So what is it you ask?
It is the gentle guided learning and exploration of our surrounds in nature.
From plants, flowers, insects and their environments.
How do we have a Nature Study here at our farmhouse?
Well, we walk, hike, explore and learn in a gentle way. Taking in all the wonders that God has given us through his gift of creation.
I encourage you to pack a picnic, grab a camera, notebook and pencil and explore your own backyard or park to find little wonders at every turn!
If your environment does not have enough Nature Study subjects, create them with your kids.
Video about Nature Study Ideas
Things to do, talk about and learn.
We grow lots of plants here. From orchards, raised beds to simple potted plants. When my kids were younger I would let them help me plant seeds in little pots and let them grow in the kitchen until ready to transplant into the raised beds. We then built a LIGHT HUT that allowed them to grow plants faster under a 15 watt bulb.
Now my sons are older, they now know how to mow grass, prune trees, and use a tiller and keep the garden looking nice.
We got these for free!
We added trailing Petunias and some soil!
How to get started:
Buy some soil, let them pick out some seeds they like and let them plant their own little window garden. If you have space they could plant a larger pot on the porch and allow them to tend to the watering and fertilizing. Don't do it for them, if they neglect it, then they should watch it die. If they nourish it and guide it along in producing flowers or fruit then make a big deal over their accomplishments!
Here are some we are going to planted this year!
My 10 year old daughter pick all of these out!
Bean seeds are good to start with.
Kentucky Wonders grow up! So grab a pot and plant some so they can run up a trellis.
Allow your children to harvest them, snap them and cook them for dinner for the family one night.
Let them draw their plant in a notebook and talk about the different parts with you.
The Kids built this bean pole teepee to grow our beans up in our raised beds.
There is no better way to teach a kid about eating whole foods than by letting them grow their own!
English Peas grow up!
If you are studying Photography with your students they could do a study on plants and what different fruits that they produce.
Children should know how to grow a fruit and vegetable from field to fork.
All of my children have helped me in canning and freezing our harvest.
Don't let you children go through life thinking food is free and there is an endless supply.
Teach them that is takes work and planning to have food to feed a family.
Read them the story of the ant and the grasshopper. :)
Flowers are so simple and a great way for them to learn how to decorate the house!
Enjoy this free art worksheet
While you are out in the garden gathering your items for your supper let your children cut a bouquet for the supper table. They can draw the bouquet in their notebooks or draw the plant from the garden and label the parts of it.
Zinnias make the best arrangements! They grow wonderful in sunny spots!
The transplant really nicely from kitchen pots to garden beds or bigger spaces.
Marigolds are one of the easiest plants to grow and they produce tons of color and love the sunshine!
Sunflowers are sooo easy to plant and the birds love them in the winter to eat on.
Plant all kinds, let your children draw and label them while in the garden. Then place the sunflower head in the bird feeding area and they can sit and do a bird study while the little birds eat.
We always feed the birds in the winter. Why?
Because it gets COLD!
They like to eat!
A whole bunch!
And for our family that means beautiful photos like this and a nature study opportunity to boot!
Photos can be taken of the birds eating for a lesson as well.
When the flowers die out, have the kids take little containers to the garden and harvest seeds for next year. For the beans and things they will have to harvest the seeds by saving some from the fruit that they produce.
Learning about a garden? Here is a free worksheet and lesson plans for your children.
Includes the download for a free coloring worksheet.
Insects and Bug!
This is one of my favorite things to study.
They are everywhere, so we are always on the look out for all kinds of critters.
We moved to our farmhouse in the fall. So that fall we did a special study on the snakes and spiders that would cause a threat to our family here.
You need to teach your kids how to reconize these before any others are learned!
Then just start walking, looking, exploring them. We look under rocks, in the dirt in our garden beds, and everywhere we think new critters will be.
This is one of our trips to the mountains, letting the play in the creek. Hunting for critters and living things.
They draw them label them and talk about them.
For the critters that do not live here we visit several museums and learn about other insects and bugs that way.
Do not be afraid to pack pencils and clipboards and make them do Nature Studies while at these places. It is not an option with my kids. If we are going to a museum then we are having a lesson while we are there!
A photography lesson example.
Learn to recogzine where animals and insects live! Keep birds nest, wasp nest, hornet nest, and anything that would be fun to learn about. Learning and knowing what habitat a animal lives in will quickly make your children realize that certain animals don't and cannot live in their backyard.
Encourage your children to look out of the window as the travel. Turn off the DVD players, loud music, and un-plug them and have a lesson as you travel.
"One lady told me once that she use to count cows as her family traveled and if they spotted a graveyard they would have to burry them and start counting all over again!" LOL
There are so many opportunities to teach and learn with your kids.
Don't overlook doing a Nature Study with them.
It is a rewarding time!
Home school ideas that you are going to love!