Nature Studies
The study of nature is appealing to people of all ages. It is easy to incorporate nature studies into your homeschooling approach. Some homeschooling methods focus very strongly on nature studies, including the Charlotte Mason method. Learn why it is so important and some great approaches to learning from nature.
Things to See & Do in Massachusetts
Capron Park Zoo
Located in Attleboro, the Capron Park Zoo offers animal exhibits and educational programs.
Sudbury, Assabet & Concord National Wild & Scenic Rivers
These rivers have remained remarkably undeveloped considering their close proximity to the Boston metropolitan area. With ten of the designated river miles lying within the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, the SuAsCo Rivers offer abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation, are awash in scenic beauty, and provide prime waterfowl habitat in the form of large areas of riparian wetlands. As well, a unique legacy is woven through historical sites along the rivers' path. The Minute Man National Historical Park - located near Town of Concord - contains the Old North Bridge, the site of the revolutionary "Shot Heard 'Round the World." Securing a place in American literary history, the rivers are featured in the works of authors Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore comprises 43,604 acres of shoreline and upland landscape features, including a forty-mile long stretch of pristine sandy beach, dozens of clear, deep, freshwater kettle ponds, and upland scenes that depict evidence of how people have used the land. A variety of historic structures are within the boundary of the Seashore, including lighthouses, a lifesaving station, and numerous Cape Cod style houses. The Seashore offers six swimming beaches, eleven self-guiding nature trails, and a variety of picnic areas and scenic overlooks.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,180-mile footpath along the ridgecrests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. It traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, it was built by private citizens and completed in 1937. The trail traverses Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.
Franklin Park Zoo
The Franklin Park Zoo, located in Boston, is comprised of four main exhibit areas, including the African Tropical Forest, Bird's World, the Children's Zoo, and Hooves & Horns. Offers special exhibits and educational programs.
Buttonwood Park Zoo
The Buttonwood Park Zoo is located in New Bedford. On your journey through the Berkshires to the Sea exhibits you'll encounter black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, river otters, bald eagles, seals, and many other animals. They also have Asian elephants, North American bison, and one of the finest rare breed, farm animal collections in the United States.
The Butterfly Place
The Butterfly Place is an indoor living environment located in Westford, Massachusetts, which has been carefully designed for the propagation and development of some of nature’s most colorful living creations. This wonderful man-made habitat is contained within a 3,100 sq. ft. glass atrium building towering to a height of over 27 ft. at its peak. Within this atrium’s living butterfly environment can be found a variety of colorful plants and shrubs, each of which has been selected as a source of nectar for the butterflies. At any given time, the atrium may contain up to 500 butterflies representing as many as 50 different species from around the world, although butterflies which are native to the New England region are featured whenever possible.
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
Boston Harbor Islands national park area includes 34 islands situated within the Greater Boston shoreline. The islands are rich in natural and cultural resources. Imagine a place where you can explore tide pools, walk through a Civil War era fort, climb a lighthouse, hike lush trails and salt marshes, camp under the stars, or relax while fishing, picnicking or swimming...all within reach of downtown Boston. The 34 islands are managed by a unique, 13-member Partnership which includes the National Park Service and other public and private organizations. An advisory council provides a mechanism for public involvement.
Links and Items
Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking

With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings -- based on his own field research -- and you'll discover if those tracks in the brush were made by a deer or a fox.

In his celebrated style, this author, artist, and naturalist enthusiastically shares a wealth of tips. Jim Arnosky wants you to enjoy watching wildlife. He carefully explains how field marks, shapes, and location give clues for identifying certain plants and animals wherever you are. He gives hints for sharpening observational skills. And he encourages you to draw and record birds, insects, shells, animal tracks, and other finds from a busy day's watch.

Nature Studies Homeschool Curriculum
Considering God's Creation
Life science truly comes alive with this 270-page lap-book style notebook for 2nd-7th graders. A Charlotte Mason type discovery approach is easily implemented with creative activities, music and topical Bible studies, making this program a perfect choice for a homeschool family or a classroom. It may be used as a stand-alone science course or as an invaluable supplemental resource for any other program. 
Nature Studies Activities & Experiments
Arbor Day National Poster Contest
Join over 74,000 fifth grade classrooms and home schools across America in the Arbor Day National Poster Contest. The theme chosen will increase your students’ knowledge of how trees produce and conserve energy. The free Activity Guide includes activities to use with fifth grade students to teach the importance of trees in producing and conserving energy. These activities correlate with National Science and Social Study Standards. The Guide also includes all of the information you need for poster contest participation.
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: Science
Family style learning is a great way to tackle lots of different subjects, including science.
Handbook of Nature Study
Based on Charlotte Mason's method of education, this website offers ideas and resources for incorporation nature study into your homeschool.
Featured Resources

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Free to Learn: Introducing Steiner Waldorf Earkt Childhood Education
Free to Learn is a unique guide to the principles and methods of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood education. The author draws on kindergarten experience from around the world, with stories, helpful insights, lively observations and pictures. This inspiring book will interest parents, educators, and early years education students. It is up to date, comprehensive, and contains many illustrations, including a 16-page color section. Lynne Oldfield invites you to explore Steiner Waldorf kindergarten...
Classical Education & The Home School
Classical education is an idea whose time has come again. When parents see the failures of modern education, they look for better solutions and classical education is one that has been tested in the past and found to be good. For the Christian home educator, the classical education model is a path to joy and success. 
The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outside Activities (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 2
The methods of Charlotte Mason are popular among homeschoolers. She includes nature study as a crucial element. This work explores the idea of the outdoors as a classroom for children, and gives tips on ways of teaching the sciences, history, literature, music, and art through the use of outdoor space. 
Help for the Harried Homeschooler : A Practical Guide to Balancing Your Child's Education with the Rest of Your Life
Homeschooling moms and dads can be overwhelmed by the demands on their time. Between their children’s educational needs; their roles as spouse, parent, and more; and their own individual desires and goals, these mothers and fathers struggle to accomplish all that must be done. In Help for the Harried Homeschooler, experienced homeschooler, author, and mother of four Christine Field offers sound advice for parents who want not only to achieve homeschooling success but also to reach a balanc...
I Learn Better by Teaching Myself/Still Teaching Ourselves
Take a look at how a homeschooling mother learned to trust her children-and herself-to learn in new ways. Tag along on the journey from the elementary years through high school as this book explore the success and freedom of unstructured learning. These books are especially good for anyone wrestling with the question of "how much structure should there be in a homeschool?"