Nature Goals 2018 – 1st Quarter Update

2018 Nature Study Goals @handbookofnaturestudy

Nature Study Goals 2018

1st Quarter Update


Here are my goals for the 1st Quarter of 2018:

1. Begin to use the Nature Observer journal every day to keep track of my nature experiences. Use the journal prompts included in the book to inspire my outdoor time. Don’t expect each page to be perfect but create a personalized record of my outdoor observations and adventures in 2018. I’ve been faithfully entering my experiences each day in the journal. At first, I thought this would be too much for me but it has proven to be a huge inspiration for me to get outside nearly every single day. I highly recommend this journal so put it on your wish list for next year!

2. Find two books to help me learn about the local habitat. I’m happy to say that I found one book that has been added to my library that has loads of helpful information about my local habitat.

Natural History of the Pacific Northwest Mountains by Daniel Matthews

(This is my affiliate link and I will be writing a review of this book soon!)

Chimney Rock Hike

3. Take one new local hike with my family. We hiked the Chimney Rock trail at Lower Crooked Wild and Scenic River. It was a super warm day and we enjoyed the new hike with its awesome views of the river and surrounding mountains. We’ll be back to this special area!

Otter at High Desert Museum

4. Visit the High Desert Museum and possibly buy a family pass. Look at the gift shop for books. We visited in January and purchased a membership! The highlight of our first visit was the river otter exhibit. What amazing animals! The docent was very knowledgeable about the otters and her enthusiasm made us eager to visit again. We have another visit scheduled this week to see the raptors.

5. Visit the nature center at Sunriver.  Ask about volunteering. We visited the observatory but not the nature center at Sunriver. We’ll be adding it to our 2nd quarter goals.

6. Continue to participate in Project Feederwatch. We’ve continued to participate for the whole first quarter, observing over twenty different birds during that time.

7. Participate in the Outdoor Hour Challenge by completing the reading in the Handbook of Nature Study, taking the walk, and doing a follow up journal page (or something else appropriate).  If needed, I will also look up the topic in my local field guide to see if there is additional information. This is an ongoing goal that I really need to focus on better. I do all the preparation work and take the walks every week. The follow up journal page is not always completed. I take note of my thoughts and observations in the Nature Observer journal.


I’m ready to make my new quarterly goals!

Nature Study Goals 2018

2nd Quarter – Get Outside and Experience Spring

  1. Continue to use the Nature Observer journal to keep a record of my nature study experiences. Focus more on sketching!
  2. Keep a record of the wildflowers that grow in my local habitat. Note the day they start to bloom and where we see them for future reference.
  3. Visit the High Desert Museum each month, each time focusing on a different exhibit.
  4. Visit the Sunriver Nature Center and ask about volunteering. In addition, make note of their garden and the native plants they have growing there as a reference in planning our backyard garden.
  5. Take 3 new hikes. This may be ambitious but the weather should be warming up and this will give us an added incentive to hit the trail.
  6. Get the kayaks out in a new place locally.


I’m truly looking forward to real spring here in Central Oregon. Creating nature study goals and working at achieving those goals helps me get outside and inspired to do more.

How did your nature study goals go this quarter?


Be Inspired! Be Encouraged! Get Outdoors!

April Planner and Printables

April 2018 Nature Planning Page – Print out your own copy here!

I’ve created the April planning page to motivate some spring nature study in your family! Download and print your page as a reminder of the Outdoor Hour Challenges featured this month as well as some additional nature study ideas.

The new printables in the membership library will also stimulate some spring nature study this month. I hope you get a chance to learn about nyctinasty (blog post coming soon) and a little more about bird’s nests too.

Happy spring nature study!


Please note there are additional nature study ideas listed on the planning page for you to use if you have access to the newsletter library. (Right now use the discount code OHC10 for $5 off any membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study.)

April 2018 Nature Planning    Page

Download your copy here:April 2018 Nature study Planner Page

Printables for Members Button

New printables are now posted in the Member’s library!

Members have access to several brand new printable notebook pages.

1. Nyctinasty: Use this notebook page to record your research notes about this amazing phenomenon that explains why some flowers close up at night. I find this information fascinating!

2. My Nest Study: Every bird creates a nest of some kind and this month I encourage you to pick a local bird and learn about its nest’s shape, materials, and placement.

3. Bird Study: This more advanced bird study notebook page will help you record some information and sketches. In particular, it helps you look at the bird, the nest, and the egg.

Print a complete list of printables available to Members for easy reference: Printables for Members







Practical Homeschooling Award for Science for the OHC

Practical Homeschool Reader Award 2018 border

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to announce that the Handbook of Nature Study website and the Outdoor Hour Challenge was voted a winner by thousands of homeschoolers in the Practice Homeschooling magazine Reader Awards!


I’m especially proud to have been given this award in the Elementary Science category.

It’s been a lot of years in the making beginning when the Outdoor Hour Challenge started back in 2008 when a community of homeschool moms asked me to lead a weekly nature study activity. The things we have learned over the past decade as part of the Outdoor Hour Challenge has given us a love and appreciation for the living things all around us. I’ve watched families from around the world get started and then flourish with nature study using the weekly nature study ideas.

It makes my heart soar to know that homeschooling families feel my program has enriched their lives and given them a solid science curriculum to use as a means of learning about nature together.

Thank you to all of you who partook in voting and those that have supported this worldwide community of nature-loving families through comments, links, writing for the monthly newsletter, and participating in the OHC blog carnival. I have loved every minute of this adventure!

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy

As a BIG thank you, I am going to be extending a discount code for you to use towards ANY level of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study.

Discount code: AWARDFUN

Use this code at checkout and you will receive $5 off your purchase of a membership.

If you choose an Ultimate Naturalist Library Membership, this will give you all current 21 ebooks, including the newly released, updated and revised Getting Started with the Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook. PLUS, you’ll receive access to the printables library with dozens of notebooking pages and activities for you to print out. PLUS, it will include access to all 76 archived issues of the monthly newsletter.

Getting Started Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook

Now is the time to join so you can start using the resources right away and then for the next year of your membership!

Thank you so much for your love and support of the Handbook of Nature Study!


Links You May Enjoy:

Nature Study or Science Handbookofnaturestudy

Nature Study or Science? – “The younger years are the time to get outside and take walks and look at real things up close and form memories and impressions. There is a time for books and textbooks (in limited amounts) but that can come later.”

Nature Study  – Living Science Beyond the Books – “Books are a wonderful window to the world but true heartfelt science learning takes place when you learn about things you can see, touch, smell, and hear.”

Nature Study and High School Biology

Nature Study as Part of High School Biology – “You can see how you can take an idea and then expand on it using nature study. If you use the basic ideas I have illustrated with the biology topics, you can make a study of nature high school level. Keep everything relevant to your local area and it will be a joy to work on each week. Your family will learn so much together as part of the Outdoor Hour Challenges.

 Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library

Do you want to get started with nature study in your family? Why not give the Outdoor Hour Challenge a try in your family. I have never regretted the decision to make nature study a regular part of our homeschooling experience.


Don’t forget to use the discount code: AWARDFUN