Nature journaling and exploration are great activities for families and children. It is thereby not surprising that nature study is a popular component of many homeschools. Simply put, it is the study of nature via simple, truthful observations which over time cultivate one’s understanding and appreciation for the world around them.
There are two components to successful nature study. Nature study begins with the nature walk, time set aside to go out and explore the world around you. Usually these outings are spent looking for something specific as you go along, kind of a walk with a purpose.
Secondly, nature study involves keeping a nature journal – a personal record of what you have observed. You may choose to sit down and write about your experience on your outing or wait until you have returned home to add an entry to your journal. Either way, taking time to reflect and document your observations is important.
Homeschool Nature Study From The Curriculum Choice Archives
Here at The Curriculum Choice we have shared many reviews of our favorite homeschool nature study resources. Be sure to browse the tabs above to find curriculum reviews for nature study. You might also enjoy these that we’ve selected from our archives.
Nature Study with John Muir Laws – Eva recently reviewed her favorite nature study resource, the curriculum and material developed by John Muir Laws.
Habitats Study by Evan-Moor reviewed by Betsy is a great tool for early elementary ages. The activity book introduces six types of habitat using short lessons to read, mini-books to make, and activities to do.
Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists are compact and beautifully illustrated field guides which feature many of the birds you can find right outside your own window. Barb’s review highlights the features of these books as well as provide links to her weekly nature study challenges.
Outdoor Hour Challenges – Handbook of Nature Study by Tricia provides an in-depth review of Barb’s weekly challenges. You won’t want to miss this one.
Peaceful Ponds Science & Nature Study by Megan shares a detailed peek into one book from the NaturExplorers series written by our own Cindy West. See just how in-depth and fun nature study can be!
Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie is a staple in many homes that engage in nature study. In this post, Meredith shows you some really great reasons to find this book at your local library or purchase it for your homeschool shelves. It is a wonderful resource for those who desire to get started in nature journaling.
Nature Adventures, Wild Adventures and Nature School are three books written by Mick Manning and Brita Granström that are a delight to use with your little ones. In these three posts Shirley shares these beautifully illustrated books which are perfect to use with your little ones and encourage you to see nature study and your time outdoors as an exciting adventure, as the titles suggest. These books are full of ideas and activities that are very easy and fun to do.
Homeschool Reviews for Nature Study, Science and Technology – a post by our author team with a huge list of reviews!
Homeschool Nature Study Resources From Curriculum Choice Authors
The Curriculum Choice authors have active blogs where they regularly offer ideas and experiences about their homeschool adventures. Below are their very favorite nature study resources.
EVA at EvaVarga
I have always been fascinated with our natural world and as such, nature study has always been a major component of our homeschool. Presently, I am working on earning Master Naturalist Certification and am delighted to share a few of my favorite nature study posts with you.
Foraging for Mushrooms: A Wild Edibles Nature Study – My daughter and I are fascinated by fungi. We recently attended a Fall Mushrooms class at our local interpretive center and learned to not only identify many of the local species but we also learned which are edible.
A Look at Insect Galls – Have you ever seen weird bumps growing on stems, leaves, buds, or flowers? You might be surprised to learn that these odd growths are caused by an insect. Come along as we explore the diversity of insect galls with these hands-on inquiry lessons.
Roosevelt Elk at Dean’s Creek – Upon moving back to Oregon, one of our first nature study outings was to Dean’s Creek to observe up-close views of Roosevelt Elk. My father accompanied us and we learned out to use a range finder.
Ever Been to a Moth Night? – One of the summer activities we most look forward to is National Moth Week. Read how you can get involved in the fabulous citizen science project where you live.
Our Annual Ladybug Hike – Another great citizen science project is the Lost Ladybug Project whereby people of all ages look for any ladybugs they can find, and then send in pictures of each one. We been taking part now for four years.
BETSY @ BJ’S HOMESCHOOL
I have always been a nature lover and photographer, and my husband and I have passed that onto our daughter, through the years. In fact, homeschooling has made it possible for us to incorporate nature and nature studies into our regular daily routines….
Birdwatching – Our Favorite Nature Study in Our Homeschool – We started birdwatching very early on in our homeschool, actually when my daughter was a toddler. This post is all about birdwatching, with photos of birds in our area, taken by daughter, and resources to help you incoorporate STEM into your young birdwatcher’s nature study.
How I Taught Elementary Science in our Homeschool – Child-Led and Hands-On – This post includes resources for tons of fun and easy to do nature activities on a variety of topics, including animals, earth, plants, rocks and fossils, habitats, etc, with fun and simple experiments, etc.
Middle School STEM Books – Rocks, Minerals, & Fossils – My Review – Are your kids interested in rocks and fossils? Who isn’t? This book is full of activities, experiments and resources to add to your kid’s explorations in rocks and fossils, including identifying, and classifying them.
Nature Study Activities for Teens – and How to Create your own Homemade Elective – Here are four nature study activities to enjoy with your teens, including a free download of 40 beautifully illustrated journal entry pages for your nature notebooks.
Building Teen Relationships with Nature Road Trips – Having time out in nature helped to renew us each week, balancing out the head work that can be such a part of homeschooling high school. We loved getting out in the country, and finding whatever was waiting for us to discover there, together.
Cindy at Our Journey Westward
As the creator of the NaturExplorers series, I’m more than a tad biased to tell you they are my favorite nature study resource! 🙂 I’ve written them to work with just about any homeschooling style and age level. You can simply grab creative nature walk ideas or turn a nature topic into an entire month’s worth of study. They’re very flexible! I’m happy to share TEN FREE NaturExplorers lessons with all of you!
Tricia at Hodgepodge
How to frame your days with nature study – Small spurts of outdoor time frame our days. It’s simple and works for us.
Cultivating Curiosity with Nature Study – She draws a flower with a spiral. And she tells me all she did. All she heard. She noticed.
Art and Nature Study – our very favorite way to enjoy nature study is sketching with chalk pastels. In fact we have a whole series of books with nature topics! We paint a birds nest, a salamander, a dogwood blossom, an Easter lily, Christmas holly or other seasonal objects, sharks, the beach and more!
Dandelion Chalk Pastel Art Tutorial – as a follow up to spring or summer nature study.
Shirley Ann at Under An English Sky
Bee Nature Study – A post in my ‘Homeschooling High School Nature Study With Teens’ series. In this post I share how I prepare a more detailed nature study for my teens. I brainstorm my own prep work and then outline our fist lesson on Bees.
OHC – Spring Cattail – A look at one of our Outdoor Hour Nature challenges.
Planning Our Nature Study Using the OHC – A post that takes you through step-by-step how I plan our nature studies using the OHC resources.
Kortney at One Deep Drawer
Handbook of Nature Study–Hands down our FAVORITE resource for all things outdoor. The Monthly Newsletters are a continual source of inspiration and information.
Spring is for Science–a review of Be Naturally Curious and the Not-to-be missed science printables from Spell Outloud! If you have young children, do yourself a favor. Get these cards, print them out, and go for walk with your littles. You will be amazed at their observation skills and the connections they make!
Exploring Nature with Children–this ebook is a treasure especially if you are trying to do nature study with a wide range of ages. I love the seasonal focus and the suggested ways of expanding the study.
Meredith at Sweetness-n-Light
Environment has so much to do with how one can carry out Nature Study as a home educator. We are fortunate to have lived in so many different places where nature was literally all around us. But if you are a city dweller or have no immediate place to observe nature near your home, there are always parks to go to, or field trips that can lead you down a nature trail.
On Frozen Pond – Our current home is delightfully situated with a pond on the property. I’ve shared a glimpse into our nature adventures here.
Seen, Heard & Read – A series on all things nature and reading. Maybe this will spark a new idea of two for your homeschool.
Keeping a Nature Journal – My review post right here at Curriculum Choice on a favorite resource our homeschool library wouldn’t be without.
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The Curriculum Choice Review Team Features
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I encourage you to make journaling and participation in group activities a regular practice for your family.
~ Hosted by Eva
Mother of 3 says
Wow! What a wonderful list of nature resources. We love hiking, spending time in nature and observing all the changes throughout the season. My kids are more apt to photograph than sketch and we have tons of nature collections stored throughout the house and yard.