Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Series-Jumpstart Your Winter Nature Study

I thought with this last of the Autumn Series Challenges we could go back to the basics. Similar to Outdoor Hour Challenge #1, you will be reading a section of the introductory pages to the Handbook of Nature Study to refresh your minds about the basic ideas of nature study.

Keep a running list on a Field Notebook List of any topics for additional nature study during the winter months. When winter weather has set in and you are not able to go outdoors or your children are just getting over the flu, you don’t want to take them outdoors. Pull out the list you made in this challenge and take the opportunity to research and study something from your list.

I did this winter work last year with my wildflower photos. I spent cold winter evenings with my photos, my nature journal, and a field guide completing journal entries from the summer before. What an enjoyable experience!

Outdoor Hour Challenge
Autumn Series #10
Field Notebook List

Inside Preparation
Read pages 1-8 of the Handbook of Nature Study. Even if you have read it recently, skim through it again to refresh your mind and heart.

“It is rejuvenation for the teacher, thus growing old, to stand ignorant as a child in the presence of one of the simplest of nature’s miracles-the formation of a crystal, the evolution of the butterfly from the caterpillar, the exquisite adjustment of the silken lines in the spider’s orb web.”
Handbook of Nature Study
, page 4

Outdoor Time
Spend your 10 to 15 minutes of outdoor time exploring your own backyard or the street you live on. Follow your child’s lead and try to see your yard through their eyes. You might like to take along this week’s Field Notebook List notebook page on a clipboard and record any items of interest you find. Remember that you are not going to try to research and study everything on your list this week, but you will keep the list for future indoor nature study times over the coming winter.

Follow-Up Time
If you filled in your notebook page during your Outdoor Time, pick something from the list to discuss with your child. Do they need help identifying the object? Would they like to complete a nature journal entry for the object? Remember my formula for a simple journal entry is to make a simple sketch, a label, and a date.

Now would be the time to record your list if you did not do so during your Outdoor Time. Keep it simple and fun. If your child can only think of one thing to put on the list, do it with enthusiasm. Most children will be able to think of at least two or three things to record and one of those things can be this week’s subject for nature study. Remember the most important part of any challenge is to get outside and everything else is just icing on the cake.

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  1. I am feeling SO sheepish. I still have not yet linked up since reconnecting. This week I had a sick toddler and kept everything very basic. Today he seems to be doing better. We have all next week off formal lessons and will be preparing for our unit celebration. Still have to update our time line and get some reading finished. The following week begins our new unit.

    So, bear with me, I haven’t totally fallen off the wagon! Just trying to climb up still. ;-) I am reading your blog though and I just love it!

  2. Barb,
    I’m looking forward to the Winter Challenge. Our Summer nature studies kind of fell to the way side. We did do a lot of nature hikes and discoveries on family trips, but we just didn’t document them. I have lots of pictures. Maybe I should use those pictures and make field journal and research what we found for the winter. Thanks so much for such great ideas.

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