Math, science, geography, history, AND language arts all in one super-fun day of pumpkin school? YES! Skip the textbooks for a few days and enjoy some fall-themed learning with your elementary and middle school students. We have enjoyed one version or another of pumpkin school for years. While you can certainly have fun with without friends, these activities are so much fun to do with a small group. Living Math and Science with Pumpkins Several of these ideas come from my how-to book for parents called Loving Living Math. It's a book that teaches you how to include "living" (real life, hands-on, meaningful, conceptual) math into your homeschool. Pumpkin Math and ... Read More
Nature study has been one of the most rewarding subjects in our homeschool through the years. It reaches deeply into every single realm of science. It gets us outdoors for fresh air, sunshine and exercise. It creatively includes other subjects like language arts, math, geography, and even history. But most importantly, God has revealed so much about Himself to us through the study of nature.
Nature study works easily with all homeschooling styles. It makes a huge difference with children who need to be active. It can meet all kinds of learning styles, and offers those with learning disabilities a fresh perspective on learning to give them success. Best of all, nature study works really, really well when teaching multiple ages. I know you'll enjoy some amazing learning using the lessons you'll find below. Have fun!
Morning Time. Morning Basket Time. Circle Time. In our home we call it Brain Training Time. Whatever you might call it, I have some great ideas to help you include nature study during the time you gather for family learning before jumping into the rest of your homeschool day. I bet you think I'm going to tell you that circle time should begin with a quick nature walk. Nope. While that's certainly a great way to start your day, in this article I'm actually going to share ideas for nature study without going outside! And, since we're talking circle time and I know you're probably including more than one activity each day, all these ideas are meant to last no more ... Read More
There is not one teaching resource I treasure more than picture books. The good ones have such a masterful knack for laying out factual information in the midst of wonderful storylines. The illustrations, of course, help our children put pictures to names and places and ideas. When my children were younger, one of the best things I did was use picture books for nature study. There are so many wonderful picture books that can inspire a deep interest or understanding of nature! Sometimes, we would pack along a picture book and a blanket and actually read as part of the nature walk. This mid-walk reading might have the purpose of a cozy rest time or a specially planned inspiration to ... Read More
Nature study is certainly a big deal in the homeschool community at large - even outside of Charlotte Mason circles. For that, I am very excited! But, I still get the impression that many view nature study as a fun extra to their regular homeschooling. "Yes, it might bring a little more goodness into the week, but it isn't a make-or-break subject." I'm on a mission to broaden the vision for nature study. This post contains affiliate links. I've written before about how much real science is at the heart of nature study. It's so true. Whether nature study is used as the full science curriculum, or it serves as extension lessons to the "regular" science curriculum, or even if it stands ... Read More
One of the things I love so much about nature study is its ability to merge together so many other academic subject areas. Nature study and language arts, for example, go hand in hand together. Think about all the reading and writing that take place as nature journals are written, field guides read, or new finds researched. Keep reading to learn how to naturally make connections between nature study and language arts. At the end of the post, I think you'll be super-excited about the surprises waiting to help you connect the dots between the two subjects! This post includes affiliate links. The Language Arts Language arts includes four main areas: reading, composition ... Read More
Are your children overjoyed to learn about soil? Probably not. But, oh, I bet they will be when you introduce these unique activities! Eli and I have had so much fun playing in the dirt AND doing some pretty cool chemistry experiments. I received free products and compensation from Home Science Tools in exchange for writing this post. As always, my opinions are strictly my own. Affiliate links are included in this post. It's Fun To Learn About Soil If you've ever dug around in the dirt, you've probably seen little critters or bits and pieces of roots and rocks. While those things are certainly wonderful to find, observe, and study, there are so many other cool things you can't see! ... Read More
For years, we've taken at least one homeschool field trip each month of the school year. They have created some of our best memories and always almost supply us with wonderful learning opportunities. It may sound overwhelming to plan monthly field trips, but it's really not that hard at all when you're organized - and I'll help you get organized! Why Do We Take So Many Homeschool Field Trips? Over the past eighteen years of homeschooling, I bet our family has taken over 100 field trips. That's a lot of experiential learning! Field trips are the perfect example of hands-on, real-life learning. I love that so many of them are taught by professionals who know much more than me about ... Read More
Why would you want to identify rocks and minerals during nature study? Heck, why would you even care to observe rocks when there are so many other things to see in nature. Rocks are boring. They're dull and colorless. Once you've seen one, you've pretty much seen them all. Be honest. You've thought some of those thoughts before, haven't you? When we first began nature study in our homeschool, I held off learning about rocks for quite some time because - well, I didn't know what in the world were we going to do with them. But I soon realized that we just hadn't quite learned how to look at them with eyes of wonder and excitement yet. I received free products and compensation ... Read More
Have you ever considered the idea that special needs children may thrive through regular time spent in nature? Nature study has so many benefits beyond the obvious academics. It's hands-on, active, and loud - as much as it's detail-oriented, calm, and peaceful. It allows for fresh air, sunshine, and exercise to break into the school week. And, it can bring joy to even the worst homeschool day. These benefits are for every single person who explores. But, as Shawna Wingert shares below, they may be especially helpful for children with special needs. Please welcome Shawna. As you read her story about special needs nature study, I hope you have a couple of light bulb moments like I ... Read More
Printable nature notebooking pages are time savers for sure. We can set off on a nature walk knowing there's at least something to do other than wandering aimlessly. We can slap those babies into a three-ring binder and have proof that the afternoon spent in the sunshine actually did count for school. But...are your nature notebooking pages really moving the dial in learning? Real learning that's more than simply drawing a picture and moving on with your day? Don't get me wrong, detailed observations and drawings in nature ARE real learning when taken seriously. I'm a huge advocate for nature journaling, in fact! If many of us are honest, though, we don't really take nature journaling ... Read More