Spring is here and we are all ready to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Spring is the perfect season to introduce your homeschoolers to nature and encourage nature study. Time spent in the great outdoors is an easy way to incorporate play-based learning too.
Plus, nature study is a fun and engaging way to homeschool science this Spring. I’ve got big plans for our homeschool nature study this Spring and I can’t wait to share them with you. Keep reading to see how I do it and get some awesome resources for nature study and nature journaling in your homeschool too.
The Value Of Nature Study For Developing Minds
The value of spending time in nature with your kids is undeniable. Nature study is perfect for developing minds! The great outdoors provides the perfect foundation for formal science lessons.
In addition to being a great way to begin formal science, nature study also makes learning scientific concepts engaging and fun for homeschoolers. Plus, it gives kids a way to explore the unknown and discover things about the world around them independently. What a great way to spark curiosity and encourage learning!
Time spent playing and exploring the natural world exposes homeschoolers to STEM principles. It helps kids develop real-world problem-solving skills they can use throughout life too.
Nature Study As Homeschool Science
Does nature study really count as homeschool science? 100%
Spending time outdoors exploring nature with your homeschoolers is an excellent way to homeschool science. Learning science through books leaves something to be desired because our children will still lack first-hand knowledge. Books can’t really inspire the magic and wonder that nature study can achieve.
One way we encourage nature study for science in our homeschool is by participating in the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge. This challenge is all about encouraging kids and families to get outdoors and spend time in nature together.
Did you know most kids spend 1200 hours in front of screens each year? What would happen if we tried to match that time with time spent outdoors exploring nature and playing in the natural world around us? That’s the question asked by the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge.
Making an extra effort to get outdoors and spend time in nature has become a big goal for our family. We like tracking our 1000 hours and challenging ourselves to meet the goal throughout the homeschool year. It’s a goal we set during 2020 that has become a favorite here at The Waldock Way.
Spring Nature Study: Our Homeschool Plans
The 1000 Hours Challenge is a year-round challenge for families, so you might be wondering what we are doing during Spring specifically. After all, it’s the perfect season to venture outdoors and study nature with homeschoolers. Here’s what we are trying to do in our homeschool this Spring:
Visit State Parks
We have made it a goal to visit as many state parks in our home state as we can this Spring. Since we live in Florida, we will be visiting Florida state parks. We have already enjoyed visits to Dunns Creek State Park, Blue Springs State Park, and Ravine State Gardens. Check out the amazing state parks available in your home state to see what adventures in nature study await your homeschool family.
The very best way to learn about bugs, birds, and trees in your own backyard is by spending time together in nature exploring all there is around you. Hiking has become one of our favorite family past times because we have found it’s a great way to get outside and explore together as a family.
You can do a nature hike anywhere. Explore your own backyard, a local park, or a nearby hiking trail together. Add nature journals, a nature scavenger hunt, or bring along a local field guide to make your nature hike a fun educational experience for everyone.
Nature hiking together has given us plenty of opportunities to learn about the world around us and see the sights for ourselves. It’s the best way to experience the beauty of the natural world up close and hands-on as a family.
If you’ve spent time at your local state parks or national parks, you might have discovered the junior-ranger program. The Junior-Ranger Program encourages kids to explore and learn about the parks in a hands-on way. It’s a lot of fun for our daughter Emily and us too!
Homeschoolers participating in the junior-ranger program don’t just learn about the park, they learn how to protect the park too. The program is geared towards children ages 5 to 13, but kids of any age can participate. After completing the program at a park, your child will receive an official certificate and junior-ranger badge too.
Additional Resources For Nature Study In Your Homeschool
Before you begin your homeschool adventures with nature study, check out some of our favorite resources. We have found these to be really helpful for nature study in our homeschool and I’m excited to be able to share them with you. Then, get even more tips and information about how we do nature study in our homeschool.
Some of my favorite nature study resources and products:
Travel to all 50 states with this homeschool curriculum. You’ll love the custom coloring pages with information all about state birds, trees, and more. It’s the perfect companion for a state park field trip or nature study adventure with your homeschoolers this Spring.
Get out and explore a national park near you this Spring. There’s so much history, science, and geography to explore at a nearby national park. Don’t have a national park near you? That’s ok, you can explore and learn about all 60 parks with this complete curriculum all about America’s national park system.
Another super fun way to study nature and learn science concepts with your homeschoolers this Spring is by becoming survivalists. Your whole family will have all kinds of fun with this unit study modeled after Bear Grylls’s adventures in the wild. Plus, you’ll all learn a lot about nature and surviving in the great outdoors.
Plus, don’t miss my free nature journal to get you started on the right foot with nature study in your homeschool this Spring. Just print these journal pages and you’re ready to go! How will you incorporate nature study in your homeschool this Spring? I’d love to read about your awesome ideas, so don’t forget to share them in the comments.