How to host a Nature Day

Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

“Now I don’t have to die to go to heaven,” my son grinned. “It’s right here.”

We were walking along the trails zig-zagging through the wild countryside of the property we would soon call home. Towering trees, low-hanging limbs laden with moss, a pond and trickling creek, old-growth stumps — it was all so lush and green and vast — as far as the eye could see.

But even as spectacular as the scenery was, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Seeing his wonder–rapture really–as he explored and discovered, head tilted back, gazing straight up, pointing here and there, “Mom, red-tailed hawks!”

I couldn’t believe this was where, Lord willing, our kids would grow up.

I grew up out in the country, and took for granted the gold-mine that was my backyard. I grew up hiking through the woods, forging the river to a friends’ house, building forts from limbs and twigs, climbing trees, planting gardens, holding still and silent watching the deer creep by.

These days, though, it seemed you had to choose between a roof over your children’s heads OR a piece of land, so I had long ago given up the idea of raising my own kids out in the woods.

So, when we fell into this gift of a place, that had a roof and land, I knew it was meant for more than just our own personal pleasure — I wanted the gift of nature to bless others as well.

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4 Simple Methods for Teaching Elementary Science

Written by contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

This past spring all of us here at Simple Homeschool shared our curriculum choices. In my contribution to that series I talked about the curriculum we’ve used so far for elementary reading, writing, and math.

But of course there is a lot more to our homeschool routine than just those subjects.

Today I want to share how we teach science to our elementary aged children in the context of every day life, without a set curriculum.

I have found science to be one of the easiest “subjects” to teach our children.

I know it will get trickier as they get into the higher grades and so we plan to start using curriculum sometime during the junior high years.

But so far interest-led science has worked well for us.

Here are the four methods we’ve used.

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5 Tips for Nature Study

Written by contributor Kris of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Though we’re not always consistent with including it, nature study is one of our favorite ways to spend some of our homeschool day.

It’s fun, relaxing, interest-led learning in a real-world, hands-on environment.

Following are five tips for making nature study an anticipated part of your family’s education (because you’ll be learning, too, Mom):
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Nature Study for Wimps

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

Spending time with your children in the great outdoors can be a wonderful learning experience. Not only are fresh air and sunshine essential to good health, but exploring God’s creation firsthand can be a fantastic way to solidify what our kids have read and studied about nature in books and videos.

If you didn’t grow up as an outdoors person, however, then creating hands-on experiences for your children may go against the grain. That’s okay. Just take baby steps and learn together.

Here are some ideas to get you started: [Read more…]

4 (Fun) Basic Elements of Backyard Science

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor science and backyard learning.

Bubbles, insect study, gardening, star gazing and acorn catapults – all of this is science. And all of it is fun.

When your children are young – pre-school and elementary years, it is so simple to turn your backyard into an outdoor laboratory for studying the natural world.

Here’s one fun approach you can take to create an outdoor environment for learning inspired by the four classical elements of air, fire, earth and water.

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