Nature Study

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“We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” (Charlotte Mason)

How I Approach Nature Study

The short version: we spend lots of time outdoors. We look, listen, receive. Whatever nature brings to us in our specific location in our specific time becomes our nature study curriculum.

There are excellent guided nature study curriculums out there, like Exploring Nature With Children. I have purchased this but use this as a reference-only. I tried going through this week by week but I was finding that the weekly topics felt out of sync with our time and our place. So, I decided to just let my kids and their interests in whatever is happening in the natural world around us be my guide for our nature studies! It may seem like extra work, but in the preparation it never feels that way — it feels like a joy to find ways to dive deeper into some miracle in the natural world we had the pleasure of encountering. So my hope in sharing our specific nature studies below is that it can be a help to you in case your kids get interested in a similar topic!

I will say also that since my kids are preschool and kindergarten age, I often find little ways to include phonics or math or age-appropriate crafts alongside our nature studies. I don’t always do this, but I try to allow for the lesson to still be fun and playful. I want it to enhance to the kids’ real-life experience, not bog them down with terminology and details. Further, not everything we encounter in nature requires a nature study. Most of the time the in-the-moment experience is enough as it is.

A Few Sample Guiding Questions for Nature Study

  • Use your senses: what does it look like, feel like, smell like, sound like, taste like?
  • Where is it? What is its natural habitat? What else lives or grows nearby?
  • What is its reproductive life cycle?
  • What are the parts of its anatomy that are interesting (external and internal)?
  • What species are similar to this?
  • What is it like in each of the four seasons?
  • What is it like in daytime versus nighttime?
  • What food or resources does it need to survive? What does it eat?
  • What other life depends on it for survival?
  • How do humans interact with it?

Helpful Resources

Nature Study Lessons in Detail

Click on the image below to be taken to the appropriate nature study post.

Note: I still need to do posts for several of these, but they will be up soon!

 

SNAILS

SNAILS NATURE STUDY

TURTLES

TURTLES NATURE STUDY

FRESHWATER FISH

FRESHWATER FISH NATURE STUDY

SNAKES

SNAKES NATURE STUDY

SEEDS

SEEDS NATURE STUDY

WATER BIRDS

WATER BIRDS NATURE STUDY

OWLS

OWLS NATURE STUDY

MOTHS

MOTHS NATURE STUDY

FROGS

FROGS NATURE STUDY

THE FULL MOON

FULL MOON NATURE STUDY

WORMS

WORMS NATURE STUDY

CLOUDS

CLOUDS NATURE STUDY

BIRD BEAKS

BIRD BEAKS NATURE STUDY

BIRDS OF PREY

BIRDS OF PREY NATURE STUDY

WILDFLOWERS

WILDFLOWERS NATURE STUDY

MUSHROOMS

MUSHROOMS NATURE STUDY

WOLVES

WOLVES NATURE STUDY

CONSTELLATIONS

CONSTELLATIONS NATURE STUDY

BATS

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BEAVERS

Beavers.jpg

CONIFERS

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BEARS

Bears copy.jpg

SPIDERS

SPIDERS NATURE STUDY

BEETLES

BEETLES NATURE STUDY

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