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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Featured Resources

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Beautiful Feet Books
Beautiful Feet Books publishes Rea Berg's "History Through Literature" study guides. They offer fine children's literature, including the D'Aulaire biographies and Genevieve Foster's "World" titles. This is a great resource for anyone wishing to utilize an approach that studies history through literature.
Homeschool Open House
Personal insights from 55 families worldwide about a real day of homeschooling. Includes homeschool illusions, family culture, learning and family style, parenting strategies, chores and organization, family management, personal empowerment, decision making, change flexibility, resources, and questions to consider before deciding to homeschool. A private tour of homeschooling homes and reflective thoughts from families. Also includes five year follow-ups from families in HOMESCHOOLING: A PATCH...
Greenleaf Press
Greenleaf Press is a small family-owned and operated publisher and supplier of quality books for children. They are committed to "twaddle-free", living books, and approach teaching history to children using biography and chronology. You will find sections in the catalog covering each major historical period in order, with a variety of biographies, reference books, and historical fiction. For Israel, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and Reformation there are Greenleaf Stu...
Discover Your Child's Learning Style : Children Learn in Unique Ways - Here's the Key to Every Child's Learning Success
When, where, and how does your child learn best? Because children process information in many different ways, what works for one child might not work for another. This book shows you how to assess and nurture your child's learning style based on his or her interests, talents, disposition, environment, and more. The self-awareness tests included will help guide you to a better understanding of your child's unique strengths and weaknesses, leading you to better homeschooling success and more inner...
Kids' Poems (Grades 1)
Regie Routman shares her delightful selection of free verse poems written by first graders that will inspire your second graders to think, I can write poems like this too! Regie provides strategies for using kids' poems as models to guide children to write poems about things they know and care about: learning to skate, disliking asparagus, playing with a best friend, and more. She describes the way she invites children to study the model poem, beginning by asking kids, What do you notice? She sh...