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Why Should you Encourage more Nature Time in your Homeschool Routine?

I love to wake in the morning to the song of the Wood Thrush! Happily, I get to rise hearing his beautiful melody every day! Although not a morning person, that song lures me out of bed to see if I can catch a glimpse of the treetop songster. I’ve never seen him. But he sings every day!

squirrel nature time

Have you ever heard Nature calling to you?

If you will train yourself and your children to love Nature, the world will never be a lonely place. Always, there will be a flower to sniff, a bird to spot, and stars to wish upon! You will find friends under rocks, and delights just around the next bend in every road you travel.

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I am a firm believer in the importance of Nature time for our characters, and just for our peace of mind. Homeschool can become weary for mom and child. Sitting behind the books can especially feel exhausting to our littlest people. But, honestly, no matter our age, we all feel refreshed after a break, and especially after one in the Great Outdoors!

See also Mean Mom takes a Nature Walk

girl running nature

So far as possible, let the child from his earliest years be placed where this wonderful lesson book shall be open before him. Let him behold the glorious scenes painted by the great Master Artist upon the shifting canvas of the heavens, let him become acquainted with the wonders of earth and sea, let him watch the unfolding mysteries of the changing seasons, and, in all His works, learn of the Creator. –

kids nature time

Five Benefits of Nature for Our Children (and Parents)

  • 1. Nature is Multi-sensory–All Five Senses engage with Nature time. As you take a walk outside, you can smell the spice Bush, hear a rippling brook, feel the wind in your hair, experience the tickle of a spiderweb on your face. You get to taste the burst of sweet/sour in a huckleberry, and feel the scratchy leaves under your feet. In Nature you will see the soft flowers, the rushing waterfalls, and the vibrant sunsets. When all of your senses are engaged, those memories make deep impressions in your brain. Some moments in Nature you can never forget. See if you can think of one of those moments now.
luziero launch amazon
  • My memory involves sailing down the Amazon River in Brazil. I can still go back in my memory to the warm breeze, the brown water rippling below, tall green trees passing by, with screeching monkeys hollering out at me. I can see the pink dolphins jumping, the putter of the boat engine, and I can feel the stickiness of my own sweat coursing down my back. My age has doubled since those days, but I can remember distinctly my thoughts as we traveled along. Mostly thoughts of friends back home, God, and His plan for my life.
God's second book, nature
  • 2. Nature is God’s second book—He puts lessons there for us. Peace is one precious lesson that we learn best outside, in God’s quiet sanctuary. If you’re doubtful, try it. You will find SO MANY lessons out in your Nature time. Take your students outside and let them just observe. Then, you can begin to train them to see little lessons about God’s love, cause-to-effect, a proper time for everything, and many more useful truths.
roses and thorns

In brier and thorn, in thistle and tare, is represented the evil that blights and mars. In singing bird and opening blossom, in rain and sunshine, in summer breeze and gentle dew, in ten thousand objects in nature, from the oak of the forest to the violet that blossoms at its root, is seen the love that restores. And nature still speaks to us of God’s goodness. – {Ed 101.3}
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close work can harm eyes
  • 3. Eyes. Rest from close work. It’s good for children, especially, to not be confined for long periods indoors, especially at close work, like reading, writing, squinting at work, and focusing on small things. This can cause myopia, or near-sightedness. A perfect way to avoid these problems is to do “school” in short bursts, then take a break to focus the eyes on distant objects, like you would naturally do if outside. So…bring back the recess, and make sure you send the kids outside, if possible!
  • Even homeschoolers need breaks from close work! Here is a summary of a group of studies done on young children, highlighting the need for breaks from close work. Also, it suggests delaying formal education, to give children a chance for their eyes, brains, and bodies to become more coordinated, and ready for the book work.
relax with nature time
  • Informal Nature study, out of doors, is the perfect alternative to early formal schooling. The children will still be learning much, but won’t have the negative side effects of damage to their vision and hyperactivity (as much) if allowed to spend an abundant time out in Nature.
  • I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but in our area, I am seeing way more young children wearing glasses these days than I ever saw growing up. They are very cute, but it makes me wonder if some of this is from the push to school our very young people.
nature study for students
  • 4. Patience. Lessons of Nature can’t be demanded. What does this mean? Simple, you can’t say, “I’m going to go outside for ten minutes, find a caterpillar coming out of its chrysalis, and we’ll observe a butterfly.” Nor can we say, “OK–let’s change the channel and see a Painted bunting.” Nature’s blessings come because they involve SURPRISES! We can’t demand a shooting star, nor command that a lizard pop out from that rock! But, we can wait, and maybe surprise will come. This teaches us lessons in patience. In our instant gratification world, this lesson needs more attention.
nature time little boy
  • 5. Brain reset. We will feel more vigor for studies after a break outside in natural surroundings. Better yet—take your school outside—What better way to enjoy the day than to take your books out onto your blanket, hammock, chairs, or even your trampoline! Somehow, the surroundings will enhance learning. OK–sometimes the bugs and birds are too much temptation, and you don’t learn quite as much from the books, but you probably will have a less stressful day!

These are lessons that our children need to learn. To the little child, not yet capable of learning from the printed page or of being introduced to the routine of the schoolroom, nature presents an unfailing source of instruction and delight.

kids enjoying nature time wagon

Some favorite resources for learning about Nature

Handbook of Nature StudyI think of this as a Parent’s Guidebook for Nature. It’s not something you sit down and read to your kids. But you can get good ideas about things to try in Nature study/observation, and you will learn a very lot. This is a thick book packed with goodies!

Sonlight FBLThese Family Bible Lessons are free, and you can print them off to use. They have nature lessons that go along with a 3-year cycle of the Bible, so you always have a nature lesson!


Nature Friend Magazine Our family has enjoyed this magazine for many years. Great photography, kids activities, and fun articles about Nature. This is the Christian/non-evolution version of Ranger Rick. If you order it with the study guide, it has more fun things for the kids to do!

Smithsonian Backyard Series This is a very nice collection of books for younger children. Accurate drawings, colorful pictures, and a sweet animal story to instruct your child about an animal or bug. I’ve lost track how many titles are in this series. We have quite a few, but I keep seeing more come out, so I’d estimate there over thirty books in this series. Just poke around amazon.com to see more.

Audobon Field GuidesThere is an Audobon Field Guide available for every thing you might want to learn about in Nature. We have many. I like them, because the vinyl cover is durable, they are easy to hold, and they are organized by color.


boy reading outside

Sam Campbell books, Living Forest SeriesThere are twelve in the set, and they are all so fun to read, about a naturalist who owns an animal sanctuary in the North woods, and takes in orphaned wild animals. Highly entertaining and educational!

Robby the Robin bookThis book is a favorite of ours. A very sweet story, and well-worth your time to read this book!

Little Tyke The Amazing Story of a Gentle Vegetarian Lioness This is another very sweet story as well. For all ages, about a lioness who would not eat meat, and who was very tender and famous!

Get outside!

What are your favorite reasons to include Nature Time during your homeschool day?

Let me know in the COMMENTS below!

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All quotations taken from the book, Education, by E.G. White.

10 Replies

  1. Definitely! We try to get out for nature hikes and walks at least once a week. I find it is wonderful for calming our pace and just breathing in the quiet beauty of the world around us. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts! I try to take a little Nature time every day personally. I am an introvert and it helps me to refresh.

      But getting out with everyone really helps our attitudes!


  2. I homeschooled my son and one of our favorite activities was our nature walks. We talked about wild edible plants, how the Native Americans used natural resources, science, and tons of other lessons. Great resources! Thanks so much for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! Hope to see you again this week 🙂

    1. Thank you!
      Nature walks are one of my favorites. And you’ve discovered that I also enjoy wild edibles too! Even if they don’t think they love them at the time, I think a seed gets planted and later on will produce good fruit.

What is your experience? 💜 I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️