A Charlotte Mason Education: Incorporating Nature Study

Of all of the Charlotte Mason education methods, nature study has always been one that I struggle with. To be honest, I'm not that fond of being outdoors. I'm not great at observing insects or plants. I'm not very good at sketching the things I see outdoors. It's always been difficult for me.

But, as with many things I've learned since I began homeschooling, I've tried to expand my efforts in this area in an attempt to help the children learn to appreciate and enjoy nature.

Despite my own reluctance, I have tried, with varying degrees of success, to incorporate nature study into our school time. I have found a few things that have helped me.


1. Focus on nature study during the spring. This is the time of year that I really do enjoy being outside, and it is hard to keep the kids inside for any length of time. So, I can take advantage of this and do some nature study during this time of year.

2. The Outdoor Hour Challenges blog- I used this last spring and plan to do it again this spring with the kids. This blog uses the Handbook of Nature Study (which I bought but really should have just used online for free) and gives a weekly outdoor challenge.

3. Parables from Nature- This classic living book provides nature stories to read when it is too rainy, wet, cold, etc. to make it outside. I admit that I found it rather tedious reading, but, surprisingly, the kids enjoy listening to it most of the time.
Parables from Nature (Yesterday's Classics)
I would appreciate any input from other Charlotte Mason homeschoolers as to how you incorporate nature study into your school day because I am always looking for ways to improve here.

You can check out some other ideas for incorporating nature study into your homeschool from the Schoolhouse Crew (live 4/22/15).


Nature Study for Your Homeschool

1 comment

  1. One easy suggestion is to take a walk and notice three things from nature. The next time you take that same walk, look for changes in those original things and also look for three new things. This is a simple activity to do this time of year when so many things are changing.

    Or pick a specific bush, planted flower, tree, etc. and keep track of it on your outings. Examine the buds, flowers, leaves, etc every time you see it and notice the changes over time. You'll develop a real fondness for "your plant" and be excited when you notice development and changes.

    p.s. I confess I couldn't hack the Parable of Nature myself, though I did try!

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