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 South Carolina
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Resources
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
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.
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.
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.
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Featured Resources

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Ideas and Books: The Method of Education
A selection of Charlotte Mason's writings on the topic of the place of ideas and books in the education of children. Mason's teachings on the topic of education required six large volumes to cover. This book makes it simple for homeschooling parents to find exactly what they need to learn about Charlotte Mason's thoughts on ideas and books. The teachings and philosophies of Charlotte Mason, a British educator from the last century, are currently experiencing a revival, especially among American ...
Creative Home Schooling: A Resource Guide for Smart Families
For a comprehensive guide to home-based education, that does not promote any particular curriculum or religious view, this is one book parents should buy! Parents will appreciate practical advice on getting started, adjusting to new roles, designing curriculum that is both child-centered and fun, and planning for social and emotional growth. Parents will turn to their favorite chapters again and again. Features interviews and tips from many homeschool parents as well as long lists of resources...
Pecci Reading Method: At Last! A Reading Method for Every Child
At Last! A Reading Method for Every Child offers a balanced approach with intensive phonics and literature-based reading instruction. This is a simple method of teaching reading, with lots of supplemental materials. Get product information here.
Homeschooling Essentials: A Practical Guide to Getting Started
If you're ready to begin homeschooling, then the experiences of others can offer valuable help and encouragement as you jump into this new adventure. This practical guide answers common questions, helps you navigate the legalities of homeschooling, talks about the practical side of homeschooling and different methods, offers resources and gives advice about high school. 
Explode The Code
Explode The Code provides a sequential, systematic approach to phonics in which students blend sounds to build vocabulary and read words, phrases, sentences, and stories. Frequent review of previously learned concepts helps increase retention. Each workbook in this series contains exercises that incorporate reading, writing, matching and copying. The consistent format of the books helps facilitate independent work. This series includes primers—Get Ready for The Code, Get Set for The Code, and Go...