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Conquer Your Fear of Homeschool Science with Nature Studies

I never liked science in school. But, I didn’t want that to hinder me from my kids a chance at enjoying science. How could I do this and not get bored in a dry textbook? Nature Studies! Let me explain how nature studies helped with teaching homeschool science for us!

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Homeschool Science

Nature studies can be done in a number of different ways. You can get a pre-planned study. One that gives you the ideas to do and the extra supplies or books to have on hand.

NaturExplorers

We have done this with the NaturExplorers from Our Journey Westward. This is a fun and simple way to get some science in. There are NaturExplorers for all seasons, even when it gets extremely cold here in Minnesota!

No-Sweat Nature Studies

Another great resource from Our Journey Westward is the No-Sweat Nature Studies that Cindy does live (or catch the replay). Ray Ray loves to study things, but he doesn’t like being out in different weather conditions. This is a fun way to have someone else teach them at times.

Nature Walks

Nature walks can happen with little to no planning. Go for a walk and pay attention to different things. Listen to the sounds around you and see if you can name them. Pay attention to a river or stream. What is happening around the shore? Go home and follow it on a map and see where it goes. Anything outside can be studied. It doesn’t have to be hard. You can always use the internet to help dig in deeper.

On our nature walks, sometimes we go without anything in our hands. Sometimes we print up some nature journal pages. We love to grab these from Productive Homeschooling. There are some that have lines for writing, and others are just fun to doodle on. We have done both, some doodling with added writing for the older ages and some just doodling for the younger ages.

What are some fun things you have done to make homeschool science fun?

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Nature Study and Notebooking in Our Homeschool

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In our homeschool, we have found that sometimes we need to take our learning outside of the books. This is something that helps both the kids and me. Finding a way to take the learning outside of the books is not always easy, but you just need to look outside of the box, literally.

After years of homeschooling, man it feels weird to say that, I have finally realized that some days we just need to put the books away and have some fun. One thing my kids don’t realize is that even without their textbooks and worksheets, we have still been able to spend a lot of time learning. How do we do it? Well, we get outside and learn from the environment that God gave us to learn from!

Nature Study

One of these tricks is to do nature studies with the kids. When the weather is nice, and even when it isn’t, we like to get outside and see what is happening around us. My kids are not like me in any way when it comes to bugs. These kids go and find rocks to turn over just to see what bugs are under them. They will find a bug and ask me to take a picture of it. When we do that, they beg me to go on Google and see what kind it is.

Once we find out the type of bug it is, the kids have more questions. We are able to spend time digging into the type of bug, what it eats, the enemies it may have and so forth. The kids don’t think this is school for them. They think they are out exploring, but when they can recall the information when they see a similar bug, I know they are learning!

Since we live in Minnesota, we have all kinds of weather. Not only do we get to get outside when the sun is shining, but we get out there when there is snow on the ground. The best thing about this is seeing the new animal prints in the fresh snow. This is another time we like to take pictures and guesses as to what animal made those tracks. This has even lead us into a discussion about what animals are awake during the winter and those who hibernate!

Notebooking

As an add-on to our nature studies, I have been printing pages from NotebookingPages.com for the kids to use when we are outside. These pages help us focus our attention on different things. We have used the pages for looking at birds and at trees. These pages don’t give much of anything specific, rather just pages that allow us to write what we are learning.

We found some great pages on trees. This allowed us to learn about the leaves and the bark of different trees. Even when we didn’t have the pages in front of us, the kids would notice the difference in the trees when we would go for walks. I love watching the kids see these differences without me pointing them out.

We also use pages from NotebookingPages.com for watching the birds at the feeders. The kids will draw pictures of the birds they see, marking down when they see them and any information they want to see. I keep a bird watchers book handy in case the kids want to use it, but I don’t require it. All I want them to do it watch the birds. Our favorite birds are the cardinals and orioles. The kids can tell what each likes to eat and when they like to eat. We recently got a bird bath that used to belong to my great grandpa, so we have a new way of watching the birds and how they take care of themselves.

It is so fun to see the kids learning outside of our classroom setting. I love knowing that even on the days that the kids don’t want to open their textbooks, we can still spend time learning.

I am joining in with the Homeschool Review Crew Round-up on Non-book Learning. Want to read more about this? Check them out right here:

Hands On Experiential Learning ROUND UP {Homeschool Link UP}

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5 Days of Homeschooling Without Going Insane ~ Notebooking and Nature Studies

Day 2 of the 5 Days of Homeschooling Without Going Insane with the 5 Days of Homeschooling Blog Hop from the Homeschoool Review Crew is here. Are you ready? Yesterday I talked about the bad days that everyone has and how to make them work for you. Today? Well, today I want to talk about Nature Studies and Notebooking!

Notice how both Nature Studies and Notebooking start with N? If you have been following the blog, you know that being Tuesday, today is the blogging through the alphabet day! Annette and I are here with the Letter N this week!

For the letter N, I want to spend some time talking about Notebooking and Nature Studies. These are two things that I took for granted when we started homeschooling. While not being complex at all, they seemed to me that it would take too much of my already valuable time to try and use these two things. Hey, I was wrong!

The first thing I actually started using with the kids was notebooking. I fell in love with the site Notebooking Pages and all the fun stuff that I found there. In fact, I even did a review of their site last year.

Notebooking Pages Homeschool Giveaway

I love letting my kids learn what they want to learn when they want to learn it. Notebooking helps me do that. If they find a fun website full of information, I have them write about on the notebooking pages. When Ray Ray finds something he likes, I have him find a page that he likes and let him write, or draw or both about what he is learning. With notebooking, I don't have to stress about what the kids are learning, but I get to watch them learn about what they want and I build off of that.

Notebooking also allows for us to take advantage of sites like SchoolhouseTeachers.com and their new addition, World Book. This new addition to the membership allows me the chance to let the kids explore their interests in a way that I would not be able to afford. If you have not checked this out this part of the site, you should do so! I can't believe how much it has added to our already awesome membership!

After finding out how easy notebooking was, I decided to take another look at nature studies, and you know what, this is another simple thing I had been passing up for too long!

Nature studies is a simple study that allows you to simply take your child outside to pique their interest in learning what is around them. I have currently been fighting with Ray Ray about learning science and looking for a way to introduce science to Little Miss. With nature studies, all I need to do is take my kids outside and they are learning! Notebooking is a great companion to nature studies and we love some of the outdoor themed pages that are available.

We love doing the Outdoor Hour Challenge with the Handbook of Nature Studies. There are so many great challenges here to get you outside, and they expand on the learning in many different ways. I was able to get Ray Ray interested in Science just by bringing him outside and telling him to watch the Robins.

Homeschool doesn't have to be all books and computer work. That is when the learning stops and the arguments begin. Find a fun way to learn and the kids will attack it and not you! My days got so much easier after we started using notebooking and nature studies. I don't know why I waited, but I am glad that we are using it now!

Do you a Letter N post? We would love to hear about it!

I am also linking back to the Homeschool Review Crew and the 5 Days of Homeschooling Blog Hop. Did you want to find more encouragement for your homeschool? Check out these other Day 2 posts right here:

 



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