Nature exploration can be daunting. Instagram can fill our minds with notions that things should always be easy, peaceful, and filled with “aha” moments in order for our children to benefit. This just isn’t true, friend!
Nature study can be… well, gritty and dirty. It often means prep for mom, messy clean-up afterward, keeping the toddler from eating scat, and keeping rambunctious tweens from running to far off the beaten path. In short, it can be a lot more dirt and a lot less beauty than we’d like.
I can’t make the dirt go away or stop your toddler from eating that dead bug, but I can offer a couple of tips for making the whole process a wee bit easier, plus a freebie that makes the end result a treasured keepsake!
Here are a few tips for Nature Study with your family:
- Expect to “fail”. Just go ahead and expect that there may be more hiccups or frustrations than you would ideally like. Then pray for better, but also pray for patience and a heart for discipleship when things do go awry.
- Expect to get dirty. Not planning to get dirty can cause irritation when there are two loads of laundry after the fact. Which also means…
- Dress for the mess. Obviously, dress for the WEATHER but find as many washable, wipeable items as possible. Only use older things that you know might get ruined to save $ long-term.
- Bring food. This likely goes without saying, but nothing builds appetites like hiking through the woods and playing in the fresh air. I highly recommend a REALLY comfortable backpack for you that will hold all diaper essentials alongside multiple water bottles and plenty of snacks for everyone.
Lastly, I hope you’ll also bring along this Nature Collection Notebook! It’s filled with opportunities for treasured keepsakes. (Actually, don’t bring it along! I encourage kiddos to gather their treasures and bring them back home to sit down and add them to their Notebook!)
You’ll find inside of it (as a 100% FREE digital download):
- 54 Pages for Mounting, Sketching, and Observing 6 Trees, 6 Flowers, and 6 Birds
- Tips for developing a “keen eye”
- An additional page (in the appendix) developed specifically for middle and high school students to record scientific names, detailed observations, and denote specific attributes of the plants using botanical terminology
- Resources for further help (including links and books)
- 4 Beautiful Leaf Identification Posters (leaf veining, structure, arrangement, and identification)
- 3 Vintage Botanical Prints (just because!)
- 10 Simple Coloring Pages that double as worksheets for identifying leaf structures, using the posters as a teaching tool
Check out some nature study resources found in our online store:
You can learn more about the Nature Collection Notebook RIGHT HERE (and grab it today!).
Erin is a joy-chasing homeschool mama to 4 babies, ages 16 down to 3. She married her grade-school sweetheart 18 years ago, and lives to love him well. Her abiding love for Jesus Christ, and her heart to encourage other women toward him dictates her days. Erin has authored 3 complete homeschool programs which were voted the #1 Preschool Program and #2 All-in-One Program by readers at Homeschool.com. She is also a contributing author for HSLDA. Learn more about her programs at GentleClassical.com and LifeAbundantlyblog.com