Outdoor Hour Challenge – Cockroach

Outdoor Hour Challenge Insect Study Cockroach @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge
Insect Study – Cockroach

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read pages 350-351 (Lesson #83) in the Handbook of Nature Study.
  • This is a helpful page that you can read with your children and download any of the pdf identification cards you desire to include in your nature journal: Cockroaches.
  • Advanced study: Here is a National Geographic video about the cockroach.  Just be warned it may be hard for some people to watch. I suggest previewing this video!

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Go on an insect hunt! Look for any insect to observe and compare to a cockroach.
  • Observation Ideas: Look at the shape and size of your insect. Look at the antennae. Look at the eyes. Look at the wings.

Follow-Up Activity:

  • If you had a cockroach to observe, use the lesson observation suggestions from the Handbook of Nature Study to create a nature journal page.
  • Advanced study: Research incomplete metamorphosis. Create a nature journal page that records your findings.
  • Advanced study: Research the insect order blattodea. Pick two insects in this order and compare them in your nature journal. There is a notebook page in the ebook for recording your data.


Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library
If you want to purchase the Autumn Nature Study 2015 ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels. See the Join Us page for complete information. Also, you can view the Autumn Nature Study 2015 announcement page for more details.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image


National Audubon Society – First Field Guide Reptiles Review

 National Audubon Society First Field Guide Reptiles @handbookofnaturestudy

There is a book that I have found very helpful in my study of reptiles. Yes, it is a children’s book but it is just what I need. There are so many helpful aspects to this particular book that I wanted to recommend it to you and your family. It is available on Amazon.com only as a used book from third parties but I don’t think it will disappoint you even in used condition.

Here is the link: National Audubon Society First Field Guide – Reptiles.

A few things I like about this book:

  • For advanced students: Naming reptiles with order, family, genus, and species. Talks about scientific names and many common names for same thing.
  • Clear images for each reptile in the book, with look alikes and related species noted right on the side of the page.
  • Maps are clear and understandable.
  • Simple explanations about where reptiles live. (pages 38-39)
  • Specific ideas for how to find reptiles in llate spring, summer, early fall. Helpful tips are including like keep sun at your back and look for reptiles basking on sunny parts. (pages 44-45)
  • There is a helpful index.

If you would like to have a wonderful reptile reference book for your nature study shelf and library, this is one that I highly recommend.

 Still time to join us this month with our newsletter focus on reptiles.

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter October 2015 reptiles




Outdoor Mom’s Journal – October Edition

Outdoor Mom's Journal September 2015 @handbookofnaturestudy
My September Collage: Beautiful coneflowers from a visit to a botanical garden. My swallow bird study nature journal entry. Smoke from the large and destructive wildfire we experienced here in California. A new variety of apple from our apple farm visit.

Charlotte Mason said, “Some children are born naturalists, but even those who weren’t were born with natural curiosity about the world should be encouraged to observe nature. Most children are influenced by the opinions of those around them and if their parents don’t care about nature, or are disgusted by little creatures, they will pick up that attitude and all the wonders of nature will pass them by.”

I think I was born a naturalist. I know a few fellow naturalists in my real life and I see them here through the lens of my blog. Perhaps you have one in your home.

I try to feed that love of the natural world as much as I can fit it into my busy life….it is a balm and a balance to our very fast-paced, technologically focused world.

  • Most inspiring this month was my butterfly observations in my own front yard. I spent quite a bit of time sitting quietly waiting for a butterfly to stop flying around and land for a photo. I was rewarded for my effort.
  • I wondered about how the migrating birds know when to come back. I saw the appearance of my juncos and sparrows. They arrived at our feeders just as we got our first measurable rain since last spring.
  • I am anticipating and dreaming about a soon to happen trip to Connecticut. We are hoping for fall color and good weather for hiking. Time will tell.

Two photos I want to share!

Heirloom Morning Glory @handbookofnaturestudy

This is one of my morning glories that I have growing in a pot on my back deck. It is so amazing when it firsts opens up….just like a paper flower! It is truly a glorious flower.

Tomato Hornworms September 2015 @handbookofnaturestudy

This is something else from a pot on my back deck. Tomato hornworms that completely ate my tomato plant pretty much in a night. I check this plant everyday and somehow missed them until I saw their telltale droppings on the deck around the plant. I left them for the birds to deal with. It’s kind of late in the season to hope that the plant revives but I can always have hope. It is hard to believe that these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful sphinx moths.

It was a great month….looking forward to finding the autumn gifts in October.

Outdoor Moms Journal @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Mom’s Journal

Whether your family spends a few minutes a week outside or hours at a time, share what is going on in your world. I hope you have enjoyed your August.

How Do You Join?

Answer all or just one of the prompts in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on my blog in a comment. If you answer on your blog, make sure to leave me a link in a comment so that I can pop over and read your responses.

  • During our outdoor time this week we went….
  • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…
  • Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…
  • In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting….
  • I added nature journal pages about….
  • I am reading…
  • I am dreaming about…
  • A photo I would like to share…

I will be posting my Outdoor Mom’s Journal entry once a month. Look for it during the first week of the month each month.