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Turkey Homeschool Nature Study Activities for November

“The gobbler is the most vainglorious bird known to us; when he struts to show his flock of admiring hens how beautiful he is, he lowers his wings and spreads the stiff primary quills until their tips scrape the ground, lifting meanwhile into a semi-circular fan his beautiful tail feathers, he protrudes his chest, and raises the iridescent plumage of his neck like a ruff to make a background against which he throws back his red, white, and blue decorated head.”

Handbook of Nature Study
This turkey homeschool nature study includes fun activities and a free printable - everything you need for fall learning.

Fun Turkey Homeschool Nature Study Ideas

Wild turkeys are a funny bunch of birds. Homeschool Nature Study founder Barb McCoy says, “we lived in California, many times we saw turkeys in the woods and sometimes trotting down the back roads. They make a funny sound as they move through the trees and poke around on the ground for tidbits to eat.  Then, if you get lucky, you’ll see the male turkey strutting his stuff and displaying his beautiful tail feathers!

This turkey homeschool nature study includes fun activities and a free printable - everything you need for fall learning.

Homeschool Bird Study – Turkeys

If you have a wild turkey or even a domestic turkey to observe, you’ll enjoy the suggestions in the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study.  Another suggestion is to watch the videos in the original challenge to get a taste of what turkeys are all about and then read the Handbook of Nature Study lesson and finish with a nature journal page with your children.”

The full turkey homeschool nature study is included in membership – along with all the fun, fall favorite topics and a member calendar filled with daily nature study prompts!

November Homeschool Nature Study Activities

November Homeschool Nature Study Activities

Before the whole month of November slips away, let’s make time to observe what nature is doing at this time of year. Start off by completing the reading of pages 1 and 2 in the Handbook of Nature Study as a refresher.

Take a few minutes to think about how keeping a regular nature study period each week has benefited your family. Ask your children what they have learned so far this autumn season about the birds, insects, and plants in your neighborhood.

Let this give you encouragement to keep participating in the Outdoor Hour Challenge as the weather turns colder and wetter.

Follow up your Outdoor Hour Challenge turkey time with a Turkey Walk with Chalk in Turkey Art Activities.

Free Your November World Printable Journal Page

your November World homeschool nature study

Use the ideas in this challenge to get outside and find something of interest to note about your November World. Complete the notebook page in the Autumn Course included in membership or create a page in your own blank journal.

Get Your November World Notebook Page!

Subscribe to get FREE Your November World Notebook page.

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

    More Fall Homeschool Nature Study and Homeschool Ideas

    Here are even more ideas for your November homeschool:

    November is such a month of change and transition…don’t miss getting outside to view it for yourselves! Be sure to share your outdoor time on social media and tag @outdoorhourchallenge on Instagram or Outdoor Hour Challenges too!

    This turkey homeschool nature study includes fun activities and a free printable - everything you need for fall learning.

    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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    Fall Bird Study For Your Homeschool

    You can enjoy a simple fall bird study for your homeschool with Project Feederwatch! This is an activity that can help you learn more about your local birds in a way that is fun and useful to the community.

    Enjoy a simple fall bird study for your homeschool with Project Feederwatch! This is an activity that can help you learn more about your local birds.

    Fall Bird Study For Your Homeschool

    You can even extend your fall bird study into winter with this fun citizen science project. You can participate as much or as little as you desire. It only takes a few minutes on two consecutive days each week to participate. If you miss a week, that’s okay too…just pick up when you can.

    Enjoy a simple fall bird study for your homeschool with Project Feederwatch! This is an activity that can help you learn more about your local birds.

    What Is Project Feederwatch?

    “Project FeederWatch can turn your love of feeding birds into scientific discoveries!” Read an overview about the project, the app you can download, the tools you receive (a participant welcome kit) and the way the data is used in the Project FeederWatch program overview.

    Project FeederWatch runs from November 1 through April 30. This is a perfect fall bird study because come February, there is the Great Backyard Bird Count to participate in as well.

    Here are details on how to participate.

    Who Can Participate in This Fall Bird Study?

    Anyone – all ages – can participate in Project FeederWatch. The video, below, shows how this really is something everyone can participate in, even with young children.

    Weaving a citizen science project like this into your lives is so rewarding. We have several feeders we can see from our windows and keeping them filled with seed is easy. Those feeders become the focal point of our bird observations because for Feederwatch you only count birds that come to eat.

    Project Feederwatch is a perfect match for our lifestyle. It’s something that I can participate in that doesn’t take a huge commitment of time and I can do it right from my own home, even if I’m wearing my pajamas.

    You simply:

    • Choose your site
    • Count the birds that visit
    • Enter your data online

    Great Backyard Bird Count

    Similar to Project FeederWatch, The Great Backyard Bird Count has you counting the birds coming to your feeder. However, it takes place over a much shorter time – and in February.

    Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them to us. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

    Birdcount.org
    Enjoy a simple fall bird study for your homeschool with Project Feederwatch! This is an activity that can help you learn more about your local birds.

    Top Feeder Birds

    This is a great beginner’s list of birds to know and be able to identify. Use the links above to take a peek at these common birds that may be visitors to your neighborhood. Make sure to scroll down to the “similar species” section for each bird and that will give you additional birds to look for if you don’t have that particular bird in your neighborhood. Also, reading the “Backyard Tips” and “Find This Bird” sections will give you some clues and hints for actually viewing this bird in person.

    1. Northern Cardinal
    2. Mourning Dove
    3. Dark Eyed Junco
    4. Downy Woodpecker
    5. American Crow
    6. House Finch
    7. American Goldfinch
    8. Blue Jay
    9. Black Capped Chickadee
    10. Tufted Titmouse

    More Bird Nature Studies for Your Homeschool

    Studying birds in your Outdoor Hour Challenge time and bird watching is such a wonderful activity! You might also like these resources:

    Join The Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

    Can you believe all of these bird resources you will find in membership? You will also find a continuing series on bird nature study, bird watching and attracting birds plus all the Outdoor Hour Challenges for nature study in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. There are 25+ continuing courses with matching Outdoor Hour curriculum that will bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool! In addition, there is an interactive monthly calendar with daily nature study prompt – all at your fingertips!

    Be sure to share on social media and tag @outdoorhourchallenge on Instagram or Homeschool Nature Study on Facebook with your results too!

    You can enjoy a simple fall bird study for your homeschool with Project Feederwatch! This is an activity that can help you learn more about your local birds in a way that is fun and useful to the community.

    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 Ultimate Guide of Fun Apple and Pumpkin Nature Study Ideas for Your Homeschool

    When the air turns cooler and the leaves start to change color, it is always fun to learn more about apples and pumpkins! Enjoy this ultimate guide of fun apple and pumpkin nature study ideas for your homeschool.

    When the air turns cooler and the leaves start to change color, it is always fun to learn more about apples and pumpkins! Enjoy this ultimate guide of fun apple and pumpkin nature study ideas for your homeschool.

    5 Apple Homeschool Nature Study Ideas

    All things apple – what a fun, fall topic to learn about!

    “The apple is a nutritious fruit, wholesome and easily digested. The varieties of apple differ in shape, size, color, texture, and flavor. A perfect apple has no bruise upon it and no wormholes in it. “

    Handbook of Nature Study, page 669
    • Compare the outside of the apples: color, size, stems, blemishes.
    • Compare the skins: thickness, texture.
    • Compare cut apples: core size, seeds, shape, flavor, crispness
    • Visit an apple farm and view apples on trees (and sample doughnuts and apple pies!)
    • Have a picnic under an apple tree!
    visit an apple orchard for your homeschool nature study

    For even more ideas plus a FULL Outdoor Hour Challenge on apples, join Homeschool Nature Study membership!

    More Apple Nature Study Fun

    Here are a few more fun apple study ideas!

    visit a pumpkin farm for your homeschool nature study!

    5 Pumpkin Homeschool Nature Study Ideas

    Get started with your pumpkin nature study with these simple ideas:

    • Sketch or describe the pumpkin leaf.
    • Thump your pumpkin and describe the sound.
    • Observe the creases on the outside of the pumpkin.
    • Can you tell which way your pumpkin sat on the ground when it was growing?
    • Cut your pumpkin open and view the seeds. Sketch the arrangement in your journal.
    Enjoy this ultimate guide of fun apple and pumpkin nature study ideas for your homeschool. Perfect for all ages.

    More Pumpkin Nature Studies Perfect for Homeschool

    For 10 more ideas plus a FULL Outdoor Hour Challenge on Pumpkins, a Pumpkin Farm Notebook page and more, join Homeschool Nature Study membership!

    Enjoy this ultimate guide of fun apple and pumpkin nature study ideas for your homeschool. Perfect for all ages.

    Favorite Pumpkin Recipes to Enjoy

    Handbook of Nature Study website founder Barb McCoy shares these favorites!

    Tricia’s Easy Pumpkin Recipes:

    When the air turns cooler and the leaves start to change color, it is always fun to learn more about apples and pumpkins! Enjoy this ultimate guide of fun apple and pumpkin nature study ideas for your homeschool.

    More Fall Homeschool Nature Study Fun!

    Keep the apple and pumpkin nature study fun going with these resources for all ages:

    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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    Homeschool Fall Leaf Study And Activities (perfect for all ages)

    To celebrate the first day of fall or autumnal equinox, we invite you on a fall leaf study in your homeschool! There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week!

    To celebrate the first day of fall or autumnal equinox, we invite you on a fall leaf tour in your homeschool! There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week!

    Celebrate The First Day of Fall

    Here is a fun idea for the first day of fall and your fall leaf tour!

    To celebrate the first day of fall or autumnal equinox, we invite you on a fall leaf tour in your homeschool! There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week!

    Homeschool Fall Leaf Study And Activities

    This study is designed to be completed with what you have around you. As the leaves turn, head outside, notice fall colors and collect some different colored leaves.

    Compare Leaves from Two Different Trees

    • Leaf shape and leaf margins.
    • Leaf arrangement on the stem.
    • Leaf color, texture, and size. (You can measure if you wish.)
    • Come back in from your walk and follow up with a journal page.

    Take a Fall Color Walk For Your Nature Study

    To continue your fall leaf tour, take a fall color walk! We also start to take more hikes now that the afternoons are a bit cooler. We have our favorite trails and try to get outside every day to see what we can find of interest.

    Read in the Handbook of Nature Study page 14, “The Field Excursion”. The reason I want you to read this section is so you have a better understanding of how to prepare you children for a short outdoor excursion with a purpose. Let them know ahead of time the reason you are going outdoors, have them gather their supplies, and then make the excursion outside to look for fall colors.

    With our Printable Autumn Series Field Notebook included in membership, you can enjoy these studies and journal pages:

    • Seasonal tree study
    • Goldenrod
    • Oaks & acorns
    • Fall bird study
    • Squirrels
    • Mushrooms
    • Pumpkins
    • Field Notebook List

    Fall Color Challenge Activity: Match Leaf Color to Your Art Supplies

    A more detailed advanced study for upper level students is included in membership. Here is a peek at what you can enjoy as you continue your fall leaf tour.

    Collect a variety of colorful leaves and bring them inside. Have fun matching the colors of the leaves to your colored pencils, chalk pastels, crayons or other art supplies. You might want to sketch your leaves in your nature journal.

    Watercolor pencils on the left and regular colored pencils on the right.

    Fall Homeschool Nature Study Ideas

    Track Weather in Your Homeschool

    Autumn seems to be a season that many of us look forward to and in my part of the world we welcome the cooler temperatures and the crisp morning air. We begin to see a few days of wet weather and one activity that seems to make its way into my nature journal is to keep track of that cooler wet weather.

    To celebrate the first day of fall or autumnal equinox, we invite you on a fall leaf tour in your homeschool! There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week!

    Simple Fall Homeschool Nature Study Ideas with Apples, Pumpkins and Pears

    Our Homeschool Nature Study members enjoy these wonderful challenges!

    • Apple Challenge – Simple nature study featuring apples and the Handbook of Nature Study.
    • Pumpkins – Study your pumpkins and then eat them too!
    • Pear Challenge – Yummy nature study featuring pears and the Handbook of Nature Study with advanced study options too.
    To celebrate the first day of fall or autumnal equinox, we invite you on a fall leaf tour in your homeschool! There are leaf nature studies to fill an entire week!

    Autumn Series with the Handbook of Nature Study: Outdoor Hour Challenge Curriculum

    There are so many fall favorites for you to explore over the next months!

    Members also enjoy access to:

    • NEW, weekly Outdoor Hour Challenges to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool!
    • the annual nature study plans
    • matching courses with materials and journaling pages
    • interactive calendar with daily nature study prompts
    • Nature Journaling course
    • and MUCH more!

    More Fall Nature Study for 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.

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    Bats Homeschool Nature Study: Mammals

    Bats are fascinating and wonderful creatures. They are important for pollination of plants, they eat mosquitoes and other pests and are beneficial in many more ways. Enjoy this bats homeschool nature study on mammals that fly and have echolocation!

    Bats are fascinating and wonderful creatures. Enjoy this bats homeschool nature study on mammals that fly and have echolocation!

    You will enjoy a bat study if you are interested in learning about different kinds of flying creatures.

    “Although the bat’s wings are very different from those of the bird, yet it is a rapid and agile flier. It flies in the dusk and catches great numbers of mosquitoes and other troublesome insects, upon which it feeds.”
    Handbook of Nature Study, page 243

    If you ever get a chance to watch a bat fly, you will be amazed at their flying ability.

    Getting Started In Homeschool Nature Study

    If you do not already own the Getting Started in Homeschool Nature Study ebook, be sure to download it for free. Next, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #2.

    Try to take your fifteen minute nature walk at sunset or just when it turns dark. You can walk or sit quietly in a familiar place, using your senses to really get to know this time of day. After you go inside, make sure to help your child record a few words in their nature journal or use the notebook page that is provided in the ebook.

    For further bat study, here is a general video about bats. Please preview the video because parts of it may make your children a little squeamish. There is also a reference to evolution.

    Bats Homeschool Nature Study: Books To Read

    1. Read pages 241-245 in the Handbook of Nature Study. Although the lesson for bats states that it should not be given unless you can directly observe bats in person, I think this interesting creature deserves his own Outdoor Hour Challenge. Make sure to watch the video about bats and then proceed with the lesson suggestions. If you need additional information, use the resources at the end of this challenge.

     

    2. Supplemental reading in The Burgess Animal Book for Children: Read Story 21. Use the illustration on page 128 to prompt a narration after reading the story about the Little Brown Bat.

    Bats Study: Mammal Outdoor Hour Challenge


    This week during your 10-15 minutes of outdoor time, look for any mammals in your neighborhood or in a near-by park. Many of us will not find any mammals to observe or signs of mammals like scat or tracks. This should not discourage us from taking the time to be outdoors with our children. More ideas in the Ultimate List of Mammals Study with the Outdoor Hour Challenges and Animal Tracks Nature Hunt.

    Bats are fascinating and wonderful creatures. Enjoy this bats homeschool nature study on mammals that fly and have echolocation!

    Simple Tips for Your Homeschool Nature Study

    Try some of the techniques that we have worked on in the past.

    • Stand or sit quietly and see what you can hear.
    • Take a magnifying lens and look at an object up close.
    • Make a small square with yarn and see what you can find in to look at within that small square.
    • Look at the sky and observe the clouds.

    Use the methods that have worked in the past and see what you can come up with this week to share with your children.

    Bats are fascinating and wonderful creatures. Enjoy this bats homeschool nature study on mammals that fly and have echolocation!

    4. After your walk, discuss any interesting things that you observed. Help your child to find words for their experience. Record their words on paper and have them sketch a simple drawing for their nature journal. Use some of the ideas that worked in the past like a rubbing of a leaf or feather. Take photos for your nature journals.

    Research and record what you learned about the bat this week from reading in the Handbook of Nature Study. One idea would be to sketch and record how a bat’s wings are different from a bird’s wings. You could discuss why a bat is considered a mammal and how it differs from other mammals that we have studied. Keep it simple but make some connections this week.

    benefits of homeschool nature study membership

    Homeschool Nature Study Members Enjoy More Studies

    Members will find these resources in your Autumn course in Homeschool Nature Study membership:

    • Bats and The Sense of Hearing Outdoor Hour Challenge
    • Lessons Around Nature at Sundown
    • Bat coloring page
    • Advanced bat studies and more activities

    Members also enjoy access to:

    • NEW, weekly Outdoor Hour Challenges to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool!
    • the annual nature study plans
    • matching courses with materials and journaling pages
    • interactive calendar with daily nature study prompts
    • Nature Journaling course
    • and MUCH more!

    Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

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    The Ultimate Guide To Fall Homeschool Nature Study In Your Own Backyard

    The benefits of autumn or fall homeschool nature study in your own backyard are endless! These simple resources get you started making memories together.
    Photos by Amy Law

    When the calendar flips to September you might be ready for an autumn or fall homeschool nature study in your own backyard. How about your part of the world? Are you feeling like autumn or is it lingering summer? Whatever your world looks like you can take a fall walk and discover some fall color…maybe not your leaves but look for berries, nuts, and weeds that are changing color.

    autumn nature study with light coming through the treees

    The Benefits of Nature Study in the Fall

    The benefits of fall nature study seem to be endless! The most important of all is making memories together as a family. The crisp, cooler air and the brilliant blue sky (on sunny days) highlight all of the fall leaf color for us. Being outside does wonders for moods. And having an outdoor ‘laboratory’ for discovery is as simple as swinging open your backdoor.

    The fall Outdoor Hour Challenges are among our very favorites. My children and I have wonderful memories of looking for not only different leaf color but leaf shapes. With the cooler weather, we tend to take nature walks even more.

    Plus, a fall homeschool nature study gives an opportunity for all ages to learn as little or as much as they would like to.

    Fall Nature Study Lesson Plans

    We have Outdoor Hour Challenge Homeschool Nature Study Curriculum filled with weeks of fall nature study plans! You can also take a look at this sampling of the resources we have for you to enjoy simple, fall homeschool nature study in your own backyard.

    • Seasonal Tree Observations Outdoor Hour Challenge
    • Fall Color Walk with Printable Color Cards in membership (great for your youngest adventurers)
    • How to Make Leaf Rubbings (video)
    • Tips for Drawing Leaves
    • Learn Why Leaves Change Color
    • Advanced studies on the chemistry of leaves
    • Coming soon: apples, pumpkins, bats, turkeys and more!

    The benefits of autumn or fall homeschool nature study in your own backyard are endless! These simple resources get you started making memories together.

    Fall Notebooking Pages For Your Homeschool

    There are so many easy printable pages in Homeschool Nature Study membership for quick and fun nature walks!

    • Access to a Fall Leaf Nature Study Grid for printing (you can place in your journal and ‘check off’ scavenger hunt style. Includes a bookmark for coloring in the colors of the fall leaves near you)
    • Autumn nature study journal pages for each Outdoor Hour Challenge
    • Autumn coloring pages
    • Under the Fallen Leaves notebooking page
    • Autumn Changes in Your Own Backyard
    • Learning About Leaves – with journal page
    • Autumn Weather Tracking chart printable
    • Signs of Autumn Notebook Page
    • Printable Fall Series Field Notebook

    And SO much more! (with more topics coming!)

    More Homeschool Nature Study for Your Fall Learning

    Join Us For Fall Homeschool Nature Study

    We’ve heard from families that they were reluctant to start a nature study plan, stating that they thought it would restrict their freedom to focus on one topic. But, they found that having a focus each week actually helped them to stay regular at getting outside and it helped them be better at taking a few minutes to learn about an object they encountered, even if it wasn’t the original aim for getting outdoors.

    We make it easy with resources you can use at your own pace and on your own schedule. Or, you may choose to follow our annual nature study plans closely and have everything at your fingertips.

    Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

    The benefits of autumn or fall homeschool nature study in your own backyard are endless! These simple resources get you started making memories together.

    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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    Homeschool Nature Study: Free Notebook Page For The Last Days of Summer

    Enjoy a last days of summer homeschool nature study free notebook page. Let’s soak up these last sunny and glorious days, have fun and make memories together as a family.

    Backyard Garden Retreat
    I am still working in the garden…picking beans and watering.

    Many of you have gone back to school already but we need to remember that it is still officially summer until September 23. There is still time to get outside and do a few more summer activities, making some family memories.

    I made up a notebook page for you to download to remember to have some fun while the summer weather is still around.

    Summer Lake Fun
    The boys have convinced us to go to the lake a few more times to wakeboard.

    I am not ready to give up on summer yet! My boys are ready to hit the lake a few more times and we are going camping and hiking too.

    Last Days of Summer Homeschool Nature Study Free Notebook Page

    Homeschool Nature Study members already have this page in your Summer Outdoor Hour Curriculum course. Not yet a member? You can download the notebook page, below and sample the Outdoor Hour Challenges:

    Get Your Last Days of Summer Notebook Page!

    Subscribe to get your free Last Days of Summer Notebook page.

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

      Have fun!

      More Family-Style Summer Homeschool Nature Study

      You might also like these fun ways to enjoy summer homeschool nature study:

      As we also look forward to autumn nature study and all the joys of nature study for your homeschool year.

      For even more homeschool nature study ideas for all seasons, 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!

      First shared by Barb August 2011 and updated by Tricia August 2022

      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 Outdoor Mom Series – New Feature for Homeschool Moms

      This month we start a new Outdoor Mom series focused on the Outdoor Hour Mom. Yes, this is all about you! As homeschool moms we give…A LOT, which is why it is so important that we carve out a little time to nurture our own well-being.

      This month we start a new Outdoor Mom series focused on the Outdoor Hour Mom. Yes, this is all about you! As homeschool moms we give…A LOT, which is why it is so important that we carve out a little time to nurture our own well-being.

      This does not have to be finding swathes of time to do something extravagant. Most of us don’t have that time.

      But it is important to develop a heart for the simple joys that come from the most ordinary of tasks and the most fleeting of moments. For it is these things that help us create moments of calm throughout our day and it is in these unhurried moments that we can see and hear the voice of our Saviour and experience His peace.

      Our vision for the Outdoor Mom series is to inspire you to slow down, find beauty in the ordinary, in celebrating your home, in ordinary everyday tasks; your hobbies, interests and of course, nature journaling, nature and the seasons.
      This is Shirley Vels in her garden!

      What Is The Outdoor Mom Series?

      Our vision for the Outdoor Mom series is to inspire you to slow down, find beauty in the ordinary, in celebrating your home, in ordinary everyday tasks; your hobbies, interests and of course, nature journaling, nature and the seasons.

      Join Homeschool Nature Study membership to enjoy the NEW Outdoor Mom series – with nature journal prompts – by your Outdoor Hour hostess, Shirley Vels.

      Annual Members: Find the NEW Outdoor Mom posts in the Outdoor Mom course.

      We Invite You To Participate!

      Not a member? We invite you to us!

      You can also participate with the prompts below:

      How Do You Join?

      Answer all or just one of the prompts in a post on Instagram – and tag us at @outdoorhourchallenge! You can also answer in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on our blog in a comment. If you answer on your blog, make sure to leave me a link in a comment so that I can pop over and read your responses.

      • During our outdoor time this week we went….
      • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…
      • Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…
      • In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting….
      • I added nature journal pages about….
      • I am reading…
      • I am  dreaming about…
      • A photo I would like to share…

      Whether your family spends a few minutes a week outside or hours at a time, share what is going on in your world.

      Outdoor Mom’s Journal

      Here is an entry by Barbara McCoy!

      The most inspiring thing we experienced was.….traveling to two national parks, Zion and Grand Canyon! My husband and I spent three days at each park and put a lot of miles on the old pedometer as we hiked and hiked and hiked.

      zion national park nature journal

      I added nature journal pages about.….both Zion and Grand Canyon. I created “twin” sorts of entries for each park. I am in the process of finishing off my pages but here is a sneak peek.

      Please join us! Share something that you have done lately. We are looking forward to reading your entries and comments!

      Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

      Shirley and her family have used the Handbook of Nature Study and Barb’s Outdoor Hour Challenges from the beginning of their homeschooling. Having begun their homeschool journey in Cape Town South Africa and finished it in the UK, the challenges and the Handbook of Nature Study have proved to be adaptable and relevant across continents. Shirley lives in Chester, England and blogs at Building A Household of Faith where she writes about homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way, nature study and encouraging homeschooling moms in their great charter as Christian wives, mothers and keepers of the home. She also hand-dyes yarn in her home studio Under An English Sky, which is inspired by the English countryside and of the great living books she and her family enjoyed over their homeschooling journey.

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      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.

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        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.

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        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: