Adding Nature Studies to Your Homeschool
Nature Studies is such an amazing subject but it is often times overlooked. Perhaps it gets pushed to the side because it is not a required subject, or maybe because you feel like you aren’t experienced enough in that area to teach it. Perhaps you see all the beautiful jaw dropping nature journals on Pinterest and all you are capable of is a stick person. (That would be me.) I know moms that don’t do it simply because they don’t consider themselves a “nature-y” person and don’t really like the outdoors. So I am here to reassure you that no matter what you do, or how you do it, it is enough and it will be wonderful! There is no right or wrong way to learn about nature. There are so many ways that you can incorporate it into your homeschool, and you can add it as much or as little as you like.
If you are worried about having lesson plans and printables to go along with it don’t let that stop you. Charlotte Mason considered nature study to be a requirement. She felt it was important for children to be able to explore and have grand adventures outside. She said that children are naturally drawn to the outside and the study of nature. All we need to do is help along the way and teach them to be gentle to nature and respect it.
Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life… Charlotte Mason
Just getting outside and allowing your child to explore and investigate is enough. They will have an appreciation for the beauty around them, they will learn to see things that they have not noticed before. We have done this many times. No agenda, nothing in hand, just a day of exploring and talking. They have been wonderful days, and to be honest they normally lead to more investigation once we get home. The kids want to look up the bird they saw, or what kind of wild flower was growing on the ground. As you go, you will see what interests your child and you can add things from there. Maybe you will discover that you have a bird lover and you get some binoculars, bird books and CD’s with the calls they make. The point is, if your children are never exposed to it, they may never know that they have an interest in it. If they truly don’t like it, that is okay too. No homeschool looks the same and that’s the beauty in it.
Here are some resources that we have found over the years that have made nature studies even more fun and exciting. Once again, they are NOT REQUIRED to have an amazing nature study. The most important thing is you and your children spending time together, unhurried.
This is the book that we are using this year. She has it broke into weekly lessons. They are organized by months/seasons. She has poetry, read along book lists, ideas for famous paintings to look at, activities and much more.
This is an amazing resource to have on the shelf. It has everything in there! Seriously, the book is huge. You can use it to look up something quickly for some facts, or use it to dive in more by using her ideas to further the study.
We have a nature backpack that we take with us. It has a sketch pad, drawing tools, reference books , nature notebook and tools like binoculars, bug catchers, magnifying glass etc. The ideas and things that you can add are limitless. We change our contents depending on what we have planned and at times we don’t even take anything with us.
This is where I usually find myself wishing I had artistic talent. I see so many gorgeous nature journals on pinterest and blogs that I follow. I don’t have that talent though and that is okay! I love to see my children’s sketches and see what they find interesting enough add to their books! You can have a plain spiral notebook, sketch pad, paper that you add to a 3 prong binder. You can purchase one….
Help your children explore nature and enjoy writing through notebooks and journals that encourage exploration, imagination, love of nature, and appreciation for God and his wonderful creations.
This 117-page, spiral bound nature notebook is beautifully designed and carefully planned to help children gain an inquisitive and grateful mind as they explore the beauties and wonders of nature. Sections are divided into the seasons and a section that can be completed during any season.
I have found a few books along the way that give you some ideas and inspiration for your own nature journal.
This one is for all my Charlotte Mason mama’s out there.
We also love to take pictures. What a great way to add photography as well. I need to get the pictures printed so we can add to our books. Here are a few that we have taken this year….
I really hope this post was useful and inspired you to go out and have your own fun adventures in nature.
What are some ways you get nature studies into your homeschool learning? What is your favorite nature photo? Leave a comment below.