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Sometimes homeschooling moms have the best of intentions, but extra items beyond the academics get lost in the list of wonderful things our kids and families want to engage in. If nature study is important to your homeschool, then make it a part of your academic schedule.
Ways to Make Nature Study Part of Your Academic Routine:
- Choose one day of the week when you will focus on a topic of nature study. Keep it consistent.
- Keep it seasonal. Following the natural seasons with topics makes the watching the backyard method of nature study easy to implement.
- Keep a nature journal– this is a great way to add writing to your student’s day. Remember that journals and notebooks can grow and get more detailed as your kids get older.
- Don’t forget high school! Even high school kids can study nature. Adding an element of research and deep study can enhance any natural science curriculum.
- Use notebooking pages– there are so many to choose from that give your kids some structure while leaving things so kids can make their own decisions about space and form. NotebookingPage.com has a wide variety of nature pages. Click through to see them!
Blog, She Wrote Plans for Nature Study 2013-2014:
- Wildflower Journal– especially for R13 who really enjoys the artistic part along with the detective work. She adds the genus and species name adds notes from her research. She enjoys collecting, identifying, and pressing flowers and is hoping to turn her journal into the 4H fair next summer.
- Backyard Watch– including plants, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. We keep a list, observe their behavior, research about them, and do notebook pages. We have a lot of snakes in the yard and we’ve been taking care of one all summer. He’s a garter snake and R13 is his keeper. She gets him worms and slugs and cleans his enclosure. This was after she looked up how to care for a snake and she implemented her findings.
- Field Trips– we like to hike and take walks in the creek. It’s fun to visit places where we’ll find a different set of critters in a habitat. For example, we love to walk the creek. Great finds there that can tell you a lot about a place and the health of its habitat. We usually follow up a field trip with some sort of recording activity.
- Insect Collecting– J8 is always after an insect and he enjoys identifying them and pinning them.
- High School Nature Study– E14 will be doing biology this year for high school science. He did chemistry in 9th grade. I plan to do a four day schedule with him leaving Fridays open for nature study. He will do the advanced challenges of the Outdoor Hour materials and following a theme each week he can do exploration in current relevant areas of research. Not only will this be a great opportunity for him to spend time with the topics more in depth, but he can get practice at writing abstracts!
Thank you for joining me in this series on Implementing a Nature Study in Your Homeschool. Stay tuned by subscribing! The last three in the series will be extra helpful.