Nature Study for Beginners
Nature study for beginners doesn’t have to be intimidating. There are simple ways to start a nature study in your homeschool that doesn’t have to be perfect, overly complicated, or overwhelming. If you’re interested in starting a nature study, but aren’t sure where to begin, I hope these ideas will help!
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Nature Study for Beginners
If you are wondering how to get started with nature study, I’ve got good news for you: we’re talking nature study for beginners and sharing a bunch of great resources to help you get outside and get started.
My goals for those elementary nature studies were just to observe, enjoy, and connect to science and nature with hands-on activities. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all those terrific Pinterest ideas out there, please just take a minute to relax and realize that the elementary years are a time of discovery that should be enjoyed!
A Gentle Start to Nature Study
Keep it simple.
Something as basic as doing leaf rubbings in the fall can accomplish several educational goals for your nature study. Kids get to observe the change of seasons, learn about the science behind it, and do something creative and hands-on to preserve the lesson.
Biology could include leaf rubbings in their recommended activities for plant studies. Nature studies don’t have to be complex to be beneficial.
Room for creative expression.
My daughters are very creative and it shows in their work. Some kids will prefer to keep a nature journal filled with artwork, while others might like a notebook with a few written sentences.
Others might prefer to narrate what they’re learning while you record it for them. Allow them to work to their strengths and abilities without unrealistic expectations.
A nature journal doesn’t have to be complex, either. Just a simple guide for exploring nature and encouraging their curiosity is all you need!
Take a delight-directed approach.
When I first started doing nature studies, I had the idea that we needed to follow a particular order of lessons. I quickly realized that besides ladybugs and butterflies, we didn’t have much interest in bugs. When I expanded our nature studies beyond just “what came next in the book” we enjoyed them much more. Things like plant/flower studies and animal studies are favorites.
Bring nature indoors.
When you can’t get outside due to weather or allergies or some other reason, you can bring nature studies indoors with house plants, a homemade terrarium, an ant farm, an aquarium, or even by studying the family pet.
Make it personal.
When your kids have a personal stake in it, they are more engaged with the lessons. You can grow your own garden and your kids can observe the growth from seed to plant, fruit, or vegetable.
These are just a few ideas to get you started in nature studies. Remember that the focus should be on developing an interest in and appreciation for nature and a love for learning in these early years. There is time for more disciplined and deeper study as your children get older.