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The Ultimate Mammals Homeschool Nature Study Using 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!

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!

Mammals Homeschool Nature Study Using Outdoor Hour Challenges (in Nature Study Membership)

  • Animal Tracks Hunt – Mammals Outdoor Hour Challenge
  • Bats – Summer course
  • Bear – Forest Fun course
  • Beavers
  • Cats – Spring course
  • Cattle and Deer – Winter Continues course
  • Chipmunks – Autumn course (An example of a chipmunks and squirrel study with Homeschool Nature Study here)
  • Coyote – High Desert course
  • Elk – High Desert ebook
  • Goats – More Spring Nature Course
  • Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel – High Desert course
  • Horses – Autumn course
  • Moose – Forest Fun course
  • Mountain Lion – High Desert course
  • Mouse – More Summer course
  • Muskrat – Creepy Things course
You can enjoy a simple mammals homeschool nature study with these resources we have gathered for you to use in your own backyard.
  • Pig – Autumn Continues course
  • Pocket Gopher – High Desert course
  • Porcupine – Forest Fun course
  • Rabbits
  • Raccoons – Summer course
  • Rats
  • River Otter – High Desert course
  • Sheep – More Winter course
  • Skunks – Summer course
  • Skunks and Badgers
  • Squirrels and Squirrels with Rodent Notebooking Page
  • Winter Mammals from Winter Wednesday course
  • Winter Mammals Hiberation – Winter Wednesday course
  • Winter Mammal Tracks – Winter course
  • Wolf, Fox, and Dog
  • Woodchuck, Groundhog, Prairie Dog, and Marmot
We’re starting with a favorite topic, black bears! Enjoy a bear nature study in your homeschool with this Outdoor Hour Challenge and bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool.

Additional Mammal Homeschool Activities Included with Membership

  • Mammal Outdoor Hour Challenge Notebook Page
  • Mammal notebook page
  • Running List of Mammals printable notebook page
  • Looking for Signs and Tracks
  • Mammal nature study journal idea printable. Mammals at the zoo.
homeschool nature study membership for families

Join The Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

Can you believe all of these mammals resources you will find in membership? You will also find a continuing series on mammals 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!

first published 2011 by Barb and updated by Tricia 2022

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Cat Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge:

We are going to have some fun with cats this week! Make sure to read the section in the Handbook of Nature Study for loads of ideas to try with your family cat or a neighborhood cat.

  • Spring Mammal Study – Cats: Make sure to use the free mammal notebook page linked in this entry and also check out the free cat unit on Homeschool Share.
  • You will also find a Nature Journal Topper prompt in the May 2014 Newsletter that will give you an idea for studying cats.
  • If you have access to the November 2012 Newsletter, you will find additional ideas for a mammal study, including the printable mammal study grid.

Printable Notebook Pages

Printable Notebook Pages

Getting Started Suggestion:

If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #8. Use a magnifying lens to example your cat. Look at the various parts suggested in the Handbook of Nature Study and then record your observations in your nature journal or on the accompanying notebook page.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library

Note: You can find the Getting Started ebook in all levels of membership here at the Handbook of Nature Study.


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End of June Garden Update

Pixie Zinnias

The garden has sprung to life in the last few weeks. These are some new Zinnia Pixie Sunshine plants that I received free in a seed order. I planted them in a pot on the deck and they are going to be a fantastic choice for a container.

Baby Tomatoes
Vegetables are growing like crazy.

Yellow Day Lily
Flowers are blooming in all corners in many shapes and sizes. These day lilies are amazingly beautiful in real life.

Red Day Lily
The colors of summer are amazing and I can’t get enough of my day lilies this year.

Self Heal
Even the weeds are so very pretty. This self-heal is growing up along my fence line among some wild grapes that have planted themselves. I’m not sure where they came from but they are nice and green so they will stay.

The first round of herbs are ready to be harvested. Pesto anyone?

There are surprising new varieties of plants like this coleus.

And what garden post would be complete without a photo of my cat?

Miss Cocoa drinking from the birdbath
Water always tastes better out of the bird bath in the rose garden….at least that is what Miss Cocoa tells me anyway. This was during another one of my early morning walks outside in the cool air. Miss Cocoa decided to accompany me as I wandered through the garden and observed the nuthatches and woodpeckers.

Hope you enjoyed my garden update. Next week, I will share some more from my butterfly garden.

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Cat Study: One of Our Favorite Subjects

kittens 2006
These are our cats Cocoa and Espresso who in 2006 came to live with us. Yes, we can tell them apart…you look at their ears and one has white hair inside and the other does not. They also have very different personalities and habits so once you get to know them you really don’t even need to look at their ears to identify them.

It seems like we have a never-ending cat study at our house. We have two beautiful Bombay cats (we are sure that they are mixed with something else as well) that love to socialize with us during our homeschooling day. We can’t help but to see these gals up close on a regular basis.

Cocoa Up Close
We did do a little more research on the Bombay cat breed and we discovered that we have English Bombays and not American Bombays. It was obvious when we took a look at the differences. We know that they are mixed with something else because they have some longer fur and some white hair in a spot on their chest but they are most definitely related to the Bombay breed.

Cat in a flower pot
Our cats are remarkable sleepers. They spend most of their days sleeping in various parts of the house. As the photo above shows, they have always been able to find a comfortable place to sleep.

Cocoa's Favorite Sleeping Spot
Cocoa loves to sleep on Mr. A’s bed curled up in his big fleece gecko.

Here she is sleeping on my bed. I put out a piece of fleece fabric for her to sleep on or else she will curl up on my pillow. She will sleep on her back like this for long periods of time. I think it is very strange.

Espresso is more of a “sleep where it is convenient gal”. She sleeps on kitchen chairs, curled up in a box, or laying on the back deck in the sun.

Cat in the Window
They are both big time hunters and they will watch from the inside of the window as the birds sit in the feeders. Their tails will be swishing, ears alert, eyes wide, making cat sounds as they watch.

Espresso helping with science
They also like to frequent the school table and sit on papers, binders, or textbooks. No matter that we might be actually trying to work…they make themselves at home.

Our lives are full of the entertaining things that cats do and especially since we are home all the time do we enjoy having them around to keep us company and warm. We recently found one hiding in a paper bag and we left the bag out for a few days and it became the favored sleeping spot for both cats.

Espresso in the Bag
My husband does not consider himself a cat lover but these two feline girls have captured his heart. They will even jump into his lap for a good scratch under the chin and then they reward him with a lap full of purring, furry, sleeping cat. Cats are smart.

This was a fun challenge and my boys and I decided we could write about our cats every week, telling a new tale of their sweetness.

Instead, next time I will posting about our snake studies…..not quite such a lovable entry.

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Cats: Up Close and Personal with Observations #1

The Handbook of Nature Study has lots of interesting things to do to observe your cat or kitten. Many of these activities I hadn’t ever thought about before so I am grateful for the guidance of Anna Botsford Comstock.

On page 265 of HNS:“This lesson may be used in primary grades by asking a few questions at a time and allowing the children to make their observations on their own kittens at home, or a kitten may be brought to school for this purpose. The upper grade work consists of reading and retelling or writing exciting stories of the great, wild, savage cats, like the tiger, lion, leopard, lynx, and panther.”

Page 265 Observation #1:“How much of Pussy’s language do you understand? What does she say when she wishes you to open the door for her? How does she ask for something to eat? What does she say when she feels like conversing with you? How does she cry when hurt? When frightened? What noise does she make when fighting? When calling other cats? What are her feelings when she purrs? When she spits? How many things which you say does she understand?”

Our answers (given by my boys) Our cats give a soft meow when they want to go outside or they just sit by the door and wait. They sit in front of their empty dish and look at you when they wish for something to eat. They will rub up against you or jump up on our lap when they want a little “conversation”. They hiss when they are hurt. The give a pitiful meow when they are frightened. When fighting, they hiss and put their ears down and chase each other through the house. They purr when they are enjoying a good pet and are relaxed. They will come when they are called “kitty”. They come running when they hear the cupboard door open where their food is kept. They will jump down when you say sternly “down”.

I think they did a good job answering the questions.

We will continue next week with our cat activities.