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Homeschool Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenge: Winter Insects

This week we are focusing on winter insects in our homeschool nature study outdoor hour challenges. We are using the Winter Wednesday course and Handbook of Nature Study curriculum with our members. You can join our membership at any time. You will find a button at the end of this post that will take you to the signup page.

We are delighted to have you along for our Outdoor Hour Challenges (OHC) using the Handbook of Nature Study either way so let’s hop right into this week’s challenge.

Homeschool Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Insects

This OHC is from our Winter Wednesday course which utilizes both The Handbook of Nature Study and Discover Nature in Winter.

This Week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge: Winter Insects

1. Read chapter seven in Discover Nature in WinterMake note of any ideas for observing insects that would apply to your area. The purpose of this chapter is to make you aware of the various places that insects over winter: as fertilized eggs, as larvae, a few as pupae, and a few that hibernate. This chapter has lots of great illustrations showing what insects in winter may look like during the various stages. I highly recommend sharing these illustrations with your children.


2. Our family is going to look for and record any overwintering insects we can find using the instructions on pages 140-141. We will be making a chart like the one on page 141 for our nature journal. We will also be on the lookout for galls and taking photographs for our nature journal. See pages 142-143 for more information.

For families wanting to participate that do not have the Discover Winter in Nature book, I will list a few simple nature study ideas that you can try with your family.

1. This might be the perfect time to learn the life cycle of a common insect such as the monarch butterfly or a dragonfly.
2. Look for signs of insects: on bare tree branches, under rocks, on the backside of leaves, on or under a fallen log, in a woodpile, in the soil.

Homeschool Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Insects

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By joining the Homeschool Nature Study membership you get access to all the curriculum, the interactive calendar and a brand new Outdoor Hour Challenge each week.

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Did you enjoy this Outdoor Hour Challenge on Winter Weeds? Be sure to tag @outdoorhourchallenge on Instagram and use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge so we can see and comment!

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Weed Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Weed Nature Study

Winter weeds are a quick and easy nature study topic that you can complete in your yard or neighborhood, or at a local park or alongside a road (be watchful of traffic). Spend a few minutes this week to take notice of any weeds you may have, searching for seeds or signs of animals feeding nearby.

Beloved by homeschool families worldwide, this study focuses on the Handbook of Nature Study and winter weeds this week.

Easy And Engaging Homeschool Nature Study

You can use these links for some specific Winter Homeschool Nature Study ideas:

Beloved by homeschool families worldwide, this study focuses on the Handbook of Nature Study and winter weeds this week.

Getting Started With The Outdoor Hour Challenge In Your Homeschool Nature Study


Download your free copy of our Getting Started ebook and complete challenge #6. You may wish to make a list of weeds you observed in winter and then check the list during the summer to see if you can add some more entries.   

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Did you enjoy this Outdoor Hour Challenge on Winter Weeds? Be sure to tag @outdoorhourchallenge on Instagram and use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge so we can see and comment!

This week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge is from the Winter Wednesday Course and Curriculum.

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Tree Silhouettes Homeschool Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Tree Silhouettes

This week we are going to be on the lookout for interesting tree silhouettes in our own yard and neighbourhood. Here is the link to the previous challenge: Winter Wednesday – Tree Silhouettes

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Tree Silhouettes

In this challenge, be sure to look for the list of four ideas to use when completing this challenge with your children. You can also work on your Winter Tree Study and your Four Seasons Tree Study.

Homeschool Nature Study: Outdoor Hour Challenge

Special Activity: My Tree is a Living World
This may be a great week to revisit this activity:
My Tree is a Living World

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Tree Silhouettes

You might also like to see how Tricia’s family enjoyed this winter tree silhouettes challenge. They did a blind contour drawing. They also noticed how paying attention to winter tree silhouettes made them notice the backyard birds!

Getting Started With The Outdoor Hour Challenge In Your Homeschool

Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #4. Use the ideas in the challenge to start a focused study of trees with your children. Use the accompanying notebook page to record your outdoor time and your focus area.   

It is simple to get started. We will show you how. Grab this free Homeschool Nature Study Guide and discover the joys of nature study in your homeschool.

If you do not own the Getting Started in the Outdoor Hour Challenges guide then hop on over to our shop and grab your free copy! We would love to have you join our membership for full access to the new year’s nature study plans as well as access to the curriculum with detailed lesson plans for each weekly challenge.

Homeschool Nature Study Membership - Bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in Your Homeschool

Join Our Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Helpful Tips Year Round

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Did you enjoy this Outdoor Hour Challenge on Winter Weeds? Be sure to tag @outdoorhourchallenge on Instagram and use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge so we can see and comment!

In addition to this winter tree silhouette challenge, our nature study homeschool members enjoy so much more! Membership includes three sets of Winter Handbook of Nature Study curriculum, additional nature study resources and ideas plus a calendar FULL of easy, daily nature study prompts. This Week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge comes from:

Handbook of Nature Study - An Outdoor Hour Homeschool Curriculum - Winter Wednesdays
Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Tree Silhouettes

Did you enjoy this Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Tree Silhouettes? Be sure to tag @outdoorhourchallenge on Instagram and use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge so we can see and comment!

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The World of Winter Homeschool Nature Study

It’s our Winter Wednesday challenge once again and time to bring the world of winter into your homeschool nature study.

Winter Wednesday - The World of Winter Homeschool Nature Study

Winter Wednesday – Week 1 The World of Winter in your Homeschool Nature Study

1. Read chapter one Discover Nature in Winter. While you are reading you can highlight any portions that you would like to share with your children. I also like to write in the margins any topics and ideas that come to me as I read.

2. Our family is going to complete the winter color activity on page 14 and illustrated on page 17. Please feel free to complete any of the suggested activities in chapter one of the book and then share your experiences in a blog entry.

If you do not have the book and you would like to follow along with the activity, here are some basic instructions.

Finding The Colors Of Winter In Your Nature Study

The bareness of the trees and the appearance of a white snowy landscape help to sharpen the other colors of winter. Find a few minutes this week to notice the colors you can observe in your own backyard, even if it is from your window.

Some Ideas to Get You Started In Your Homeschool Study This Winter:

  • Red berries on a holly bush
  • Greens and yellows of lichen
  • Bright blue of a blue jay or the sharp reds of the cardinal
  • Yellows and oranges of the sunrise or sunset
  • Blue sky and white clouds

Keep track of the colors you observe this week in your nature journal.

Winter Wedneday Curriculum

Ready to get started? Grab your FREE Getting Started in Homeschool Nature Study Guide with 10 free Outdoor Hour Challenges.

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Insect Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge:
This could be the most challenging of all winter nature study topics…winter insects. Don’t give up before reading the challenges and some suggested activities.

Winter Wednesday – Winter Insects
Gall Dwelling Insects

You may wish to see one of our winter insect studies: Winter Insects.

Special Activity:Insect Study Notebook Page
 

I am reposting the Insect Notebook Page for you to use with any insect your observe or research as part of this Outdoor Hour Challenge.
Insect Study Notebook Page Printable

Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #7. Use the ideas in this challenge to start your own personalized field guide to your backyard and neighborhood. Keep it simple and start with a common insect to your area.    

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Sky Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge: 
This week try to spend even just a few minutes outside looking at the stars. Make it an event your child will remember by bundling up beforehand if necessary and then finishing off the evening with something warm to drink.

Use this challenge from the past to get started: Winter Sky Study. This blog entry includes some winter night sky links you may find helpful.

NOTE: Make sure to note that you don’t need the Discover Nature in Winter book to get outside and just take a look at the stars and/or moon this month. You also do not need a telescope to complete this challenge. Use your naked eyes or a pair of binoculars if you have those at home.

You may also be interested in the Year Long Big Dipper Study. This challenge includes a free printable notebook page to record your observations.

Special Activity:

After you Outdoor Hour time, spend a few minutes with your child and discuss what you observed outdoors in winter, perhaps even after your night sky observations. Have them come up with a question they would like answered about anything winter related and record their question on the notebook page above. Use the Handbook of Nature Study or other resources to answer their question within a week’s time. This process can be done every time your child has a question as they learn more about their own backyard and beyond.

Printable Winter Question Research Notebook Page

Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #2. Use this challenge to help your child find some words to go along with your winter sky study. The notebooking page that goes with this challenge has a place for words and a small sketch. I have found that as you do this challenge over and over, your child will build a large vocabulary of adjectives and an increased ability to see things in nature.    

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Snow Study


The Winter Snow challenge from the Winter Wednesday ebook is a fun one to have on hand whenever you get some snow. I wish you all a great week of nature study!

Original Challenge: Snow
Use the suggestions in this challenge to complete a snow related experiment, recording the results on the accompanying notebook page or in your nature journal. There are also some additional ideas for non-snow related activities to substitute if you live where there is no snow. You can also use the Winter Nature Walk printable from Hearts and Trees.

Special Activity: Watercolor With Snow
Bring a cup or so of snow in and let it melt. Use the resulting water to watercolor a winter scene.

Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #3.  Make sure to read the pages in the Handbook of Nature Study for this challenge. We all need reminders about how to encourage our children in their nature journals. This week you can record a winter scene in your journals or use the notebook page from the ebook to keep a record of your outdoor time.  

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OHC Blog Carnival
You are welcome to submit any of you blog Outdoor Hour Challenge blog entries to the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival. Entries for the current month are due on 1/30/14.

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Color Nature Study

Winter Color Nature Study

This week we are going to be completing the World of Color challenge from the Winter Wednesday ebook. This challenge invites you and your family to take a walk outdoors and find some color in your winter world. Even if you have to complete this challenge from your window, it will help train your eyes to see the bursts of color that are out there if you look carefully enough.

Original Challenge: The World of Color.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the Discover Nature in Winter book to use along with the challenge. Take the ideas listed in the blog post to complete a simple color hunt with your children and then follow up with an entry in your nature journal. The journal can be simply a list of colorful things you saw or a sketch of something your child found interesting. Make this a no-pressure challenge for your child.

There are a few other ideas in the ebook to try if you don’t want to go outside for this challenge.

Color Cards For Your Winter Color Study
Use these color word cards to stimulate a fun nature study related activity. See how many of the colors you can find during your winter color hunt.

TIPS: These cards can be printed on cardstock or cut and pasted to index cards. If you only have a black and white printer, have your children color the words or the border with markers before going outside.
Printable Color Word Cards

Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #1. This is the perfect challenge to just take a simple walk outdoors with your children as part of completing challenge #1. Make sure to follow up your outdoor time with a discussion to find out one or two things your child would like to know more about. Don’t worry that you won’t know the answers to any questions they may have…just take the opportunity to learn together using internet resources or a trip to the library.

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2011 Winter Series #8 One Small Square and Winter Wednesday #7 Winter Insects

***Winter Series #8 One Small Square-Winter 
(You can also read my Squidoo Lens: Square Foot Nature Study.)

***Winter Wednesday #7 Winter Insect Study
A couple of extra links for winter insects:
Where Do Insects Go In Winter?
Where Have All The Bugs Gone?

If you are currently experiencing lots of snow (like we are), perhaps today is not the day to do this challenge. Pick one of the other challenges from the winter series: Filter snow, melt snow, look for animal tracks, observe some birds, or notice tree silhouettes.

There are plenty of challenges that you could try or do again this week if you can’t do the small square or get outside to look for insects. I look forward to reading about your family’s nature study this week. I am so enjoying glimpsing into your winter world and all of the bird study entries from last weekend.

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Did you enjoy this Outdoor Hour Challenge on Winter Weeds? Be sure to tag @outdoorhourchallenge on Instagram and use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge so we can see and comment!

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2011 Winter Series Outdoor Hour Challenge #6 Salt Study and Winter Wednesday #6 Winter Weeds

Winter Weeds and Snow
Winter Weeds- Look for seeds, pods, or dried flowers.

This week’s combination of challenges will give you two very different subjects to consider.

Winter Series #6 Salt Study
Winter Wednesday #6 Winter Weeds

***The salt experiments are a fun way to learn about an everyday subject that all of us have in our homes. Salt crystalsYou might find the pages in the Handbook of Nature Study an interesting read as part of this challenge.

***Winter weeds are one of my favorite winter nature study subjects. If you would like to participate, here are a few suggestions from the challenge
1. Collect a variety of seeds from weeds in your local area and sketch them in your nature journal.
2. Gather a few varieties of weeds and display them in a vase.
3. Pick a weed you know you have and print out a coloring page for your nature journal.


My daughter has graciously made available her Salt Study Lapbook pdf to go along with this challenge. Please click over to her blog at Hearts and Trees to read more about it!

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