Nature studies are an important part of many families’ homeschooling, especially (but not exclusively) to those who follow certain educational styles like Waldorf or the Charlotte Mason method. While it’s a little bit easier to incorporate nature studies into your homeschooling routine when the weather is nice, there are things you can do all year long. Today I wanted to share how you can Incorporate Nature Studies Into Your Homeschooling.
Easy Nature Studies Ideas
How to Incorporate Nature Studies Into Your Homeschooling All Year Long
The benefits of nature studies are numerous:
- Nature study provides a wonderful natural foundation for scientific observation
- Time spent in nature is linked to lower stress and anxiety levels
- Research shows that children who spend time in nature have better vision, reduced allergies, and stronger immune systems
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If you’d like to study nature with your children throughout the entire year, here are some seasonal ideas for doing so!
Spring is known as a time of birth and regrowth. Here are some topics to explore in the springtime.
- How seeds grow – With sprouts poking out of the dirt during this season, it’s a wonderful time to study the anatomy of seeds and how they grow. You can even plant your own seeds and witness the process firsthand!
- Plant parts – Studying the different parts of plants, in general, is something you can do throughout the spring and summer, but you’ll be able to observe the more rapid growth of most plants in the spring.
- Baby animals – Kids of all ages can learn about different kinds of baby animals and reproduction. This can even extend to different animal types – for example, the difference between how mammals and amphibians reproduce and care for their young.
- The water cycle – Rain, evaporation, rivers, and lakes: the rainy season is a great time to study the water cycle. You could broaden this for older children by studying long-term weather patterns and drought cycles, too.
- Earth Day – Help end pollution and learn all about helping the environment.
- Life Cycles – Learn all about the changes in animals, insects, and plants by exploring different lifecycle activities.
Summer is a great time to spend plenty of time outside playing and learning! Consider touching on some of these topics.
- Water: lakes, oceans, river – Learning about bodies of water is much more fun when it’s hot enough outside to dip your toes in!
- How plants make food – Look at mature plants as you learn about how plants make food.
- Edible and medicinal plants – You can often find common edible and medicinal plants right in your backyard!
- Fossils and shells – Hitting the beach? Look for interesting shells, rocks, and artifacts. Have fun studying them all.
- Ocean Life – Explore the ocean, learn fun facts, and all about your favorite marine life.
As the weather cools down, your learning doesn’t have to. These topics are especially relevant in autumn.
- How animals store food – As animals prepare for hibernation, you may be able to observe them storing food.
- Why trees lose their leaves – Make yard cleanup a learning experience!
- Animal migration – Study animal migration patterns as geese fly south and backyard birds take leave. This is perfect for fall and winter. Make homemade bird feeders with your kids as a fun activity.
Even if the cold weather keeps you inside most of the time, you can learn about these winter-related topics from your window and through great books.
- Aurora borealis – While the Northern Lights can be seen any time of year when there is increased solar activity, you have a better chance of catching them with long nights.
- Hibernation – Animals are resting now – it’s a great time to learn about the hows and whys of hibernation.
- Snow and ice – How does water freeze? Now’s a great time to explore the cold stuff.
- Evergreen trees – Some trees stay green all year long – take this time to learn about what makes these trees so special.
- Fur – Many animals have fur that keeps them warm – it even thickens during the cold winter months!
Some of these nature-related topics are fun to observe and study all year long!
- What makes the seasons? Learn about why we have seasons at all! What Makes the Seasons? is a wonderful book for younger children that explains why we have seasons as well as some of the unique qualities of each one.
- Moon cycles – Learn about the different phases of the moon and why the moon appears to change shape and size the same way month after month.
- Wind – What causes wind and how does wind affect our environment?
- Animal behavior – Both our pets and the wild animals around us have some interesting behavior patterns we can learn about.
- Local birds – Set up a backyard bird oasis with bird feeders, houses, and more to learn about your local feathered friends.
- Stars and planets – Just look up! Any time is a great time to learn about stars, planets, constellations and other space themes.
- Clouds – Learn about the different types of clouds, as well as how and why they form that way.
As you can see, there are so many ways you can make nature study part of your homeschool no matter what time of year it is!
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