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The Art of Nature Study

I know so many people who stress out so much about working everything into their homeschool life. We homeschoolers want to make sure we get all the school things done. One of the questions I see come up over and over again in homeschool groups and forums that I am part of is “Am I doing enough?” … or some variation. Everyone wants to make sure they do it all… Bible, Science, Art, History, Grammar, Literature, Math… ALL. THE. THINGS.

What if school didn’t have to fall into so many categories. What if the subjects beautifully merged. What if science and art intertwined. Literature can come and join the fun as well. What the heck… throw some math in there too!

What on earth am I talking about??? Hang in there. I promise I’m going somewhere.

We live in Western North Carolina. It is a beautiful, giant playground. We have woods and hiking trails and rivers and overlooks all around us. When Spring arrives, the beautiful weather draws us out of hibernation. For the first time in months, my children will head out into the sunshine and not want to come back inside. And I don’t want to make them.

So… how do we still “homeschool” when the beautiful weather is calling? Enter the art of nature study. Nature study really only requires a couple of things… nature… and you. Nature study can teach the art of observation and attention to detail. It invites us to slow down and take in.

Nature studies can be as simple as going into your own backyard and turning over a rock or looking under the stairs, collecting leaves, pressing flowers, watching clouds, listening to the sounds… start simple.

Go for a walk. Point out the colors you see. Look for animals. Check out the different plants you see along the way.

How can you turn a nature study into an all in one homeschool experience???

PE– Go for a walk

Art- Take some colored pencils, oil pastels, water color paints, etc…. sit outside and record what you see.

Science– Start an observation journal. Give your child a notebook. Have them pick an object in the yard… a rock, a leaf, a feather, the bark of a tree, an acorn… anything. Have them write down the date, time, season, weather. Have them draw the object and write down all their observations.

Math– Pick five leaves and compare and contrast. Count the petals on a flower, sort rocks. Take your math page outside to work.

Literature– Sit outside and write a poem. Write an essay about the nature walk you went on. Create a list of words to describe your time in nature.

While I do plan for school and have some things that we rely on, there are times when the activity comes first and I later see how school fit into it all.

Are you tracking with me? Can you see how a simple trip to the park can be school? A day spent outside playing on the trampoline and riding bikes can be school. A day spent playing in the river, collecting rocks and building towers from them is definitely school! We let the fear of not doing enough take away our opportunities to slow down and step outside of the house and classroom.

I have put together a Nature Journal Printable Pack on Teachers Pay Teachers. It includes record sheets for nature walks, suggested nature study activities, blank pages for notebooking or creating art, observation pages, and more. Below is a FREE SAMPLE from the pack. You can download the FREE Printable by clicking below the image.

Find the Full Printable Pack Here on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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