Our Wonderful World by Emery Lewis Howe is a rich nature study book available for free download covering backyard neighbors, feathered friends, garden life, four-footed comrades, and the earth and its neighbors.
Written for young children, this treasure includes experiments, related Scripture verses, and activities such as drawing, narrating, and writing.
By covering one chapter each week, there are 32 weeks worth of lessons (not including this introduction). We’ve added suggestions, helps for Mom, and resource recommendations that can round out the studies for older students.
By adding a weekly lab, and more related, comprehensive readings (such as a biology text), you may find you have enough material to qualify as a biology credit for an older student.
For the youngest children, simply reading the book may be enough. You know your children best, but don’t overwhelm them. Have fun!
- To get acquainted with the book, read the introduction on pages 9–12 — “To the Boys and Girls Who Read This Book.”
- Throughout the book, a reference is made to the child’s notebook. You might want to use the first week to prepare a notebook for use by creating a decorative cover and adding a variety of different types of paper for drawing, illustrating, and writing. You’ll also find notebooking pages correlated to each lesson in the Printables & Notebooking Pages section at the end of each lesson.
- Grab a copy of the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock. Originally written in 1911 by the head of the Department of Nature Study at Cornell University, this much-loved handbook shows us how to observe nature in 887 pages of detail, and makes a great reference for the go-and-observe-type activities in our study. While the paperback is still in print, the original is also available online as a free download.
- Our book is divided into five parts. You’ll find review questions or narration prompts and a few activities for each part of the book in the review section at the end.
A teacher’s manual written by Jean Gertrude Hutton in 1927 is available that goes along with the book. Inside are:
- The stated purpose of the course and suggested methods of teaching.
- 45 references for further study (books primarily available in the public domain).
- Suggested music, hymns, and poems.
- Preparation, teaching, and activities for each lesson, along with suggested books.
Much of the book is geared toward the classroom teacher, but others may find it helpful, particularly when it comes to setting up for the next lesson.