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Homeschool Nature Study – Autumn Nature Study with the OHC

Autumn nature Study continues Ebook Cover 3D

I just finished and published my next ebook over on Handbook of Nature Study! This ebook has been a long time coming and it will start a new seasonal series of nature study based on the Handbook of Nature Study..completely new topics, challenges, resources, notebook pages, and inspiration from our family to yours.

I am super excited to share with you some of the details of this new ebook and how you can join us for another autumn season of exploring your own neighborhood.

Included in the Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Nature Study Continues Ebook:
  • 15 challenges centered on the Handbook of Nature Study plus 1 bonus challenge
  • 40+ notebook pages (regular and advanced options) and 15 coloring pages
  • Ten Charlotte Mason style exam questions
  • Full color images for each challenge in the ebook (separate pages so you can choose whether to print them or not)
  • Complete instructions for each challenge included additional links, videos, and resources
  • Nature journal suggestions
  • Complete list of supplies needed
  • Sample to view: OHC Autumn Nature Study Continues Ebook Sample
  • 98 pages!

Here is a list of the specific challenges included in this ebook:

  • Garden Flower – Salvia
  • Weeds – Teasel
  • Weeds – Burdock
  • Reptile Study – Lizards (Geckos and Anoles)
  • Tree Study – Ash
  • Tree Study – Hemlock
  • Tree Study – Witch Hazel
  • Tree Study – Staghorn Sumac
  • Fungus Study – Stinkhorns
  • Fungus Study – Bracket Fungi
  • Mammal Study – Pig
  • Star Study – Casseopeia’s Chair, Cepheus, and the Dragon
  • Rock Study – Mica
  • Bird Study – Belted Kingfisher
  • Bird Study – Hawks
  • Winter Berries (not in the Handbook of Nature Study)

You will need to have a copy of the Handbook of Nature Study to use with the suggestions in the ebook. You can purchase a copy from or you can use an online version. The version I use is ISBN 0801493846.

Each week I will be sharing one of the challenges here on the blog which means you can follow along without a membership if you subscribe to my blog. You can subscribe by entering your email address in the subscription box at the top right of my website. After you enter your name, you will need to confirm your subscription by responding to the email that will come to your inbox.

Where Can I Get The New Ebook?

This ebook will not be sold separately but will be added to the Ultimate and Journey levels of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study.

If you are a member of the Ultimate or Journey levels here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you will find the ebook listed in your library after you log into your account. The ebook version available to members includes all of the notebook pages, coloring pages, and color images. I highly recommend purchasing a membership for all the added benefits for each and every challenge.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library






Spring Nature Study and Art Prints

Spring Art Prints button
Over on my Handbook of Nature Study blog I am offering my latest nature study ebook: More Nature Study Book #3 – Spring Splendor. It is the third in my new series of nature study challenges and is geared for all ages of children, including high school age.

With the purchase of the More Nature Study Book #3 ebook I am offering a FREE Spring Art Prints download with nine spring-themed art prints to view or print for you family (must be purchased by 3/31/12).
More Nature Study Book 3 Cover image
I invite you to click over and see if you can make room for some outdoor time this spring with your family AND some spring paintings as well.

Nature Study for High School Students – Reflections

Boys Hiking Collage
Lots of Outdoor Time Even With Teens

Much has been written about Charlotte Mason’s vision of nature study…including volumes of my own writing on my Handbook of Nature Study blog. It is a topic near and dear to my heart, a life-long passion nurtured through reading Charlotte Mason’s words and trying to apply them to my own family. I’m not sure I would be the person I am today without the encouragement of Miss Mason and another kindred-spirit, Anna Botsford Comstock.

Anna Botsford Comstock wrote the Handbook of Nature Study in 1911. In the Preface to this book she wrote, “The author feels apologetic that the book is so large. However, it does not contain more than any intelligent country child of twelve should know of his environment; things that he should know naturally and without effort, although it might take him half his life-time to learn so much if he should not begin before the age of twenty.” HNS Preface xiii

This forty-nine year old woman is still learning from the lessons in the Handbook of Nature Study after many years of completing the suggested observations along with my children. I have one teenage son left homeschooling and we are still working through the pages of this timeless text.

“But, more than all, nature-study gives the child a sense of companionship with life out-of-doors and an abiding love of nature. Let this latter be the teacher’s criterion for judging his or her work. If nature-study as taught does not make the child love nature and the out-of-doors, then it should cease….However, if the love of nature is in the teacher’s heart, there is no danger; such a teacher no matter by what means takes the child gently by the hand and walks with him in paths that lead to the seeing and comprehending of what he may find beneath his feet or above his head.” HNS page 2

When we crossed the gap from elementary science to upper level science, I was grateful for our outdoor studies and the solid ground laid for high school biology…the study of life. All those years of personal face to face contact with nature, making observations and asking questions, has given us something to digest and to reason on as we work through the upper level sciences. Their interest was aroused. Now we can get on with the business of classifying life by making comparisons and investigating structures using more advanced tools like the microscope and field guides.

What we learned with pleasure we have not forgotten.

The Three Stages of Nature Study 
  • Observation – face to face through personal experiences 
  • Investigation – asking questions, comparing, relating, and classifying 
  • Expression – after personal observation and investigation there is plenty to narrate (oral or written) 

Nature in Your Notebook Link-Up
If you would like to learn more about these ideas, read my blog post on the Handbook of Nature Study blog on Monday, February 6, 2012. I will have a free downloadable printable explaining these steps along with tips and ideas for more advanced nature study. The printable is part of a link-up with five other bloggers who will also each be offering a free nature study related printable.

The Handbook of Nature Study and the Outdoor Hour Challenges are suggested resources for nature study on the Ambleside Online curriculum site. The new More Nature Study ebook series has Advanced Study Suggestions and custom notebook pages just for older or advanced students. I invite you to view the samples and give nature study a try this week.

Additional references of interest:
The Comstock Couple Established Cornell University Press
Nature Journals and Tips 
High School Biology – my tips

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