If you are ready to add nature study into your homeschool mix, we have ten ideas that we hope will help.
Our own nature studies using the book Our Wonderful World by Emery Lewis, covering backyard neighbors, feathered friends, garden life, four-footed comrades, and the earth and its neighbors.
32 weeks of free nature study lessons!
Originally written in 1911 by the head of the Department of Nature Study at Cornell University, Handbook of Nature Study shows us how to observe nature in 887 pages of detail.
While the paperback is still in print, the original is also available online as a free download.
You may also appreciate this schedule for using the Handbook provided by Ambleside Online.
Or get outside with the Outdoor Hour Challenge, a weekly challenge for families using the Handbook of Nature Study. Very helpful site!
Free public domain title that offers lessons in story form and includes narrations and lab. Read our full review.
4. Suggestions for Nature Study.
“Suggestions for Nature Study” is a leaflet also by Anna Botsford Comstock, containing nature study ideas broken down by grades 1st through 8th.
5. Christian Liberty Nature Readers.
Published by Christian Liberty Press, this graded series (K–5) covers nature in nice detail considering the age level to which it is targeted. (See also two of these that are in the public domain.)
- Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book K
- Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 1
- Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 2
- Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 3
- Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 4
- Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 5
6. Out-Of-Door Life for the Children.
Charlotte Mason encouraged children to be outside observing nature every day — no matter what the weather. You’ll find many helpful suggestions, ideas, and tips in Volume 1 of her Homeschool Series.
Nature notebooking can take on many forms depending on the age of your children. You’ll find suggestions, books, printables, and other resources in our 10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #8 Nature section.
Or if you prefer to keep it simple, you may enjoy these simple nature journal sets with room for illustrations and descriptions.
If you would like more information on how to keep nature journal pages, try the Smithsonian’s free nature journal instruction download.
9. Subscribe to Nature Friend Magazine.
Nature Friend is an informative nature magazine geared to younger students. Several online samples can help you decide if this magazine is a good fit for your family. You might also enjoy the study guides, which are available for an additional charge.
One easy natural way to enjoy nature is to simply put your hands in the dirt. There is no better way to encourage young people to be outside and productive! Our 7 Helpful Gardening Resources will get you started!
In proportion as you investigate [nature’s] secrets, the wisdom of Providence is continually disclosed, and your views become more broad and delightful. All dryness disappears from the pursuit of knowledge. You enjoy such a pleasure as the traveler experiences, who has finally toiled to the summit of a mountain. The boundless prospect opens before him, and the heavens surround him on all sides.
“Clothing of Animals and Vegetables,” The Eclectic Third Reader by William H. McGuffey
8 Reasons to Do Nature Study
It is always easier to complete something when we know why we are doing what we are doing. These reasons for pursuing nature study at Simply Charlotte Mason will get you thinking.