If you’re familiar with the Charlotte Mason or Montessori homeschooling methods then using self-guided nature studies in your homeschool may not be a new concept. However, if you’ve never considered the possibilities and benefits of incorporating this creative style into your lesson plans then you’re in for a real educational treat.
What are nature studies?
Simply put, nature studies involve learning about the different elements that can be witnessed all around us. From oceans and farms to caves and fossils, there are a wealth of topics that can be discovered. Nature studies also involve using the great outdoors just as much as different hands-on tools, study notebooks, journaling, and other supplemental resources.
How to Use Nature Studies in Your Homeschool
With just a little planning and a few good resources, nature studies will become a staple in your homeschool. Keep reading for practical tips on how to use nature studies in your homeschool.
Use nature studies to teach multiple kids.
Most homeschooling families find themselves juggling multiple subjects and concepts for more than one age and grade group. In this case, nature studies can step in to rescue you from feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Depending on the resources used, you can teach all of your children the same subjects, concepts, and topics at the same time.
Nature studies can be used as unit studies.
Going hand in hand with the previous tip, nature studies can easily be used as unit studies. Since this method typically focuses on a single topic, a nature study can be used as a starting point for creating an overall lesson plan that includes all your children being taught together.
Use nature studies to supplement curriculum.
Suppose you were using a curriculum that briefly touched base with oceans, but you would like to go in more depth. Using a supplemental ocean notebooking-style nature study could provide the perfect addition you’re looking for. Since most nature study resources suggest lesson plans and ideas that cross multiple subjects, you will end up with a well-rounded study.
Nature studies can be used as a self-directed activity.
If you have an independent learner or are looking to foster that skill in your children, nature studies can help you do it. Since children are built with the innate ability to make creative choices in their learning, using nature studies can help support those fundamental foundations.
Use nature studies to help expand on interests.
One of the biggest perks of homeschooling is the ability to foster your child’s interest in a particular subject. If you have a child who loves to study rocks or always talks about ocean animals, plants, or trees – then using a nature study can help enhance that interest and encourage them to learn more.
Where do I find nature study resources?
While you’ll find a great deal of free nature study printables on our site, Daily Skill Building offers a plethora of nature study homeschool resources. Every single resource we offer is in an open-and-go format, which means no prep or extended lesson planning. Simply locate and purchase your nature study of choice, download, and print.
Some of our nature study resources can be used as a stand-alone product, and other notebooks are created as companions to books such as the Julia Rothman series (Nature Anatomy, Farm Anatomy, Ocean Anatomy, and Food Anatomy), Audubon Birding Adventures for Kids, or Master Books Wonders of Creation Series. Regardless of the route you plan to take, you’ll enjoy all our nature study resources have to offer.
If you’re looking to try a nature study or add to your stash, try our FREE Leaf Classification Nature pack. It’s “packed” with information pages, identification cards, seed and leaf matching, journal pages, and more. Download your free pack below and start classifying leaves in no time!
Carrie is the owner & operator of Homeschool Giveaways. She has been homeschooling for over a decade and has successfully graduated her first homeschooler. She has two girls and works side by side at home with her awesome husband. She has been saved by grace, fails daily, but continues to strive toward the prize of the high calling of being a daughter of the Most High God.