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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.   

Join The Homeschool Nature Study Membership For Support All Year Long

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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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Once a Month Nature Journal Project Collections – From the Archives

Once a Month Nature Journal Project

Collections – From the Archives

Looking back through my nature journals, I enjoy seeing little bits and bobs that I’ve collected during my outdoor adventures. I don’t often include natural items like flowers, leaves, or seeds on my pages, but they do create pages that are wonderful reminders of our adventures and discoveries.

Nature Collection journal page

Special note: I’ve often used transparent tape to seal an object onto a nature journal page. If you use tape that doesn’t yellow, it actually works quite well and stays in place for a period of time. 

Nature Journal Page Ideas:

  1. Collect something to adhere directly to the page like a leaf, needle, seed, or flower.
  2. Press an item in a flower press and then adhere that to your page. Here is a video I created with instructions: How to Make a Plant Press.
  3. Create an envelope to hold an item from your nature walk.
  4. Create a pocket to hold an item.
  5. Laminate an item.
  6. Preserve an item in wax paper to adhere to your page. See this entry for instruction: How to Make a Waxed Paper Pouch.

Once a Month Nature Journal Collection @handbookofnaturestudy

Link to the original blog entry: Once a Month Nature Journal – Collections

If you still need to purchase a membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study, click over to the join us page to see all of the many benefits of having access to the newsletters, the ebooks, and the printables available to members.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Use promo code NATURE5 to receive $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership.

Once a Month Nature Journal Project @handbookofnaturestudy

Complete list of all the Once a Month Nature Journal Project Ideas

Getting Started with Nature Journals

Click over to my nature journal page for many more nature journal ideas.

 

 

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Nature Journal Project-Using Numbers

Once a Month Nature Journal Project

Using Numbers – From the Archives

I love making a good list. Add some numbers to that list and you have an easy start to a nature journal page!

nature journal examples (2) snow data

Ideas for Nature Journal Using Numbers:

1. Use numbers in captions: the date, the size of something, the number of items.

2. Create a numbered list of things (birds seen, local wildflowers, hikes taken, etc.).

3.  Record the temperature, wind speed, rainfall or snowfall numbers to make a record of your weather.

I challenge you to create at least one nature journal page this month that has numbers!

Once a Month Nature Journal Project - with Numbers

Link to the original blog entry: Once a Month Nature Journal – Using Numbers

If you still need to purchase a membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study, click over to the join us page to see all of the many benefits of having access to the newsletters, the ebooks, and the printables available to members.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Use promo code NATURE5 to receive $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership.

Once a Month Nature Journal Project @handbookofnaturestudy

Complete list of all the Once a Month Nature Journal Project Ideas

Getting Started with Nature JournalsClick over to my nature journal page for many more nature journal ideas.

 

 

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Once a Month Nature Journal Project: Wish List – From the Archives

Once a Month Nature Journal Project

Wish List – From the Archives

Wish: To want, desire, long for, yearn for.

Once a Month Nature Journal Project Wish List @handboofnaturestudy

Wish List-Bucket List-To Do List-Goals

Whatever you want to call it, I am encouraging you to create a list in your nature journal that expresses your nature study hopes and wishes for 2021.

Ideas for your wish list in your nature journal:

  • Make a list of the Outdoor Hour Challenges you would love to complete in the near future. Add it to your nature journal.
  • List places you want to visit: hiking trails, parks, beaches, nature centers, vacation spots.
  • Create a list of birds or other living things you want to study in the coming months.
  • Write a list of topics you want to research at your library or on the internet.
  • Make a list of nature related activities you want your children to experience. Here’s an example of a wish list: Kid’s Nature Bucket List.
  • Make a list of nature photos you would like to take.

Nature journal wish list goals

Creating a wish list not only helps you keep organized and reminds you of things you would like to do, but it will also help you personalize your nature study experiences. Asking your children to create their own nature related wish list in their nature journal will help you to plan your nature study time in a way that helps your children realize their desires.

Complete list of all the Once a Month Nature Journal Project Ideas

Getting Started with Nature Journals

Click over to my Nature Journal page for many more nature journal ideas.

 

 

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Creating a Rock Nature Journal

Creating a Rock Nature Journal

From the Newsletter Archives (January 2013)

During July 2012, our family took a trip to the Oregon Coast. We spent quite a bit of time just beachcombing for shells and rocks. I ended up with a collection that I wanted to record in my nature journal.

McVay Rock tidepools and rocks (7)

Rocks in general are a difficult subject to draw. I decided that the colorful rocks were much easier and that using a black pen to first outline the shape was helpful.

Oregon Rock Nature Journal

Recording rocks in your nature journal requires you to slow down and really examine the rock, noting its colors, shape, and texture.

collecting rocks baggie

I find it’s much easier to collect a few rocks and then bring them home for sketching. I have a stash of snack size Ziplocs in my nature box that I recycle from trip to trip. You can also use empty Tic-Tac or Altoid containers if you have a supply of those. We did use film canisters in the past but now that’s sort of outdated.

Greenwood river quartz rock collection

Sometimes you find a rock you want to draw in your nature journal but you cannot bring a sample home…like if you’re at a National Park or on private property. In that case, I take a few close-up images of the rock with my camera. Then I either use the image to draw the rock into my journal or I can just print out the image and put that in my journal.

I love looking back on these rock nature journal pages now and remembering not only the rocks but the experience of collecting them on a particular day.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Rock Study Marble Calcite Limestone @handbookofnaturestudy

Take the opportunity to create a few rock themed nature journal pages as part of the Outdoor Hour Challenge for Calcite, Limestone, and Marble (make a link) from last week. Click over and read how to get started.

 

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Nature Journal Project: Trace an Object – From the Archives

Once a Month Nature Journal Project

Trace an Object – From the Archives

I understand how difficult it is to stare at a blank page in a nature journal. This month’s suggestion may just help you get over that apprehension by allowing you to just trace an object you find during your outdoor time.

Trace a birch leaf nature journal (2)

Tracing an object helps us get over the fear of not sketching it “right”.

Use the ideas from the archives listed below to use in your nature journal this month.

Once a Month Nature Journal Project Trace an Object @handbookofnaturestudy

Nature Journal Page Ideas:

  • Gather several smaller items to trace for your nature journal. Look for a collection of items from one subject like a leaf, small cone, an acorn, or a seed pod from a backyard tree.
  • Trace the outline of an item and then use the shape to contain your journal writing.
  • Trace the outline with pencil and then use watercolors or crayons to finish up the artwork.
  • Challenge your older children to trace an item and then fill in with as much detail as possible.

Trace a birch leaf nature journal (2)

If you need more inspiration, I created a Pinterest board that gathers dozens of actual nature journal pages from participants.

Complete list of all the Once a Month Nature Journal Project Ideas

Getting Started with Nature Journals

 

 

 

 

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Nature Journal Project:Add a Map-From the Archives

Once a Month Nature Journal Project

Add a Map – From the Archives

An easy way to remember a particular hike is to include a printed map or a hand drawn map. This creates a visual record of the trail and any notes you have for particular places along the trail.

Use the ideas from the archives listed below to use in your nature journal this month.

Once a Month Nature Journal Project Add a Map @handbookofnaturestudy

How to Use a Map in Your Nature Journal

  • Attach a map along one edge of your page like a flap.
  • Tuck a folded map into a pocket or keep it secured under an edge of another piece of paper or cardstock.
  • Adhere the map right to your page, cutting the map to fit.
  • Write on top of your map with a caption, a thought, or a quote.

Nature Journal map photo grand canyon

If you need more inspiration, I created a Pinterest board that gathers dozens of actual nature journal pages from participants.

Complete list of all the Once a Month Nature Journal Project Ideas

 

This is an Amazon affiliate link to my most favorite nature journal sketchbook. I have used these for many years and they hold up well to all types of art media- pens, markers, watercolors, etc.

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Once a Month Nature Journal Project: Add Color to Your Nature Journal

Once a Month Nature Journal Project

Add Color to Your Nature Journal

-From the Archives

This school year, I’m going to be revisiting the Once a Month Nature Journal Project here on my blog. Each month I’ll share one of the suggestions from the series for you to use with your family.

I know what it’s like to get stuck when starting a new nature journal page. The blank slate is a little daunting to many of us, especially those new to the idea of nature journaling.

Challenge yourself to give each idea a try!

If you need more inspiration, I created a Pinterest board that gathers dozens of actual nature journal pages from participants.

Once a Month Nature Journal Project Use Color @handbookofnaturestudy

Let’s start off with the Add Color prompt from the Once a Month Nature Journal Project. Click the graphic above to go to the original blog entry and read the suggestions for adding color

Outdoor Hour Challenge Fall Color Walk @handbookofnaturestudy

Do you have some fall color to recreate in your nature journal? You may be interested in clicking over to the Fall Color Outdoor Hour Challenge.

Color+Hunt+Cards+printable+from+Handbook+of+Nature+Study.jpg

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

 

Complete list of all the Once a Month Nature Journal Project Ideas

January – Nature Journal With a Photo

February- Nature Journal Out Your Window

March – Use Numbers

April – Collections

May – Signs

June Sketch Outdoors

July – Using Your 5 Senses

August – Make a List

September – Colors

October – Add a Map

November – Trace an Item

December- Make a Wish List

 

 

 

 

 

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Outdoor Mom – August 2020

This has been a month for insect watching! It’s been a long time since I picked a “focus” nature topic for the month and it’s reminded me of the value of being alert to seeing things I might otherwise miss.

dragonfly lake hosmer kayak float july 2020

Dragon flies were the star for several of our outings on the water.  I have a fun memory of floating on the river with blue dragonflies landing on my arms and hat. Then there were the larger black and white dragonflies that look like small hummingbirds. They were spotted high up on tops of reeds and sticks, hanging out over the water where they sat waiting for a meal.

 wildflower garden august 2020

The wildflower garden has been abuzz with all kinds of insects. It makes me happy to sit nearby and listen and watch as they hop on, hover over, and dip into the colorful flowers.

We decided the meadow out behind the house should be called “grasshopper acres” this month because of the abundance of hopping and leaping that happens as you walk through the grasses. They are everywhere.

insect nature journal page august 2020

I’m keeping myself accountable this month with an insect page in my nature journal. It’s nothing fancy but it will remind me of a few of the insects I encountered during this month of looking for insects.

partial list august birds 2020

Our bird list this month has some surprise entries. The most inspiring addition was the Common Nighthawk. I wish I could post a video of the flying acrobatics of this amazing flyer! We noted the pointy wings, the white patches under the wings, and watched it on several late afternoons and evenings over the river.

Then there was the exciting visit of five Great Egrets. We observed them flying down at the river with their long thin necks, stick-like legs, and long yellow beaks. This is the first time we’ve seen a group of egrets here in our Oregon neighborhood.

But, the most compelling visitor we had this month is the Cooper’s hawk. He’s been hunting at my bird feeder. Twice I watched him dive at the feeder as the little birds flew off in every direction. Afterwards, both times, he sat in the tree over the feeder, unsuccessful in capturing anyone. I was able to get a good look at him as he actually posed for a few photos. A rather large and handsome hawk, he sat and patiently waited for a long time before flying off.

window decal review 2020
It’s hard to capture them in a photo.

 

On another bird related note, I installed some window decals that are designed to alert birds and prevent bird strikes. Our living room has a HUGE picture window and it has been the scene of many bird strikes and deaths in the past. I purchased the Window Alert window decals in the hope of reducing the number of birds who run smack into our window glass. They were easy to adhere to the exterior of the window. I was worried that they would annoy me as I look out the window but I’m happy to say that I don’t even really notice them anymore.

Do they work? I can’t say they have eliminated ALL of the bird strikes from happening, but I have noted that the very few that still hit the window must see the decals and slow down enough that it isn’t a fatal collision. We haven’t had a single bird death since putting the Window Alert decals up.

I call that pretty successful. I purchased them at our local Wild Birds Unlimited store for $6.95. The package says to replace the decals every four months since the UV coating will eventually fade and not be as effective. I guess I’ll get another set next spring.

Here are a few more fun things we did outdoors this month.

fishing crooked river august 2020

We made a day trip to the Crooked River to have a picnic and go fishing.

Koosah falls oregon august 2020

We took a new hike at Sahalie and Koosah Falls. What a magnificent place to take a 3-mile hike alongside the McKenzie River. I think this is my top pick for a day hike here in Oregon.

lavender farm hood river july 2020

My daughter and I had an awesome time cutting lavender at the Hood River Lavender Farm. What great memories we made that day! It was a hot day and the scent of lavender was thick in the air. We tasted lavender lemonade for the first time and loved its refreshing flavor.

 

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Are you following me on Instagram? I post regularly about my garden, the Central Oregon habitat, and our adventures. If you add the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge to your Instagram posts, I’ll come visit your images!

Want to join in the Outdoor Mom post?

Answer all or just one of the prompts in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on my 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 month 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…
  • One last image…

 

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

All members here on the Handbook of Nature Study have access to the 2020-2021 nature plan for the Outdoor Hour Challenge. Look for it in your library.

 

 

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2020 Nature Journal Examples and Links

2020 Nature Journal Examples and Links

This has been a year filled with personal challenges. My routine has been turned upside down and along with that my habit of creating pages in my nature journal has become erratic and lower on the priority list.

This last month I’ve made an effort to get back into the habit of journaling weekly. I went back and planned out some pages to “catch up” on, so 2020 isn’t light on nature notes and observations.  I brought out the nature journal supplies, sharpened the pencils and organized the markers. I plan on making myself more accountable for putting down my thoughts and observations as I go along for the rest of the year.

Stay tuned to see how I do in this endeavor.

Nature Journal 2020 examples (2)

Wish List: Creating nature goals for the year is a form of a “wish list” of things I hope to accomplish. Your family can adapt this idea to fit your needs, including any of the suggestions in the wish list entry linked here.

Nature Journal 2020 examples (5)

Recap Your Month: Creating a monthly recap page is a simple way to gather lots of details into one place. I enjoy creating a “highlights” recap and your family may like to pool ideas to make a recap page in your nature journal.

Nature Journal 2020 examples (8)

Make a List: There’s usually a list of one sort of another each month in my nature journal. It may not be very exciting but it does create a record that I look at from year to year. Comparing lists is something I do all the time.

Nature Journal 2020 examples

Sketch Outdoors: I took my journaling supplies along on a recent outing to the Crooked River. We stopped along the river and I realized I had the perfect view and an opportunity to sketch a juniper tree for my nature journal. What an enjoyable afternoon!

The positive news is that I faithfully complete my daily nature observations in my Nature Observer book for 2020. Keeping up on this pre-printed journal will help me reconstruct some of the months I missed in my regular nature journal.

Nature Journal 2020 examples (6)

Each month has a blank calendar to fill in with short observations, a bullet grid page for my own customized observation reminders, and a weekly spread for writing more in detail anything of note.

Nature Journal 2020 examplesFor July, I not only used the bullet grid for daily temperatures and other nature activities, but included a list of the wildflowers and birds observed both in my yard and down at the river. This format can easily be adapted to any bullet style journal page you are using.

The links to Amazon in this entry are my affiliate entries. I have purchased this book with my own money and I am sharing my enthusiasm for this product after using it for 2 years!

Getting Started with Nature Journals

Need some more specific nature journal ideas?

I’ve created a page on the website that gathers an abundance of nature journal ideas, suggestions, examples, and links. I invite you to jump over there and find your inspiration.

Free-Download-Drawing-With-Children-Nature-Journal-Style-@harmonyfinearts

Are you familiar with the book/system Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes? This incremental, child-friendly, learning to draw plan is a valuable part of an art skills program for many homeschoolers. I loved it so much that when my children were younger I adapted the plans to incorporate nature related topics and our nature journals. I’ve gathered those plans into one file for you to download and use for free.

Download: Drawing with Children Nature Journal Style lesson plans printable