Homeschooling Nature Study

How I Plan Our Homeschool Nature Study Lessons

Homeschool nature study books on a bookshelf

We have used the Homeschool Nature Study Lessons and the Handbook of Nature Study in our homeschool for many years. As a homeschool mom, I appreciate the fact that it’s an easy way to include weekly nature study without it becoming an overwhelming task.

How I Plan Our Homechool Nature Study

Following the retirement of the founding author of the Outdoor Hour Challenges, Homeschool Nature Study has taken over and there has been a bit of a revamp. Members now receive a weekly challenge that guides them through the weekly lesson providing videos, links, and downloads relevant to the topic.

All the planning has been done but there is a bit of planning that goes into executing the weekly lesson.

Planning the Weekly Homeschool Nature Study Lesson

  • Lessons are published by 5 am on Friday morning. I begin by reading through the lesson
  • I print off the notebooking pages I may need for the lesson from the accompanying curriculum available for download in the membership area.
  • I then pull out my copy of the Handbook of Nature Study and read through the recommended lesson as set out in the challenge, highlighting any points in the lesson that I may want to be aware of and to get an idea of the challenge topic.
How I Plan Our Homeschool Nature Study Lessons

Because we live in England there are a few things that are different, but I have discovered that often there are closely related species to the U.S ones that we can focus on. For example, the Chickadee is a close relative of the Coal Tit, etc…

Mothers Homeschool Nature Study Preparation

  • If we have already covered a topic in our homeschool I will choose another flower that I have spotted in my area to look at. I will make sure that I have our field guides available to take on our outdoor hour time and we will see if we can identify something we find out in the field.
  •  Back to my preparations, I make notes (often mental) as I read of facts that I may want to bring to the children’s attention while on our walk but I am always mindful not to ‘lecture’ as we learn about our topic. Rather I may point out a small detail in observation or mention an interesting fact that I discovered when reading the lesson.
  • Prior to taking over as the Outdoor Hour Challenge hostess, I might find a YouTube video that would complement the lesson. I now make sure that all these links are included in our member’s OHC challenges.

Beginning the Nature Study With The Children

  • Before we get outdoors for our study I will pique the children’s interest by playing the video on the topic. Now that we know what we are looking for we can get to the fun stuff and get outdoors!
How I Plan Our Homeschool Nature Study
  • Armed with our sunscreen, and nature backpacks with all the necessary items (water, a snack, collection bags, pencil and journal/paper, and field guides) we head outdoors. I try to keep this time as relaxed as possible because I want learning to be a joy! We are all on the lookout for that flower/bird/tree etc and when we spot it I casually start asking questions that force them to observe and really look at the subject matter.
  • We head back home after about an hour although summer often sees us taking a picnic with us and our nature journaling supplies.
  • Whether we are picnicking or have headed home we then spend some time creating a nature journal entry.

Join the Homeschool Nature Study Membership

This week Homeschool Nature Study has a free event for homeschooling families. By signing up you will get access to a free pdf nature study lesson on the Spruce, a craft video, a hymn, and an art lesson.

If you love what you see then consider signing up for the membership. There are various membership options to choose from so hop on over and check it out.

Related Nature Study Posts

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(1) Comment

  1. Carina says:

    Thank you for this post, Shirley! I subscribe to the OHC newsletter, but hadn't really used it. This post inspires me to start planning some nature walks and incorporating nature study more regularly into our school day! 🙂

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