Nature Study

Try to get outside with the whole family at least once each week. Give every family member a nature notebook in which to record their observations. Their entries could include pencil sketches, descriptions, watercolor paintings, or chalk drawings. Instruct children to draw what they see, not what they think something should look like. Be sure they label each entry with its name, location, and date observed. Use field guides to help identify children’s findings.

Resources for Nature Study

  • Nature study lays the foundation for science lessons. Your nature studies can be completely spontaneous or more focused on a particular aspect of nature. Follow the nature study ideas in the science course you’re using or select a theme from the Handbook of Nature Study website. You’ll find great ideas there for 15-minute challenges on several aspects of nature: Garden, Insects, Trees, Mammals, Birds, and Seasonal.
  • Our Charlotte Mason nature study handbook, Hours in the Out-of-Doors, will give you all of Charlotte’s tips and comments on how to enjoy this weekly time.
  • Another excellent resource is Nature’s Notes: Bite-Sized Learning & Projects for All Ages.