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Is Handbook of Nature Study really the be-all end-all book for Nature Study? I can't wait to get back outdoors as soon our temps come out of the 90s and I'd like to do some Nature Study with my husband on our family walks. Ideally I'd like this to naturally flow into Nature Study with my kids as they get older. I was looking at the Outdoor Hour Challenges and thought that may be a good place to start, but she uses the Handbook an awful lot. It just seems so dry and...well...boring to me. :blush:Do I just need to get over that? Is it really *that* good?

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I don't think so. I rarely use it because it tends to feature predominantly east coast flora and fauna. We keep nature study very simple over here though.

 

1. Head out to nature.

2. Observe.

3. Record observations (usually with the digital camera).

4. Ask questions

5. Google, google, google. (Google to identify what you took pictures of, to answer questions, to find other samples). We use e-guides.

6. Library books for more information when the children hit upon a particular interest (mushrooms, constellations, etc.)

7. Pick one or more items to draw and record into your nature study journal each week. Write down when & where you saw it.

8. Google for fun quotes or poems about that species & copy it into nature jounral if desired and/or pick out library books with nature poems.

 

We use a wide variety of resources.

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We're starting a "new" form of nature study here... we tried Outdoor Hour Challenges last year, and because they are primarily East Coast flora/fauna/seasons, they didn't always translate well here. Instead, we're simply going places for a walk/hike, with sketchbooks in hand, the kids find something interesting, draw it, then we bring it home. Dd labels it with the date, name of plant/animal, and ds does the same with additional info (habitat, etc.). I then read a related story from Clara Dillingham Pierson's Among the .... People series.

 

It's going really well so far, all two times we've done it! We also copied a nature poem into our books, and we use Peterson First Field Guides a lot. I'm taking a lot of the format/ideas from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.

Edited by momto2Cs
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We keep nature study very simple over here though.

 

1. Head out to nature.

2. Observe.

3. Record observations (usually with the digital camera).

4. Ask questions

5. Google, google, google. (Google to identify what you took pictures of, to answer questions, to find other samples). We use e-guides.

6. Library books for more information when the children hit upon a particular interest (mushrooms, constellations, etc.)

7. Pick one or more items to draw and record into your nature study journal each week. Write down when & where you saw it.

8. Google for fun quotes or poems about that species & copy it into nature journal if desired and/or pick out library books with nature poems.

 

We use a wide variety of resources.

 

This is exactly how we handle nature study as well. Very simple, and it gets the job done. It also makes for a nice nature notebook which we look at to review or just to remember those fun walks and the things we saw.

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The Handbook of Nature Study is a great resource, but so are the internet, field guides and the library. The basic idea of nature study is to go out in nature and learn more about it. Daisy gave a really great explanation of how to do that simply.

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I use the Outdoor Hour Challenge as inspiration and I do own The Handbook. It is rather dry, but I always learn something from it. I try to read through it before we go out to study any particular thingie...it's nice to have extra info up my sleeve. Mostly, we just go out and observe and then draw something about it when we come home. It doesn't need to be complicated, I just want my children to love the outdoors.

 

I love the Reader's Digest North American Wildlife book, and so do my kids. Perhaps a more local guide is what you're looking for? I plan to buy some Utah-specific guides in the future.

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