How to Turn Nature Studies into Books

As a Charlotte Mason educator, nature studies have been a big part of our homeschooling.  When we transitioned from elementary years into middle school, I wanted to begin to gentle bridget the gap of nature and science with my children and what we did turned out to be a great success and as you will see, a wonderful keepsake for them.

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How to Turn Nature Studies into Books

Pick an Animal of Interest

I always had my children select four animals that they wanted to learn about for the year.  You can choose to do have your children choose one animal at a time, but my children have always been interested in certain ones, so it made it easy to get library books for them in advance if I knew what they were interested in learning about.

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Choose the Size of a Blank Book

There are two choices of book sizes that we have found and for this project, I do prefer a smaller one for children who need more direction and lack creativity.  However, if you have an independent learner who loves to be creative, try doing it with a bigger blank book.

I would highly recommend that you only have them use double sided tape to affix paper to the book. If you use glue, even a glue stick, it will cause the book to warp and after a time, the glue stops working. This is from my own experience. I would encourage your children that a little double sided tape goes a long way and to start with small pieces.

Give Assignments to Fill the Book

What I absolutely love about this project is that serves a way to evaluate what they are learning in their nature studies and provides for a keepsake for year end Show N' Tell or to show family members who may not be understanding in our homeschooling choices.

I have always used a ‘skeleton' assignment for these books, where I require the same basic information to go within the books and it is their job to find the meat and skin that goes into this project of study.

I'm giving you a free printable skeleton form that you can print out for each of the books your child does and let them go to learn all they can and fill int their book! Get your Nature Study Book Assignment printable.

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Provide Learning Material

Require a Bibliography where the child will list all the resources that they used to find the information they added to the book.  This would include books, online resources and any visual resources.   This is good practice for higher education.

Give a Deadline to Complete

In our homeschool, I required one book to be completed per term, which meant one every seven to eight weeks.  Always help them make a plan of how to accomplish that deadline goal and keep them accountable. Evaluate their books at the end of every week.

 

How to Study Turtles

You would come to expect that as a Charlotte Mason homeschooling family, nature studies are part of our routine.  I love having free afternoon time for our children to explore and discover, but any time that nature finds it way into our home, I'm willing!  I would love to share with you how to study turtles, so you can make your children as happy as my sons are in this photo of them getting up close and personal with a turtle from our property.

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How to Study Turtles

Learn about Turtle Habitats 

If you don't know where to look for turtles, you may not be rewarded with your exploring in looking for them.  Once you learn where they like to live, it will be easier for you to identify where potential turtles are living and discover them on your nature walks or exploring in free afternoons.
Learn to Identify the Different Kinds of Turtles

Most turtles are harmless and a great joy for children to pick up, study and observe. I have so many fond memories of my children finding turtles and building habitats in containers that I would allow them to use outside and take care of them for a few days before letting them go back into their natural habitat.

When my older children were younger and we lived in a different house, we were often visited by snapping turtles, one turtle to be aware of and learn to identify, because one wrong move with one of those and you can lose a finger.  We have found large snapping turtles next to our front steps, stuck under my husband's motorcycle, gingerly walking through our back yard and sliding around in our back creek.  Every spring, my children would gather several baby snapping turtles and would watch them for a few days and enjoy seeing them at such a cute stage.

Learn What They Eat

In order to care for a wild turtle for a few days, you will need to know what kinds of food they eat and be sure that you can provide for them.  Some turtles like different things, so being able to identify them first is important and then gather the right nutrition for them is the next step.  All wild creatures belong in the wild, so before your children start getting the idea of raising a new pet, be sure to set guidelines and limits to ‘observing' a turtle and hold them accountable to enforcing what was agreed upon.

Journal the Turtle

Once a turtle was found, even if they provide a homemade habitat to observe it, we would take a photo of it, so they could journal about it later and write the name of the kind of turtle in their journal to help them remember it. They would often times add their foods they ate and the habitat they found the turtle in while exploring.


 

 

Nature Boxes | How to Keep Your Nature Finds

How often does your family come across a nature find, on your nature walks? If you are like us, you find them all the time and your kids want to keep them, of course. This is why I came up with their own nature box to keep their finds in, and share with others.

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If your family loves nature studies like we do, you probably discover all kinds of great nature finds.  I was tired of finding great nature finds and not having a place to store them, so we made nature boxes!

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We started with boxes that we had round the house and each of my younger boys decorated them for their own nature boxes and a special place to store their nature finds.

My 6th grader wanted to paint his boxes, with his favorite color of red.

After I covered a box with card stock, using double sided tape and colorful ribbon, my 3 year old was thrilled to add stickers to his box and spell out his name with foam stickers.  He LOVES his nature box!

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This is a swallow tail butterfly that my daughter found on one of our family's walks.

Nature Boxes | How to Keep Your Nature Finds www.joyinthehome.com
This is a nest that held sparrows in a bush in our front yard.  We discovered this nest when I was enjoying a beautiful spring day on our porch and I observed a couple of sparrows flying in and out of the bush with worms. I knew right away they were feeding babies because the sweetest sounds were coming from the bush when one of the birds returned. Once they grew and flew away, my son added the nest to his nature box.

Nature Boxes | How to Keep Your Nature Finds www.joyinthehome.com
The boys have added several snake skins to their boxes, thanks to the snakes that call our property their home. Knowing that they eat mice and cooper heads, has made them welcomed guest and they often leave evidence around our bushes that they have been growing, while keeping mice out of our country home and cooper heads at bay.

As with nature journals, I keep the nature boxes for items that my boys find on their own and desire to keep.  It has been such a sweet joy to watch my 3 year old run into the home with a colored leaf or feather to excitedly add to his own nature box.

We are filling ours up already, so I just purchased cardboard keepsake boxes to continue this new addition to our homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way.

You may really enjoy seeing my Gift Guide for Naturalist!

 


A Gift Guide for Creationist

A Gift Guide for Creationist www.joyinthehome.com

 

As a firm believing creationist myself, I thought I would share with you some of my best suggestions for digging deeper into the evidence of a world-wide flood and decided I would create a gift guide for creationist for your convenience and enjoyment.

Creationist Gift Guide for Ages 3-7

516256: A is for Adam: The Gospel from Genesis A is for Adam: The Gospel from Genesis By Ken Ham & Mally Ham 26 Lessons based off the alphabet, sharing the story of creation.
516421: D Is for Dinosaur: Noah"s Ark and the Genesis Flood D Is for Dinosaur: Noah's Ark and the Genesis Flood By Ken & Mally Ham – 26 lessons taking your through creation, sin and the flood.
01491X: D is for Dinosaur, DVD D is for Dinosaur, DVD – Ken Ham's popular book is now available on DVD for children to grasp visual the story of creation.
515655: The Creation Story for Children The Creation Story for Children By Helen Haidle & David Haidle A book for Children that shares the story of creation.
960890: Creation Story Creation Story By Christina Goodings & Melanie Mitchell(Illustrator)
A creation book that even the youngest child would love. A great way to help them learn the animals of creation week.
718113: Creation, Sing A Story Series Mini Board Book Creation, Sing A Story Series Mini Board Book By Laura Ovresat Sturdy books that tell the story of creation for little ones.
71812X: Noah"s Ark, Sing A Story Series Mini Board Book Noah's Ark, Sing A Story Series Mini Board Book By Laura Ovresat Sturdy books that tell the story of Noah and the flood for little ones.
7350786: Jumbo Dinosaurs Jumbo Dinosaurs Perfect hands-on toys for children to enjoy while learning about the dinosaurs created on day 6 of the creation week.
45773: Dinosaurs Puzzles in a Box Dinosaurs Puzzles in a Box By Melissa & Doug From the puzzle makers we all love, more hands-on dinosaur fun.
524148: Magnetic Dinosaurs in a Box Magnetic Dinosaurs in a Box By Melissa & Doug Allow the fun to go on and on, with magnetic play!
8766447: Dotty Dinosaurs Game Dotty Dinosaurs Game Creation time for little ones, as they learn about Dinosaurs that were created on the same day as Adam.
697504: Wild 1 Mega Toob: jungle creatures, dinosaurs and sealife Wild 1 Mega Toob: jungle creatures, dinosaurs and sealife Learning about the animals of creation week with hands-on play is perfect for the little ones in your life!
904216: Dinosaurs Floor Puzzle, 48 pieces Dinosaurs Floor Puzzle, 48 pieces A great mind activity for young children learning about the dinosaurs the God created on day 6!
871026: Dinosaurs Discovery Stickers Dinosaurs Discovery Stickers A great way to bring learning into a project for keepsakes! Try making a binder book for your littles ones to display the creators from day 6 of creation week.
309262: The Animal Kinds DVD: Sing & Learn Along with  Buddy Davis The Animal Kinds DVD: Sing & Learn Along with Buddy Davis By Buddy Davis We love Buddy Davis and his songs.

Creation gift guide for ages 8 – 12

201463: Answers for Kids--Curriculum Set (Teacher"s Guide, Student Handouts & CD-Rom) Answers for Kids–Curriculum Set (Teacher's Guide, Student Handouts & CD-Rom) A great curriculum done for you that will engage your children.
89051: Dinosaurs by Design Dinosaurs by DesignBy Duane T. Gish, Ph.D., illustrated by Earl & Bonnie Snellenberger I'm reading it right now to my younger two children.
13406: Dinosaurs of Eden: A Biblical Journey Through Time Dinosaurs of Eden: A Biblical Journey Through Time By Ken Ham Another great book that my children have loved and used for years.
12051: In the Days of Noah In the Days of Noah By Gloria Clanin A book that gives you a glimpse into what it was like during Noah's life, before, during and after the flood.
1166X: Noah"s Ark and the Ararat Adventure Noah's Ark and the Ararat Adventure By John Morris A clear picture to the mystery surround where the ark landed and the hunt to find evidence of it.
30711: The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible By Paul S. Taylor Gain understanding about the dinosaurs and how we can tell from evidence that they are not millions of years old.
11594: What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? By John Morris & Ken Ham A great book that younger and older children can appreciate.
514894: Buddy Davis" Sculpt-A-Saur Dino Activity Pak Buddy Davis' Sculpt-A-Saur Dino Activity Pak Buddy Davis, one of the people who work on building the dinosaurs for the Creation Museum has delivered a great pack for the children. 
101980: Dino Heads & Tails Dino Heads & Tails Similar to Chutes and Ladders, this game allows children to play with the creatures that they can't help by love when studying creation.
101949: Dino Horizons: Diplodocus Skeleton CD-ROM Kit Dino Horizons: Diplodocus Skeleton CD-ROM Kit My oldest son recently told me that his favorite activity to do when studying dinosaurs was putting one together.
7350712: Dino Math Tracks: A Place Value Math Game Dino Math Tracks: A Place Value Math Game Why not us a game to help teach math, while focusing on the beloved creatures that so many people misunderstand.
101798: Dinos-On-A-String Dinos-On-A-String A great craft for those dinosaur lovers in your life! This can really offer hours of fun!
446790: Dinosaur Activity Kit Dinosaur Activity Kit Another kit option for the dinosaur lover in the family, that will engage them on more levels than just a book.
102068: Dinosaur Explorer Dinosaur Explorer With this kit, the children can explore and learn through a fun activity that will fast become one of their favorite things.
516836: Explore with Noah Justice DVD Pack with Study Guides: Episodes 1-6, Awesome Science Series Explore with Noah Justice DVD Pack with Study Guides: Episodes 1-6, Awesome Science Series Let your kids go on adventure with Noah!
473420: Dover Coloring Box - Dinosaurs Dover Coloring Box – Dinosaurs By Dover & Jan Sovak Proving hours of fun, this coloring box will give the artistic child lots to do.
011078: God Since the Beginning Zippered Pencil Case God Since the Beginning Zippered Pencil Case Display their beliefs while keeping their pencils, pens and other tools in one place? You can even have this personalized with their name.
463865: I Can Draw Dinosaurs I Can Draw Dinosaurs By Barbara Soloff Levy For the art lover who wants to draw better. This step-by-step books will prove to be a favorite.
400566: I Dig Dinosaurs! DVD I Dig Dinosaurs! DVD By Buddy Davis Go on a dinosaur dig with Buddy Davis and see how they dig their fossils out of the ground.
669788: Make Your Own T-Rex Make Your Own T-Rex Again, another opinion for some great building your own dinosaur and hours of fun for many children.
101933: Mega-Core Tyannosaurus Mega-Core Tyannosaurus Yep, one more way to add dimension puzzle building with your dinosaur lover that will be sure to bring some great fun.
0111151: Personalized, God Since the Beginning, Kids Backpack Personalized, God Since the Beginning, Kids Backpack Let your children display their beliefs with this personalized book bag.
475141: What to Doodle? Dinosaurs! What to Doodle? Dinosaurs! By Chuck Wheldon Another great option for learning how to draw dinosaurs.
118477: Wikki Stix Dinosaur Fun Kit Wikki Stix Dinosaur Fun Kit If you remember wikki stixs, you will know that your children will absolutely enjoy this fun kit.
241852: Jonathan Park Volume 1: The Adventure Begins, Audio CD Jonathan Park Volume 1: The Adventure Begins, Audio CD This is my favorite tool to teach my children about creation.
241879: Jonathan Park Volume 2: No Looking Back, Audio CD Jonathan Park Volume 2: No Looking Back, Audio CD Captivating and exciting, these CDs will not only entertain your family, but will give creation evidence through the whole series.
835464: Jonathan Park Volume 3: The Winds of Change, Audio CD Jonathan Park Volume 3: The Winds of Change, Audio CD You will want to implement this creation series that will give you an understanding about the weather during the flood.
235466: Jonathan Park Volume 4: The Hunt for Beowulf, Audio CD Jonathan Park Volume 4: The Hunt for Beowulf, Audio CD Mystery, suspense and adventure, tangled with creation evidence will be what you expect with this series.
755966: Jonathan Park Volume 5: The Explorer"s Society, Audio CD Jonathan Park Volume 5: The Explorer's Society, Audio CD Kidnapping, mystery and suspense wrapped with creation evidence will captivate your whole family.
554299: Jonathan Park Volume VI: The Journey Never Taken Jonathan Park Volume VI: The Journey Never Taken A mysterious person leads the team on a scavenger hunt through the history of evolution, in order to prove creation.
431864: Jonathan Park Creation Adventure Audio Series #7: The Voyage Beyond Jonathan Park Creation Adventure Audio Series #7: The Voyage Beyond Learn about the universe from a creation perspective.
735484: Jonathan Park #8: The Copper Scroll Audio CDs Jonathan Park #8: The Copper Scroll Audio CDs Adventure surrounding old scrolls takes the creation team on a journey to prove the Bible.
978811: Jonathan Park Audio CD Resources Pack of 11 Jonathan Park Audio CD Resources Pack of 11 Give all the creation DVDs at one time and watch what your family will learn!

Creation Gift Guide for ages 13-adult

513473: Answers . . . with Ken Ham, 12-DVD Series Answers . . . with Ken Ham, 12-DVD Series Learn the science that proves creation!
309010: Creation Mini-series DVD Pack Creation Mini-series DVD Pack Captivating, engaging and full of creation evidence.
680178: Creation Seminar (Seven DVD Boxed Set) Creation Seminar (Seven DVD Boxed Set)By Kent Hovind A great seminar to learn creation truth.
974985: Creations Series DVD Pack Creations Series DVD Pack Learn about creation in a full series of evidence.
643477: Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries By Michael J. Oard A great book for the whole family.
2911X: Genesis: Finding Our Roots Genesis: Finding Our Roots By Ruth Beechick Great insights on our roots.
145524: The Mystery of the Dinosaurs: The Biblical Solution DVD The Mystery of the Dinosaurs: The Biblical Solution DVD By Mike Snavely Learn more about the mystery surrounding the dinosaurs.
455228: The Return to Genesis: The Key to Christian  Foundations DVD The Return to Genesis: The Key to Christian Foundations DVD By Mike Snavely Getting a firm foundation from the scriptures.
514410: Thousands Not Billions: Challenging an Icon of  Evolution, Questioning the Age of the Earth Thousands Not Billions: Challenging an Icon of Evolution, Questioning the Age of the Earth By Don DeYoung Learning to dispute evolution through this great book.

 

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How to Introduce Nature Study to Your Preschooler

As a Charlotte Mason educator, nature studies is something that our whole family enjoys, which makes it very easy to introduce to preschoolers (or before) for us, but I'm aware that this isn't the case for many families. I would love to share with you tips that you can use to introduce your preschoolers, or older children (even yourself) to nature study.

How to Introduce Nature Study to Your Preschooler #tendermoms @Titus2Teacher www.joyinthehome.com #preschool #naturestudy

 

Here is how we introduce nature studies to preschoolers in our home:

  • Go outside together often – This is something many families already do. However, when introducing nature study you will need to help draw the attention of your preschooler to the nature around him.
  • Get excited over the little things – When the preschooler is first learning the skill of nature study, they aren't really sure what to look for, but the love the idea of exploring and discovering.  Take advantage of this developing skill and praise even the simplest thing that is pointed out.
  • Introduce the names of what is being discovered – If you already know the name of what is being discovered, be sure to use the real name of the item. Repeat it often during this nature study and through out the day.  I will never forget when I was teaching my third child (now 10) about the wild flowers we were finding on our nature walk. One of them were ‘Forget Me Nots', which he repeated several times. Several hours later, I showed him one that we pick and asked him what it was, he quickly said, “Remember my name!” – Priceless, I know!
  • Dig deeper into what you have discovered – Sometimes, you will discover something that you either do not know or want to learn more about.  This is the perfect opportunity to take a trip to the library and find great living books to aid you in digging deeper into the world around you.

How to Introduce Nature Study to Your Preschooler #tendermoms @Titus2Teacher www.joyinthehome.com #preschool #naturestudy

After introducing nature study to your preschooler, you will want to allow them to begin to direct their own observation.  I love to just sit and watch my children explore, discover and learn from the wonders of nature all around them.  Nothing is more precious to me, as having my young children be able to see something in its natural habitat and be able to identify it quickly.