above and further in this blog entry are Amazon affiliate links.

Habitats Might Include:

Find Nature Field Guides

2. Find resources such as field guides or other nature related books to read or bring along with you. I suggest a good bird field guide, a wildflower field guide, and perhaps a tree field guide as a basic set of resources to have with you. Check your library for books you can borrow and take with you. (See my post on my Favorite Field Guides.) To prepare, you should page through the field guides before you leave on your trip to be familiar with the layout of the book and perhaps to glean a few things ahead of time to be looking for as you go outdoors. Additional field guide ideas will be found on my website (Handbook of Nature Study).

nature journaling

Bring Your Nature Journal

3. Bring along your nature journal or some pre-printed notebook pages. During down time, it is nice to have supplies on hand to make a nature journal entry to record your nature study as you travel. Basic art supplies like markers or colored pencils are easy to pack. I also like watercolor pencils for nature journal entries. Keep it simple. Taking their own photos is fun for children and then to use as they document their own view of the trip. Encourage your children to take photos of things that they observe for future reference in identifying or including in their nature journals.

My suggestions for nature journal supplies and then nature journal ideas can be found here:  
Nature Journals-Ideas and Tips.
 
In preparing for your trip, you could also look up a few of the Outdoor Hour Challenges before you leave, the first five challenges can be applied to any habitat.

If you have access to the first Getting Started with the Outdoor Hour Challenges Guide, you can have that loaded on your laptop or phone as a reference while traveling.

Research Nature Centers

4. I also like to look up nature centers or nature trails in the areas we visit. A good nature center visit can take an hour or two and can provide a spark to capture the interest of everyone in the family. The staff will be knowledgeable about the local habitat, giving you advice on where to go and what to see. They also can help identify anything you have observed but can’t put a name to as you try to make your journal entries. Most nature centers have bookstores that can provide additional resources to follow-up your nature study time. I found this list of Nature Centers in the United States. (This list does not look complete but it will get you started.)

We just returned from a camping trip to the coast. I had brought along my nature journal supplies and a few field guides. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to end the day by creating a recap of the daily events and things of interest we observed. Capturing the details as they happen help remind you later of things you may want to research further. Nature study will help you train your children ask good questions and get them to observe things more closely. These skills are ones that will cross over into all areas of their life.

Use the time ahead of a trip to prepare for your nature study and you will reap the benefits as your family takes their learning to a new level. Explore a new place this summer!

homeschool nature study membershiop

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!

Find Out More About Homeschool Nature Study Membership HERE

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get Outdoors!

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Goat Homeschool Nature Study for All Ages

This goat homeschool nature study is packed with fun from fainting goats to advanced mammal studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool! Here’s a peek at what you can expect to enjoy in this Outdoor Hour Challenge for Homeschool Nature Study members.

This goat homeschool nature study is packed with fun from fainting goats to advanced mammal studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool!

Goat Homeschool Nature Study

  • A funny video on fainting goats to catch your children’s attention
  • Handbook of Nature Study reference pages, Outdoor Hour time and follow up journal suggestions
  • Printables for your goat study in your Spring Outdoor Hour Challenge Curriculum
  • Burgess Book of Animals pages to read aloud.
  • Learn what is a mammal?
  • Online links to view goats
  • Advanced students: the history of goats, study on breeds of goats, the digestive system (Goats are ruminant animals – animals with four stomachs)
  • How to draw a goat
This goat homeschool nature study is packed with fun from fainting goats to advanced mammal studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool!

Virtual Field Trip to Learn About Goats

For a fun virtual field trip, be sure to follow all the goat adventures with Accidental Country Folk. Jodi shares more than goats – including a fancy chicken named Ms. Frizzle on Instagram too!

The Ultimate Guide to Mammals Study Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges

You can enjoy a simple mammals homeschool nature study with these resources we have gathered for you to use in your own backyard. It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures! Go to The Ultimate Guide to Mammals Study Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges.

NOTE: All of the mammals homeschool nature study resources listed are available as an Outdoor Hour Challenge in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. If you have a membership, you will be able to pull up the Outdoor Hour Challenge curriculum and print any notebook pages, coloring pages, or other printables for your mammals nature study.

Wondering how to start? Grab our FREE Getting Started with Homeschool Nature Study Guide!

homeschool nature study membership

Visit our website to find an affordable membership option that suits you. Why not give membership a try for a month and go from there. We would love to have you along for the adventure!

This goat homeschool nature study is packed with fun from fainting goats to advanced mammal studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool! Here's a peek at what you can expect to enjoy in this Outdoor Hour Challenge for Homeschool Nature Study members.
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Earthworms Homeschool Nature Study: Invertebrates

This earthworm homeschool nature study is packed with great learning for all ages and even includes advanced invertebrate studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool! Here’s a peek at what you can expect to enjoy in this Outdoor Hour Challenge for Homeschool Nature Study members.

This earthworm homeschool nature study is packed with great learning for all ages and even includes advanced invertebrate studies! Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool! Here’s a peek at what you can expect to enjoy in this Outdoor Hour Challenge for Homeschool Nature Study members.

Earthworms Homeschool Nature Study: Invertebrates

“Any garden furnishes abundant material for the study of earthworms. They are nocturnal workers and may be observed by lantern or flashlight….For the study of the individual worm and its movements, each pupil should have a worm with some earth upon his desk.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 424

Take 15 minutes of your outdoor hour time to find a place in your yard to dig for worms. If you have a garden or flower bed, you may be successful in finding earthworms just a few inches down in the soil. Use some of the suggested activities from the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study to carefully observe your earthworms.

This earthworms homeschool nature study for our members includes:

  • Handbook of Nature Study references and indoor preparation time
  • Suggestions and questions for your Outdoor Hour Time
  • A list of questions to ask during your earthworm nature study time
  • Follow up activity for your nature journal

Members will find the full homeschool nature study in the Spring with Art and Music Appreciation Outdoor Hour course and curriculum.

You can use the notebook page provided with Spring with Art and Music Appreciation course or your own blank nature journal to record you observations and sketches. Don’t forget to sketch and label your earthworm.

Wondering how to start? Grab our FREE Getting Started with Homeschool Nature Study Guide!

More Earthworm Links

Join Homeschool Nature Study membership today!

Visit our website to find an affordable membership option that suits you. Why not give membership a try for a month and go from there. We would love to have you along for the adventure!

first published May 2010 and updated May 2022