Outdoor secrets questions

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  • Rebekah

    the last few years we’ve done nature study with some friends. That has ended and for the most part I’m excited to be doing nature study just as a family again, I felt like the kids were very distracted by seeing their friends, and I was too. Lol.

    Outdoor secrets is recommended for grades 1&2, but could it be used with older children? My kids will be 11,9,6, and 3. This year I was going to focus on gardening and just keeping nature study simple/close to home. Outdoor secrets seems to fit right in with this.

    I know my kids would love the pond and stream guide, but we live in the city so finding streams would require more driving. I also considered birds, but my kids have listened to the burgess bird book endlessly over the last couple years.


    I say, yes, it can. Perhaps the older children could read the story to the younger children. You could also add a written narration as an assignment for the older children.

    Karen Smith

    Outdoor Secrets will be a bit light on content for your 11 year old. If you will be using The Outdoor Secrets Companion I recommend that you find as many books as possible at the library that cover the same topics as the recommended books to give more details for your oldest.

    The Pond and Stream Companion can be used even if you do not have access to ponds, streams, or any other water habitats. It uses internet links to give the students the opportunity to observe nature in those habitats.


    I am planning on using Outdoor Secrets with all of my DC (2, 6, 9, 11, and 14).  The reading level of the book is higher than 1st-2nd grade, so I think it will be enjoyable for the older DC as a read aloud.  Many of the assignments involve sketching or copying poems into their nature notebooks, so I think that will be enjoyed by all of them too.

    We are doing additional science, so I think it will be fine for them.  I’m pretty much using Outdoor Secrets to pique their interest in the nature notebooks.  While my DC love lessons with HNS, they haven’t been too interested in their notebooks.  I’m hoping this will get them going with the notebooks!

    I thought about written narrations for my oldest two, as 2Corin57 suggested, so we may do that too, as time allows.  I probably will just keep the book list as-is, since my DC will have some physics biographies and books at their own level.  However, if this is your only science planned, I think that would make it more challenging and interesting for the older ones!


    Sounds like this will work then. It will not be our only science, we will also be studying chemistry using The Elements by Ellen McHenry and the Wonder Book of Chemistry. Plus I was thinking of giving my oldest the Story Book of Science by Fabre to read on his own. I wanted to use Outdoor Secrets Companion to give me some direction for our nature study. We will do library books at each kids level too.

    Thats good to know that access to water habitats is not necessary to use pond and stream. Maybe we can do that one over next summer, that’s what my kids wanted to do this summer, but I didn’t follow through on it. We never got beyond reading a few random library books on fish and frogs.


    Next question… Print or ebook?

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