Outdoor Hour Challenge – New Direction: May Newsletter

Outdoor Hour button
Itch: To have a restless desire or hankering for something.

Have you ever felt an itch and couldn’t scratch it? Has something ever nagged you and you at first could not decide what it was that was bothering you? I have had an itch to do something different with the Outdoor Hour Challenges for awhile now and the time has come to make a few changes. Changes for the better that will freshen up the concept and give us all a little freedom.

My life has changed quite a bit in the last three years, growing children and changing interests have flavored my days with wonderful experiences and opportunities. I am not ready to leave the Outdoor Hour Challenge behind yet….but rather give it some new life.

Here are the highlights of the changes:

1. Instead of a weekly challenge, there will be a monthly newsletter with a month’s worth of nature study suggestions, new nature journal ideas, a custom notebook page, and always a few more goodies.
2. Each newsletter will be filled with specific ideas for encouraging nature study in your family, no matter where you live.
3. The newsletter will be available at the beginning of each new month and you will be able to download it and print for your family.
4.The newsletter will outline the Outdoor Hour Challenge topics for the month and all participants will complete the challenges the same as before but there will no longer be a Mr. Linky each week. Instead, blog entries will be shared in the monthly Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival at the end of the month.
5. I will still share our family’s Outdoor Hour Challenge experiences on my blog and support everyone’s entries by sharing about them in the Blog Carnival.

There will be something for everyone whether you are brand new to the Outdoor Hour Challenge or you have been participating through the seasons. I encourage you to download May’s Newsletter and see for yourself that the change is going to be exciting. My hope is that this will help even more families find a way to incorporate nature study into their monthly homeschooling. Please feel free to send me an email with any questions or comments.

Here is the May 2011 Outdoor Hour Challenge Newsletter.


  1. Yeah! Biggest fan, clapping wildly – yet quietly – as to not wake the children !

  2. Hi Barb! When I click on the May newsletter link I get a blank page. Any suggestions? I normally can get PDFs to load just fine…


  3. Not sure what the deal is…here is the link:


    Let me know if it works for you this time.

  4. LOVE this!! It helps me plan ahead. Thanks so very much for your generous contribution to our education.

  5. This is wonderful!!!

  6. Wonderful! And hooray for finding a way to continue the Outdoor Hour Challenge in ways that fit with your ever-evolving life and interests. Thanks so much for this. — Kathy at http://www.needleandspade.com

  7. I think this is great! I so look forward to your ideas and that you made the massive Handbook accessible! Thank you!

  8. Barb, you are awesome! I just looked at the newsletter for May and I love this. I think this will make doing my families nature challenges a lot easier. We seem to do better in the Spring/Summer moths with the challenges. Maybe this will help me to see it through even in Fall/Winter months. Thank you for all the hard work you put into doing these newsletters and challenges.

  9. Looks really sharp, Barb! Nicely done!

  10. This sounds great. Even as your family gets older, I really appreciate you encouraging us.

    Before I started reading your blog, I was really stumped on how to get it going.

    It has been over a year now and we love to get out there. A big thanks to you!

    I am looking forward to the newsletter and changes.

  11. Mrs. Barb, do you see me doing a happy dance over here? I love that you are ever aware of the needs of your family and that you still let us all join in!! I can’t wait to get in on this!!!

  12. So fun! Love the idea .. can’t wait to take part! :D

  13. :( i can’t see it through the blog or the link you just provided :(

  14. Exciting! I just downloaded the May newsletter and can’t wait to read it. Thanks for all your hard work that benefits so many of us!

  15. Barb, you are awesome! I love this! Thanks so much for all you do!

  16. This is wonderful! I’ve not actively participated in the Outdoor Hour Challenge have definitely wanted to! This will help I think.
    Thanks for the great things you do :)

  17. Love this idea! Thank you so very much for all you do :)

  18. I think it’s a great idea. I’m sure it’s overwhelming for you to do this weekly. Plus I think you will get more response because it will be easier for a family to do the OHC and be able to have time to blog about it too.

    I’m looking forward to it!

  19. (nix my mast comment. i simply downloaded the document and whoosh! i could see it! and whoo whee, i love it!)

  20. Fabulous concept and beautiful execution! I’ll be linking to this at The Notebooking Fairy’s Notebooking Round-up for May.

  21. Love it!!!

  22. Hi, Barb! I just love your blog. Even if I never read a word (which I do… and I get my hands on as many of your notebooking pages as I can), your photos are just wonderful. Thank you!

  23. Barb,
    This looks great! I love it. Thank you.

  24. I’ll play along.

    I’m not the best when it comes to change, but I’m willing to go along with this new idea. :)

    Although, I must say, the print-out is quite nice…I think it will help us to focus!

    So…thank you! Again!

  25. I cannot see the newsletter, even with the link. I would really like to though.

  26. Not sure why you are having trouble with the download….my best suggestion is to make sure you have an updated Adobe Acrobat to read the PDF.

    Sorry for the extra trouble.

  27. So excited! Little bunny nibbling dandelion under the bird feeder today – so we have our mammal. And, after a wedding weekend full of hydrangeas – why not find out more about them? Thank you!

  28. Tricia,

    Awesome….I haven’t come across a mammal to study yet. I may need to borrow yours. :)

  29. A monthly newsletter is a great idea, Barb. We found it difficult to keep up with the weekly challenges and also found it difficult because the seasons were the opposite to ours in the southern hemisphere! We look forward to the new monthly newsletters!

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