Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nature Studies right in your back yard ~homeschool #atozchallenge

What can you do to learn about nature in your own yard or neighborhood? Do you think you need to haul your kids off on a fancy field trip to a nature museum to learn about nature? Nope.... Just open those blinds, open that door to your own great big beautiful world.
What might you find? Use all of your senses to help your homeschool students learn about their surroundings.
  • Trees: leaves, bark, twigs, roots, flowers, cones, needles, seeds, pods, nests, birds
  • Patch of weeds: leaves, roots, bugs, flowers perhaps
  • Dirt: worms, gravel, stones, seeds, mud
  • Sky: clouds, sun, moon, stars
  • Air: temperature, wind, smells, breath on a cold morning
  • Birds: flying, pecking, eating, chirping, hopping, shapes and colors, beaks, wings, tails, feet
  • Sounds: wind, frogs, rain, leaves, crickets, bees, fly buzzing, mosquitoes
  • Weather: rain, clouds, temperature, snow, ice, dew, wind
  • Flowers (garden or in a pot): petals, pollen, roots, leaves, stem, fragrance, shapes, colors, seeds
  • My favorite the compost pile , lots of learning in there
  • Our little pond is full of frogs and all sorts of activity

 We love our squirrels and birds, we feed them all, let the kids help you fill the feeders and research the best foods for your area of the country. They will quickly learn what the animals in your area like and don't like. We had a little chipmunk last year also that came to drink from our pond.
I so enjoy the antics of those naughty little squirrels
as they hang from any feeder I have in the yard, most of the time they eat their food, then move to the bird feeders. These photos were taken right outside our front door with my zoom lense DSLR Sony camera. Teach your kids to take photos of the wildlife in your area, or to draw pictures in a nature journal they can keep for throughout school. Nature journaling is a great way to keep memories and learn at the same time, plus an art lesson too.

This pair of doves visit yearly and eat all the food that the squirrels drop on the ground from them. The logs seem to have a Ying and Yang symbol or the kids said they looked like continents....lol , we had our trees trimmed and one tree taken down, lots of lessons learned in those old trees.
We love to watch these garden spiders as they weave their webs right outside our sunporch. The spiders are so active at night and catch so many bad bugs. 

List credit to AVirtuousWoman.org
Book Recommendations:
  1. Holly Bloom’s Garden by Sarah Ashman
  2. Backyard Birds (Peterson Field Guide for Young Naturalists)
  3. Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
  4. Dandelion by Don Freeman
  5. National Audubon Society’s Field Guide to Wildflowers
More fabulous Nature Homeschooling ideas and links ~~

Tree Study and Lapbook Here

Introduction to Nature Journaling contribued by Denise Gregson

Nature Study Charlotte Mason Style by Jimmie

Nature Walk Guide Sheets (2-4 years old)

Nature Journal Pages (3-6 years old)

Nature Journal Page (from Crayola)

From Highland Hitchco

Bug Nature Journal Page

Plant Identification Labels

Leaf Identification Labels

Animal Report Form

Winter Scavenger Hunt

Detailed Nature Journal Form (upper elementary+)

credit to http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/03/27/montessori-inspired-bird-unit/

Montessori-Inspired Bird Printables (from my favorite Montessori lady Deb Chitwood)

Bird Printables (available for purchase) from Montessori for Everyone
Bird Printables (available for purchase) from Montessori Helper
Bird Printables (available for purchase) from Montessori Print Shop, including free
Bird Match-Up and Memory Game
Free Bird Materials from Montessori Materials
Free Bird Cards and Songs from Tired, Need Sleep
Free Bird Matching Cards from The Helpful Garden
Free Montessori Cards for the Burgess Bird Book from That Resource Site

Bird (and egg) Posts from Little Wonders’ Days (photo from Parts of a Bird Mini Book and Printable)
Montessori-Inspired Easter Activities – includes lots of Easter egg activities (my roundup post)
Bird Posts from Little Tiger Growing Up
Bird Posts from The Pinay Homeschooler
Bird Posts from Early Education with Antek and Kuba
Bird Posts from Little Acorns
Bird Posts from My Little Princess World
Bird Unit from Refined Metals Academy
Winter Birds from Homeschool Mom

 Bird Unit Study Pinterest Board by Deb Chitwood

Enjoy your nature studies! I gotta go feed my birds

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