Homeschool Nature Study

 

 

Are you planning your homeschool year and wondering how to incorporate nature study?

Studies show that when children spend time outside they experience better mental and physical health, and our resources emphasize weekly time in nature.

Each of our literature based homeschool resources include nature play and projects, and in our elementary resources and our Nature Book Flood (coming soon) we also include a weekly nature walk.

We even emphasize the benefits of nature time in our Restoration Home Community. It's an important aspect of a connected family, and when you put down the screens and get outside, relationships are strengthened along with a host of other benefits.

Throughout my own 26 years of homeschooling I incorporated nature study in a variety of ways-

 

  • Visiting local nature preserves-Our favorites usually include a body of water to enjoy!
  • Keeping a pet-Even a beta fish can teach valuable lessons about care of nature.
  • Growing a garden (Nourishing Nature Kindergarten has some wonderful gardening prompts)
  • Exploring federal lands and state parks- Getting outside for a hike or swim helps children develop a love for nature.
  • Collecting nature items. When my children were younger we had a back porch museum of their nature finds, and we still display dried flowers, acorns, and other nature items as part of our home decor.
  • Unstructured nature play-I often gave my children several hours each afternoon to play outside.
  • Nature journaling- we loved writing and drawing our nature finds. 

 

Here are a few steps to getting started with nature study

Pick a nature theme to focus on

Choose a nature theme to be the focus of your study. It could be a local pond or a backyard tree, or it could be a habitat you've never visited before.

Observe

 

Watch, ask questions, and take your time. Education is the science of relations so when you get to the lavender bush, or creek, or toad that you want to observe, take time to look, listen, smell, and wonder so you can create a connection with what you are observing. 

Some questions to ask-

I wonder why it grows here? 

I wonder what it eats?

I wonder if it has seeds?

I wonder how big it gets?

I wonder how it changes with the seasons?

Record Your Observations

Grab your nature journal to record your observations. We include space in the Student Planner for your drawings, or you can buy a watercolor notebook like this one to journal in.

You can write or draw or paint or do all three. Be sure to label the page with the date, location, and any information you know about the item, for example, plant or river names, current weather or temperature, etc.

If you are ready to get started with your own nature study, here are a few more of our favorite resources.

Golden Guides- We love these because drawings are often easier for children to copy from in their notebooks.

Audubon Guides- This series is helpful for identifying plants and animals in the wild.

Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

Nourishing Nature Kindergarten

The Peaceful Press Elementary Resources- Each resource includes a weekly nature study activity as well as practical life skills activities revolving around nature.

 

Coming Soon!

In August we will have a brand new nature study resource!

The Peaceful Press Nature Book Flood will include 48 weeks of seasonal nature study including science experiments, read aloud suggestions, nature themed art and music and more!

You can subscribe to our e-mail list here to be the first to know and get a free nature themed summer bucket list to enjoy in the meantime!

Free Summer Bucket List

This post contains Amazon affiliate links for resources we use and love.