How to Start Exploring Nature with Children

Have you wanted to get outside and enjoy nature study with your kids?

I received Exploring Nature with Children for free. All opinions are my honest opinions and I was not required to post a positive review. For more information, please read my disclosure.

Exploring nature with children is something you would think is easy to do.

Just snatch an art journal, grab the kids, and enjoy a leisure walk outside.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it! Instead, when you head outside, you forget the art journal. The kids race ahead as fast as their feet can propel them.

Stop to observe nature? Only if you can catch them!

Exploring Nature with Children

So I told myself one day I would find a good nature study curriculum.

  • A curriculum that would allow us to study nature in our backyard or the local park.
  • One that was adaptable to all my kids, from my preschooler to my senior in high school.
  • One that was easy to use.
  • And one without too many decisions to make. Let me just open and go.

And that’s exactly what I discovered in Lynn Seddon’s Exploring Nature with Children curriculum! An amazing year-long curriculum that’s easy to use with a wide range of ages. And one I could easily use at home.

Let’s take a close look at the curriculum.

Exploring Nature with  Children is divided into the months of the year and each month has 4 weeks of nature study.

Week one of September covers seeds.

To be perfectly honest, I was wondering why study seeds in the fall. Shouldn’t you study seeds in the spring when they begin to sprout?

Nope! Studying seeds in the fall is perfect. As Lynn explains in her curriculum on p. 18,

As summer fades, plants are making seeds instead of flowers. This provides food for many creatures through autumn and winter, and enables many plants to grow again the following year.

This week, we are going to learn about the part of a plant’s life cycle known as dispersal. This is how the seeds travel away from the parent plant and each other.

And you can even use Exploring Nature with Children as a Science Curriculum

Since my teens keep groaning every time I mention nature study, I decided to skip them for now and use Exploring Nature with Children as my youngest two children’s science.

First I checked out a book recommended by Exploring Nature with Children, Gail Gibbons’ From Seed to Plant. My little ones and I read the book. You actually don’t need to check out any books because Lynn includes a brief note about each week’s topic. I adore the books by Gail Gibbons though and try never to miss a chance to check them out to read to my kids.

Then we went outside to the yard the next day to see how many seeds we would find. To be honest, I expected to find only 2 or 3 different types of seeds. We found dozens.

There were still blackberries hanging from the vine. Dandelion fluff and grass seeds abounded in the yard. The trees were dropping acorns, pods, and pears. Flowers had seeds hanging from their stems. We spent a happy hour searching for seeds in our yard.

Eventually, I dragged the kids inside to reread Gail Gibbons’ book. Then we grabbed 3 bean seeds to see if we could sprout them. One did. It’s still growing!

Enjoy Extension Activities

And there are other wonderful activities that go along with the study of seeds. For instance, Lynn recommends enjoying the poem Autumn by Emily Dickinson and studying the artwork Squirrels in a Tree by Archibald Thorburn.

I love adding poetry and art to my kids’ nature studies!

Plus you get extension activities! You can set up a nature table for each month. Little ones love to collect seeds, leaves, and critters. And a nature table gives you a place to store their treasures and to bring nature into the house after you’ve been exploring nature together.

Just think, you can do your nature sketches curled up in the warm kitchen drinking hot chocolate, listening to the recommend music, and studying the various pieces of art.

Use with All Ages

Earlier I mentioned that the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum can be used for all ages. Obviously, it’s easy to be used for preschool and kindergarten, although I do skip quite a bit with them. It’s especially ideal for elementary and middle school kids.

But what about high school?

Each week features a poem to memorize, a piece of art to study, extension activities, and related readings in the Handbook of Nature Study. These make wonderful additions to your teenagers’ studies. And additions you can do without adding hours of work to their day!

And high school teens are able to go deeper into the studies. Instead of glancing at all the seeds in the world, they can sketch, compare, and memorize the Latin names for the types of seeds found. They can explore nature by dissecting seeds, flowers, and plants!

You can connect nature study to the study of biology, earth science, or chemistry.

Show how they are intertwined. We tend to think of science happening in pristine labs locked away under a mountain or in the basement of a university.

But science doesn’t happen there. Science happens in the outside world, in nature, and in the home. Which makes nature study the perfect way to introduce your children to science and scientific concepts.

So if you’re looking for a delightful way to include nature study in your homeschool, be sure to check out Exploring Nature with Children by Lynn Seddon. It’s a delightful curriculum that will enrich your family’s studies year after year.

Grab your copy of Exploring Nature with Children today!

exploring nature with children curriculum

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for this post/review!!!
    I am looking to start nature study with my young teen ( any when I mention it, her eyes roll).

    Thank you for mentioning your high schoolers and how it’s going!

  2. Thank you for this post. I have this and haven’t effectively used it. I think I was making it too complicated.
    Will definitely try again.

  3. I’m not in search of curriculum right now, but I’m a huge advocate of observing nature around the yard and local parks. There are so many details that the kids miss if we don’t point them out. The ones that have been trained to look at the details find the most amazing things!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing about this! I’ve been desperately searching for an all inclusive Nature Curriculum meant for (or at least usable by) older children. Seems most authors of curriculum feel middle/high school we must move to textbooks….I so disagree. I love incorporating nature into our day, especially while traveling. There is so much to be learned….however, I tend to get “home school mom block”…so having something like this for ideas is perfect! I’m thinking of using it in conjunction with Magic Forest Academy (Stage 2), who I read is working on releasing a curricula for High School students soon (Stage 3). So far these are the best written out programs I’ve found yet. 🙂

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