If you’re not much of a ‘textbook’ homeschooler, you probably don’t plan to spend a lot of time inside a typical science curriculum. Ever since kindergarten, exploring nature has comprised a large part of our science studies. Even into high school, students can use nature study to either supplement or form the basis for science coursework.
Getting Out Into Nature
One secret benefit of nature study is that is gets everyone outside. You also don’t need to spend much to have some helpful materials to get started. A nice journal, and one or more field guides, along with some sketching supplies, and maybe a magnifying glass make up our essentials for exploring nature.
If you’re looking for some help getting started, check out these resources:
- Forest nature study is a printable unit study pack for any season.
- Snowy Day printable pack is also a nice unit study for wintertime.
- Nature Study To Go will help you gather useful materials.
- Nature Study: Discovering Nature Up Close will have you grabbing that magnifying glass.
- A Nature Study Cure for the Winter Blahs
- 4 Things To Do for a Winter Nature Study
- Nature Journal: Random Acts of Nature Study
- Nature Study in Our Own Backyard
- Nature Study: Fall Leaves
- Nature Study for Teens reminds you that high school is still nature exploration time.
- Sunny Day Nature Study
- Nature Study Books for Kids has some of our favorite books for exploring nature.
- Rainy Day Nature Study
- Study Bags and Nature Journals
A sturdy Waterproof Tear-Resistant Plastic Zipper Bag is nice to have for gathering nature study materials for grab-and-go opportunities. Once I discovered the benefits of keeping everything in one place, my kids can easily grab their pouch full of supplies and head outside.
Exploring Nature On the Go
Whenever errands and appointments call us away from home, the pouches usually accompany us. We have seen some interesting tree bark, insects, and even animals (a coyote, geese, wild turkeys, groundhogs, deer) on the go.
New resources to add to your library:
- Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids, a wonderful collection of 50 projects to spark kids’ curiosity. These projects are colorfully illustrated and don’t require expensive supplies. There are even field notes, like scat and animal tracks identification charts, cloud glossary, rock identification, and moon phases. With a skills checklist and safety guide, this book is fantastic for homeschool use.
- Exploring Nature Journal for Kids: Observe and Record the Outdoors is a companion guide for journaling and recording nature observations. Using the method of “See, sketch, write, discover,” this journal has pretty illustrated pages for both drawing and writing about nature exploration. A great way to incorporate language arts.