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Ideas for Drawing in Your Nature Journal

Here are some great resources you can use as ideas for drawing in your nature journal. Several are links to coloring pages but I like their black line drawings that simplify an object so we can learn to draw them on our own in our journals.

Make sure to check out all the links even if they are from a state or habitat other than one where you currently live. Many times there are animals, plants, and birds that you will have in your location too. I don’t necessarily print the coloring book pages out and color them. We will use them as a guide to draw our own sketches of things we see in our Outdoor Hour Challenge or for our nature journal.

Ideas For Drawing in Your Nature Journal

Drawing Wildflowers in Your Nature Journal

Celebrating Wildflowers from the US Forest Service
These coloring pages are in PDF format so once you bring up the page, you can print out just the page you want and there is no need to print every page out on your printer.

Birds Homeschool Nature Study

Feeder Birds Coloring Book from Cornell
These are not only coloring pages but could actually be used as notebooking pages for your nature journal. I print out the table of contents to keep in my notebook as a reference. This way I know what birds are included in the coloring book.

How to Sketch Trees

Guide to Tree Sketching
I’ve shared this one before but it is worth listing again.

Drawing Flowers and Plants

How to Draw Flowers and Plants
Step by step to various garden flowers

Drawing Ducks

How to Draw a Duck on YouTube

Magnifying glass for a close up look at a butterfly in your homeschool nature study.

More Drawing Resources for Your Homeschool

 Here are some great resources you can use as ideas for drawing in your nature journal. Perfect for using for your homeschool nature study.

Hope there is something here that will help you with your endeavors to draw in your nature journal.

More Nature Journal Resources for Your Homeschool Nature Study

Here are several more posts I have shared on using a nature journal with your homeschool studies:

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

Join Our Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

You will find a continuing series on nature journaling plus all the Outdoor Hour Challenges for nature study in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. Plus 25+ continuing courses with matching 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 by Barb May 2008. Updated January 2022 by Tricia.

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Homeschool Nature Journal or Nature Notebook?

Should you have a homeschool nature journal or a nature notebook? What is the difference between the two?

I always remind new homeschool nature study families that the journal page is the icing on the cake. The most important part of nature study is the time spent outdoors together with your children. You are successful whether you end up with a page in your journal each week or not.

Should you have a homeschool nature journal or a nature notebook? What is the difference between the two? We answer this question.
Photo by Amy Law

Homeschool Nature Journal or Nature Notebook?

I had a really good question from Joy and I thought maybe you might like to hear my response.

Here is Joy’s question:
First off, I have read all of Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series as well as Karen Andreola’s Charlotte Mason Companion, along with various others (and I’ve read all that you have on your site concerning Nature Journaling). But, I am still left wondering, is there a difference between a nature journal and a nature notebook?

For example, the notebooking pages that are offered along with the GH challenges (that Tina made) would go into a nature notebook. However, I really like the nature journal idea, with the dry brush method, etc. and it would seem that this would be a different thing all together.

The nature journal would seem to be a sketch book whereas the notebook would be something that would go into a 3 ring binder. So, how do these mesh together, and should I have my children do both? I know these questions are possibly silly to those who have done this for a while, but since I am just starting out, I don’t want to overwhelm my little ones (2nd grade and 1st grade). I really just want a streamlined way to encourage them to interact with what they are learning outdoors.

The Answer To Nature Journal or Nature Notebook:

First off I think this is a really good question and if you ask ten different people, you will get ten different answers. But I will take a stab at it since it relates to the Outdoor Hour Challenges. Clarifying things is always a good opportunity to fine tune our ideas.

I did a little research on what a “nature journal” is and the best explanation of it I found was in Clare Walker Leslie’s book, Keeping a Nature Journal. She explains it this way.

“Simply put, nature journaling is the regular recording of observations, perceptions, and feelings about the natural world around you. That is the essence of the process. The recording can be done in a wide variety of ways, depending on the individual journalist’s interests, background, and training. Some people prefer to record in written prose or poetry, some do it through drawing or painting, others with photographs or tape recordings, and still others through musical notation…..Many people use a combination of these techniques.”

Should you have a homeschool nature journal or a nature notebook? What is the difference between the two? We answer this question.

In the Handbook of Nature Study, Anna Comstock calls the nature journal a “field journal” but it is still the same thing, a nature journal. In Charlotte Mason’s original homeschooling series in volume one, she refers to the nature journal as a nature diary. The idea is all the same idea, to record personal observations and thoughts about the world around you.

So Joy, to answer your question with the short answer, either method is still considered nature journaling whether you use a spiral bound sketch pad with watercolors, markers, or pencils or if you choose to use sheets of paper slipped into a 3-ring binder when you are finished. In our family, we do combinations of both recording in the nature journal and on paper.

Notebooking Pages May Be Easier For Younger Writers

Your children are still very young so you may wish to have them work on individual sheets of paper and slip them into sheet protectors when they are finished and store them in a binder. You may at a later date start them in their own spiral bound nature journal. Either way you can include many different types of mediums.

You can still watercolor and slip them into the binder. You can press flowers and slip those in too. If you come across a nature notebooking page you like you can fill those out and put those in the binder. The notebooking pages are nice for younger children because most of them include lines to write your notes on – which is easier for younger writers. I have one son that likes the notebooking pages because he hates a blank page. If it is in a notebooking page format, he can easily think of things to fill it up.

I hope that clears things up a bit. I know there are a lot of choices and you will eventually come to the answer for your family about which one works the best. Nothing is set in stone either. You can start one way and change at any time. It depends a lot on how you are going to use the nature journals and how your children feel about recording in them. When my boys were little, we filled up lots of pages each year so they loved starting fresh each fall. Now we perhaps make an entry a week and we have slowed down considerably in the volume of notebooks.

Make nature journaling a pleasant experience. I know that many times for myself I end up not liking a page until it is all done. It has taken me many years to develop my own style of nature notebook. Want a glimpse into my nature journal? How to Get Started Nature Journaling

Should you have a homeschool nature journal or a nature notebook? What is the difference between the two? We answer this question.

I have come to the conclusion that the line between nature study and a nature journal is getting sort of fuzzy. You can have lots of nature study and not have a nature journal.

Don’t let your lack of skill in drawing keep you from your nature study

  • Nature walk = Time outdoors + time spent in observation
  • Nature study = Time outdoors + time spent in observation + time learning about your discoveries
  • Nature journal = Time outdoors + time spent in observation + time learning about your discoveries + time recording your observations and thoughts

I am in no way discouraging nature journals but I am convinced that if you spend enough time in nature study, you will have more to write about in your journal.

Homeschool Nature Study membership bringing the Handbook of Nature Study to Life!

Join Our Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

You will find a continuing series on nature journaling in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. Plus 25+ continuing courses with matching 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 May 2008 by Barb. Updated January 2022 by Tricia.

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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

An image showing the full collection of Nature Study courses

Connect With Our Homeschool Community On Social Media

Did you enjoy this Outdoor Hour Challenge? Be sure to tag us on Instagram @outdoorhourchallenge 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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January Nature Study – New Printables, Plan, and Planning Page

February Nature Study Plans – Outdoor Hour Challenge

I’m starting to get anxious for wildflower season! In honor of that enthusiasm, I’ve created a new set of notebook pages for you to use to enhance your plant family studies. If you have the Botany in a Day book (link at the end of this entry) on your bookshelf, pull it down and get ready to use it alongside these notebook pages for your nature journal.

There are two wildflower nature studies planned for late February, so I invite you to use those flowers to get started with your plant family studies. (Bloodroot is in the poppy plant family and hepatica is in the buttercup family.)

02/05/2021 – Flicker Bird Study

02/12/2021 – Scarlet Saucer Fungi Study

02/19/2021 – Bloodroot Nature Study

02/26/2021 – Hepatica Nature Study

Plant Family NB page set image

New Printables in the Members Library

Plant Family Notebook Page Set: This nine-page set includes pages for recording notes and lists of the more common plant families. You’ll find pages for the mint, mustard, pea, lily, aster, mallow, rose, and parsley families. There is also a generic page for you to use with any of the other plant families you might study with your children.

Printables for Members Button

Click the graphic above to view the complete list of printables available as part of an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.


February 2021 nature planner page

Members also have access to the Nature Planner pages in their library. Print out this month’s page and use it to stimulate your weekly nature study time.


Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

If you’d like to have access to the member’s printables and the newsletter archive, I invite you to join with an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. Your membership will be valid for one year and will include the benefits shown below.


This is my affiliate link to the Botany in a Day book that I highly recommend to go along with a study of wildflowers.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebook

All of the Outdoor Hour Challenges this month are from the Winter Nature Study Continues ebook.








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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Autumn Turkey Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Turkey Nature Study

Wild turkeys are a funny bunch of birds. When 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!

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.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Bird Study Turkeys @handbookofnaturestudy

View the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Turkey.  

Turkey notebook page 1

Turkey notebook page 2

If you have access to the ebook, there are two notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal.

Alternate study: The most important thing for any nature study challenge is to go outdoors for even just fifteen minutes. You may wish to complete the November World notebook page after your nature walk.  There’s also an autumn bird notebook page available in this download: Autumn Notebook Pages.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image

Sample to view: Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Nature Study 2015 Sample Pages

If you don’t have a membership yet, click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 26 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020


I can’t pass up the opportunity to share with you a product that I used with my family that is having a fantastic sale this weekend. Productive Homeschooling (formerly known as is one of my absolute favorite homeschooling products.
Membership Sale

Productive Homeschooling Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale of the Year!

When: Friday, November 27 (6:00 AM Eastern) – Monday, November 30 (11:59 PM Pacific)

What: Save $25 on ProSchool Memberships. We have 2 levels.
– 1. ProSchool Membership $97 $72
– 2. ProSchool Membership PLUS $127 $102
Installment plans available … first payment only $10.

I have written a lot of about how our family used the notebooking pages in our homeschooling days. There are LOADS of nature related pages that would be resource for many years to come. You can read one of my reviews here: Notebooking Pages – Nature Journals.

Membership Sale

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Outdoor Hour Challenge 2018-2019 Plans

Outdoor Hour Challenge

September 2018 through August 2019

Plans and Instructions


OHC Plan 18 to 19 Join UsAs we start another year of nature study together, I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to see the year’s plans all in one place. This plan was made with Handbook of Nature Study members in mind but it will also be very accessible to non-members who would like to join us.

Benefits by Level Updated size 500Outdoor Hour Challenge September 2018 – August 2019 for Members

Get the Year Plan in a PDF: Subscribe to the Ultimate Naturalist Library, Journey, or Discovery level membership: This membership will give you access to a detailed schedule for the entire year. You’ll have a printable plan that shows dates and specific topics that will be considered every Friday. This makes your planning super easy!



Winter Nature Study ebook @handbookofnaturestudyWinter Nature Study Series

Garden+Flowers+Cover.jpgGarden Flowers and Plants

More Nature Study Summer @handbookofnaturestudySummer Nature Study Continues

Download the Ebooks: Ultimate Naturalist Members will have access to the three ebooks needed for the year’s nature study plans.

Click the covers below to go to more information for each ebook. Check your files to see if you own these ebooks already!

Autumn 2009 cover graphic

Note: There is no separate ebook for the autumn season. We’ll be using the free notebook page bundle from 2009 that is available to everyone under the Autumn tab on the blog.


nb bundle 1

Download the Notebook Page Bundle: In addition to receiving the year’s plan in a pdf to download, Ultimate and Journey level members will also have access to a new Notebook Page Bundle printable that includes EVERY notebooking page needed for the entire year’s plan. This 78 page bundle can be printed for each student in your family. The Parent’s edition of the Notebook Page Bundle includes an index of challenges AND chart that shows the nature topics and corresponding pages in the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock.

I’m super excited about this new Notebook Page Bundle! This has been a much requested item and I’m happy to make this a part of the Ultimate and Journey level memberships.  Note: These are not new notebook pages, but for convenience they’re the pages from the ebooks gathered into one file for you to print and use with your family. This saves you time and energy as you plan and then complete your nature study!

OHC Plan 18 to 19 Join Us

Do You Want to Join Us?

Here’s what you need to do!

  1. Purchase a membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study. Remember that if you want access to all the ebooks and other resources you will need an Ultimate Naturalist Membership.
  2. Download the ebooks.
  3. Download the Notebook Page Bundle (both a student version and a parent’s version are available).
  4. Download the September 2018 through August 2019 plan.
  5. Subscribe to the Handbook of Nature Study blog for reminders each Friday.


This can be your best year ever for nature study!

Click Below to Get Started!

Use the discount code: Nature4U for $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. Code Expires 8/18/18.

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy



If you can’t purchase a membership at this time, you can still follow along by subscribing to the blog and each week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge will come right to your email inbox.

Handbook of Nature Study Subscribe Now 2


We’re so proud to have been chosen as a top Elementary Science curriculum by readers at Practical Homeschooling. I hope you’ll think about using our nature study ideas in your family with the confidence that families from around the world are happy with their results!

Practical Homeschool Reader Award 2018 border

How would you like to enter a giveaway for an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership?

OHC Membership Giveaway graphic

You can enter below! I will be giving away three memberships!

Giveaway ends on Friday, August 10, 2018 at 11 PM.

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Posted on Leave a comment Back To School Sale

Notebooking Pages Back-to-School Membership Sale is having their last ever discount on Lifetime Memberships and later this fall you will no longer be able to purchase a Lifetime Membership.

Wow! That is BIG news!

So, my friends, this is the time to pull the trigger and if you have been thinking about purchasing a membership to this amazing resource, NOW is the time.  For the next few days, the Lifetime Membership will be sold at a huge discount of $25. This means for $72 you will have a complete library of 100’s of notebooking pages right at your fingertips….FOREVER!

You can even make 3 easy payments to help fit this resource into your homeschooling budget!

I have had a Lifetime Membership for many years, both during and post homeschooling. My boys benefitted from having a membership both from the pre-printed pages and the Notebooking Web App program where they could custom make their own pages and actually type onto the page and then print them out for their notebooks.

Our Favorite Pages

Nature Study Notebooking Pages

Modern Times Notebooking PagesHistory Timeline Book of Centuries Notebooking Pages

Basic Lined Notebooking Pages

Notebooking Pages Back-to-School Membership Sale

 This sale starts today and will end at midnight on July 27th! You need to act fast to catch this soon to be gone membership to

In addition to receiving a Lifetime Membership during this sale, you will also receive a Lifetime Membership to I have used my membership to MomsToolBelt to create my own custom calendars and planners for probably a decade. I love using the flexibility of this program to make my own planner that fit my household needs. You will too!

You can read my review of MomsToolBelt here: Moms Tool Belt Planning

Please note I am affiliate for and have owned and used their products for a very long time in my family!

Getting Started with Nature Journals

You can also read my page on how to create nature journals and notebooking pages on this page.





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Back to School Homeschool Giveaway at

2017 Back-to-School Homeschool Giveaway

Many of you know that I am a big fan of and their many homeschool related products. Because of that, I am making sure you know about their current promotion.

This giveaway is worth taking a look at and you may be the Grand Prize winner of an outrageously amazing prize package, including an Ultimate Naturalist Membership here on the Handbook of Natuer Study.

I invite you to click over and enter to win! Plus, if you sign up for a subscription, you get a free Notebook Sampler.

Make sure to enter by September 8th!


Please note I am an affiliate for and I receive a small commission if you end up making a purchase.

Notebook Pages in Your Nature Journal

How to Organize Your Nature Notebook Pages

Free Notebooking Pages Product Sampler from


Posted on Leave a comment Back to School 2016 Giveaway! is having two special events this week!

Back to School Giveaway- Today Only!

I just didn’t want you to miss it! I am a proud sponsor of and my Getting Started ebook is one of the prizes the Grand Prize winner will receive. This is a great opportunity to get started with notebooking with the free pages you will receive when you enter the giveaway.

Back to School Sale – Starts Tomorrow!

PLUS starting tomorrow there will be a Back to School Sale with $25 off a lifetime membership. Please note I am an affiliate for and highly recommend their products for all homeschooling families.

Entries about notebooking for your nature journal you may want to read:

Notebook Pages in Your Nature Journal

How to Organize Your Nature Notebook Pages
Back-to-School One Day Giveaway

1-day only | July 26 9am-9pm (Central Time)


Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Membership
& 12 Sponsor Gifts

24 WINNERS receive:
Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Membership

EVERYONE receives:
FREE Notebooking Pages Sampler

Enter here: Back to School Giveaway!

Back-to-School Membership Sale

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27 – Friday, July 29

SAVE $25 on Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Memberships
…LIFETIME Memberships on sale for just $72!!!

(3-month installment plan will be available … $10, $31, $31)
LIFETIME Members receive all current & future notebooking products
PLUS our 2 bonuses:
Bonus 1: 12 months free subscription to The Notebooking Publisher web-app
Bonus 2: $100+ Homeschool e-book package

Enter here: Back to School Sale!



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NotebookingPages.Com Cyber Sale

One of my favorite all-time products is having a massive Cyber Weekend Sale on their Lifetime Membership!

Incredible deal from 11/27 through 11/3o/16 only. This $25 off event will bring your cost down to $72 for all current and future notebooking products available on their website.

Cyber Weekend Membership Sale

I have been a customer and affiliate for for probably a decade. I love their notebooking pages and you will find them in literally every notebook we have ever created in our family. I have written numerous reviews showing how we use them and create personalized records of our learning and exploring. I highly recommend purchasing a lifetime membership.

If you purchase now, you will receive many bonus items:

  • 12 months access to Notebooking Publisher where you can create your own notebooking pages!
  • $100 in bonus gifts from various sponsors
  • Plus you can choose to pay in three monthly installments of $24 each

New products available now on!

Reptiles Notebooking PagesMammals Notebooking Pages
Fish Notebooking PagesAmphibians Notebooking Pages

If you aren’t in a position to purchase a Lifetime Membership right now, you can take advantage of their free product sampler that contains printable nature related notebooking pages for your to use in your family. Click the graphic below to take a look at everything you can use in your homeschool and in your family’s nature journals for free.
Free Notebooking Pages SamplerPlease note I am an affiliate for and I receive a small commission for every purchase you make after clicking my links. I hope that you find their products as valuable as I do!