Nature Studies
The study of nature is appealing to people of all ages. It is easy to incorporate nature studies into your homeschooling approach. Some homeschooling methods focus very strongly on nature studies, including the Charlotte Mason method. Learn why it is so important and some great approaches to learning from nature.
Links and Items
Great Science Adventures
Great Science Adventures is a series of books that offer a creative approach to learning science. Each one showcases the series' method of using creative, hands-on activities to enhance exploratory learning. Each book contains 24 lessons, with 2-3 lessons completed each week. The unique format contains activities and basic content appropriate for grades K through 8. Perfect for multilevel teaching or if you want to challenge your advanced students individually. Titles include:
  • Discovering the Human Body and Senses
  • The World of Tools and Technology
  • Discovering Earth's Landforms and Surface Features
  • The World of Space
  • The World of Insects and Arachnids
  • The World of Plants
  • The World of Light and Sound
Considering God's Creation
Considering God's Creation is a creative in-depth encounter with natural science from a biblical perspective. It is adaptable for grades 2-7. This is a large 272-page book that comes with a Teacher's Manual with audio CD.
Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking

With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings -- based on his own field research -- and you'll discover if those tracks in the brush were made by a deer or a fox.

In his celebrated style, this author, artist, and naturalist enthusiastically shares a wealth of tips. Jim Arnosky wants you to enjoy watching wildlife. He carefully explains how field marks, shapes, and location give clues for identifying certain plants and animals wherever you are. He gives hints for sharpening observational skills. And he encourages you to draw and record birds, insects, shells, animal tracks, and other finds from a busy day's watch.

Apologia Educational Ministries
Apologia publishes several science textbooks that are especially suited to the homeschool environment. They are filled with easy to understand lessons and experiments which can easily be performed at home. The curriculum is also backed by a question/answer support system. This set of textbooks is written under the "Exploring Creation" name. There are three elementary level texts: Their middle school and high school texts include:
  • Exploring Creation With General Science
  • Exploring Creation With Physical Science
  • Exploring Creation With Biology
  • Exploring Creation With Chemistry
  • Exploring Creation With Physics
  • The Human Body: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
  • Exploring Creation With Marine Biology
  • Advanced Chemistry in Creation
  • Advanced Physics in Creation
  • Plus other texts
    Things to See & Do in Maryland
    Salisbury Zoological Park
    The Salisbury Zoo is a 13-acre, professionally accredited facility that provides naturalistic exhibits featuring almost 400 animals native to the Americas.
    Assateague Island National Seashore
    Storm tossed seas, as well as gentle breezes shape Assateague Island. This barrier island is a tale of constant movement and change. Bands of wild horses freely roam amongst plants and native animals that have adapted to a life of sand, salt and wind. Special thickened leaves and odd shapes reveal the plant world’s successful struggle here. Ghost crabs buried in the cool beach sand and tree swallows plucking bayberries on their southward migration offer glimpses of the animal world’s connection to Assateague.
    Baltimore Zoo
    The Baltimore Zoo is a wild and wonderful 161-acre park that educates and entertains more than 600,000 visitors each year. It offers experiences that cannot be found anywhere else, rare encounters with lions, tigers, elephants, and more than 2,000 other amazing creatures. Where else can you meet a chimpanzee face-to-face, watch a polar bear do the back stroke, or roar like a lion-and hear him roar back!
    Greenbelt Park
    Greenbelt Park is a retreat from the pressures of city life and a refuge for native plants and animals just twelve miles from Washington, D.C. Long before colonial settlers appeared here, trees and flowers covered these rolling hills and wildlife roamed the woodlands. Algonquin Indians hunted this land in competition with other smaller tribes. A balance existed between the land and its plants, animals, and native people. Then the colonists arrived. Trees fell and forests gave way to farmland. Wildlife retreated to the frontier. For the next 150 years, people cleared the land, plowed the fields, and planted tobacco, corn, and other crops. The rich fertile soil returned high yields. The people did not give back to the land as much as they took. The land wore out, producing less each season and farming ceased. The land was left bare and defenseless. Erosion caused many scars before nature could slow the process with new growth. Since the early 1900's the land has been recovering.. Today the mixed pine and decidious forest testifies to the land's ability to recover.
    National Aquarium in Baltimore
    The National Aquarium measures 115,000 square feet and holds more than one million gallons of water. It uses sophisticated theme exhibits, state-of-the-art technology, and exciting architecture to re-create underwater environments for its visitors. More than 10,500 specimens and 560 species are in the collection. These include animals currently on exhibit and those that have already arrived in preparation for the opening of the Australian exhibit in 2005.
    Appalachian National Scenic Trail
    The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,180-mile footpath along the ridgecrests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. It traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, it was built by private citizens and completed in 1937. The trail traverses Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.
    Activities & Experiments
    Arbor Day National Poster Contest
    Join over 74,000 fifth grade classrooms and home schools across America in the Arbor Day National Poster Contest. The theme chosen will increase your students’ knowledge of how trees produce and conserve energy. The free Activity Guide includes activities to use with fifth grade students to teach the importance of trees in producing and conserving energy. These activities correlate with National Science and Social Study Standards. The Guide also includes all of the information you need for poster contest participation.
    How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: Science
    Family style learning is a great way to tackle lots of different subjects, including science.
    Handbook of Nature Study
    Based on Charlotte Mason's method of education, this website offers ideas and resources for incorporation nature study into your homeschool.
    Featured Resources

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    The Homeschooling Revolution
    A readable, scholarly overview of the modern day homeschooling movement. Includes vignettes from homeschooling families, war stories, research information, media reaction, footnotes, and statistics.
    A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
    In 1991, shortly after receiving both the New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year Awards, John Gatto resigned to begin a new career as an education reform advocate. In this collection of 16 essays, Gatto analyzes the problems of American education and suggests solutions for revitalizing the system — prescriptions that run counter to current trends.
    Home Organizing Workbook: Clearing Your Clutter, Step-By-Step
    Failing the Mary Poppins' snap-the-fingers approach to cleaning, here's the next best thing: an utterly practical handbook that offers lasting results for anyone looking to banish clutter from every room in the house. Home organizer par excellence Meryl Starr offers up her hardworking organizing solutions in The Home Organizing Workbook, a straightforward guide to getting organized. The room chapters begin with targeted questionnaires that help the reader identify specific organizational problem...
    Handbook of Nature Study
    A matchless handbook for decades, this classic work has been the natural history bible for countless teachers and others who seek information about their environment. Written originally for those elementary school teachers who knew little of common plants and animals, and even less about the earth beneath their feet and the skies overhead, this book is for the most part as valid and helpful today as it was when first written in 1911―and revised in the spirit of its authors by a group of naturali...
    The Absorbent Mind
    In response to the crisis in American education, more than five thousand public and private schools across the nation have adopted the timeless Montessori Method of teaching, of which this book is the cornerstone. Written by the women whose name is synonymous worldwide with child development theory, The Absorbent Mind takes its title from the phrase that the inspired Italian doctor coined to characterize the child's most crucial developmental stage: the first six years.A new foreword by John Cha...