Ecology/Conservation
Protecting the Earth for future generations takes first learning about our planet, the environment, and how the ecosystem works. Get ecology teaching tips, project ideas, and more.
Things to See & Do in South Carolina
Congaree National Park
Situated along the meandering Congaree River in central South Carolina, Congaree National Park is home to champion trees, primeval forest landscapes, and diverse plant and animal life. This 22,200-acre park protects the largest contiguous tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. Known for its giant hardwoods and towering pines, the park’s floodplain forest includes one of the highest canopies in the world and some of the tallest trees in the eastern United States. Congaree National Park provides a sanctuary for plants and animals, a research site for scientists, and a place for you to walk and relax in a tranquil wilderness setting.
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.
South Carolina Aquarium
The South Carolina Aquarium is located in Charleston and features thousands of aquatic animals from river otters and sharks to leggerhead turtles in over 60 exhibits, which represent the rich biodiversity of South Carolina from the mountains to the sea, housed in a 93,000 square foot building.
Greenville Zoo
Learn about the world of animals at the Greenville Zoo. Explore animal exhibits and take in some of the educational programs.
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
Riverbanks Zoological Park & Botanical Garden in Columbia, offers more than 2,000 animals housed in natural habitat exhibits that use psychological barriers such as moats, water, and light to create an environment free of bars and cages for animals. A seventy-acre Botanical Garden provides visitors with an opportunity to experience both native and exotic plant exhibits.
Ripley's™ Aquarium
Ripley's™ Aquarium is a 87,000 square foot aquarium located in Myrtle Beach. Visitors are surrounded an all sides by menacing 10 foot sharks as they travel through Dangerous Reef, a 750,000 gallon tank, on the world's longest (330-foot) moving glidepath. Other features include Ray Bay, highlighting a variety of rays from multiple viewing levels and Friendship Flats, where guests touch Atlantic and Southern Cow-Nose Rays and Bonnet-Head sharks. Rainbow Rock offers a view of thousands of brilliantly colored Pacific fishes from Hawaii, Australia and the Indian Ocean through an acrylic window the size of two movie screens. The freshwater Rio Amazon exhibit showcases piranha and other exotic species unique to the Amazon rain forest. A collection of delicate undersea life such as Pacific Giant Octopus, sea anemones, living corals, jellies, weedy sea dragons, sea horses and pipefish are featured as art in The Living Gallery. The Schooling Fish Tank, a 10- foot cylindrical exhibit, is home to a unique collection of beautiful lookdowns. Guests experience the thrill of holding horseshoe crabs at The Sea-For-Yourself Discovery Center, an interactive, multi-media playground and educational resource center that fascinates children and adults of all ages. Dive shows and marine education classes are presented hourly.
Brookgreen Gardens
Brookgreen Gardens, a nature preserve in Pawleys Island, offers daily programs and tours. The thousands of acres in Brookgreen's Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve are rich with evidence of the great rice plantations of the 1800's as well as with the native plants and animals of the distinctive landscaptes of the Lowcountry. Also features a Sculpture Garden.
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.
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.
ExploraVision
ExploraVision is a competition for all students in grades K-12 attending a school in the U.S., Canada, U.S. Territory or a Department of Defense school. Homeschooled students are eligible to enter. It is designed to encourage students to combine their imagination with their knowledge of science and technology to explore visions of the future. Teams of students select a technology, research how it works and why it was invented, and then project how that technology may change in the future. They must then identify what breakthroughs are required for their vision to become a reality and describe the positive and negative consequences of their technology on society. Winning ideas have focused on things as simple as ballpoint pens and as complex as satellite communications. The student teams write a paper and draw a series of Web page graphics to describe their idea. Regional winners make a Web site and a prototype of their future vision.
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.
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Featured Resources

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Critical Thinking: Reading, Thinking, and Reasoning Skills
Based on Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Critical Thinking will allow students to garner more knowledge from new information by knowing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating. A brief review in each unit provides frequent indications of student mastery. This series is written for grade levels 1-6.
A Twaddle-Free Education: An Introduction to Charlotte Mason's Timeless Educational Ideas
Are you disappointed with dumbed-down reading material (“twaddle”) written for children? Do you wish for your children to feast their hearts and minds on noble ideas, fine art, and great literature? Are you hoping your children gain an appreciation of nature and a deep understanding of natural sciences? Most importantly, do you want your children to develop a lifetime love of learning? If you answered “yes,” you may discover a Charlotte Mason-inspired twaddle-free education is just what you’ve b...
The National Parks of America
For tourists, family campers, and serious lovers of the outdoors, here is a big, beautiful, color-illustrated book that describes more than 50 national parks, sites, and seashores that stretch from Cape Hatteras on the Atlantic coast to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yosemite in California, Haleakala in Hawaii, and Glacier Bay in Alaska. More than 400 breathtaking photographs capture the beauty and atmosphere of each site, and 54 color maps show each park's location and major features. Visitor inf...
The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric
Opening the door for beginners who seek a thorough grounding in the first arts of human understanding, this book explains the nature of logic, grammar, and rhetoric-the three of the seven liberal arts-and how they relate to one another. In Renaissance universities, the trivium (literally, the crossing of three part way) formed the essence of the liberal arts curriculum. Examined are topics such as the nature and function of language, distinguishing general grammar from special grammar, the study...
Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture
Karen Andreola, renowned interpreter of the Charlotte Mason method of education, has written a unique sort of book in the homeschool world. Pocketful of Pinecones is a teacher s guide the nature study cleverly disguised as a heartwarming story written in the form of a mother s diary. Woven into the story are: More than 100 examples of what to look for on a nature walk, Latin names for the living things to observed by the characters, study questions, nature poems and verses. Other features includ...