Turning Your Nature Walks into a Unit Study
by Megan Mora Fuentes
The family homeschool is the best way to be able to tailor lessons to your children’s learning style and to prioritize the concepts and subjects that are most important and of most interest in your family. Your family homeschool is just that–a part of your family’s lifestyle that is as unique as your individual students, with the same priorities and values that you embody as a family unit. Incorporating family activities into your homeschool is an invaluable way to share the burden of teaching and the joy of learning, foster family bonds, and really enjoy life together. Check out this Homeschool Living for some great ideas of ways to turn family activities into an outdoor unit study–as structured or as unstructured as you like!
Nature Walks: Full of Family Homeschool Adventures
Nature walks are a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, spend time together, and introduce topics like trees, forest animals, weather, seasons, and much, much more. Blessed Beyond a Doubt shares some resources and tips for turning family nature walks into learning opportunities that allow learning to happen naturally. This blog post from Fireflies and Mudpies shares ideas of what to do on your nature walks and tips for prepared and safe nature walking with children.
Family homeschool nature walks are probably the best opportunity to learn about and study trees, leaves, and other forest flora. This free tree unit study from The Crafty Classroom is perfect if you’d like a little more structure in your outdoor studies. It’s full of things to bring your investigations home and continue learning with science project ideas, leaf identification activities, printables, book recommendations, and more.
Journaling: Perfect for Homeschool Family Unit Studies
Nature journaling is the perfect way to seamlessly incorporate science, art, and language arts into one personal exploration journal. You’ll also be teaching students to reflect on their surroundings, focus on details, record data, express themselves creatively, and learn resourcefulness.
Phenology–the study of the seasonal timing of life cycle events–is a perfect focus for fall. As the seasons change, there is a plethora of details to notice and record–changes in temperature, light, and animal and plant life are rich topics to explore in your family homeschool activities.
To read more about family life and homeschooling life, please check out our full blogs at The Virginia Home Educator Magazine.