Thursday, June 7, 2012

5 days of (everyday) Exploring God's Creation - Day #5 - Exploring Step by Step

I've had such fun sharing these ideas with you this week! I hope you've been able to gather some inspiration and ideas for getting out with the kiddos to explore God's wonderful creation. 

Just in case you missed it: 
 Day #1 - I offered a free creation Bible verse printable for those who sign up for the monthly newsletter - (there isn't much danger of being overrun by emails from me - as I have yet to finish the first months newsletter) It's scheduled to go out by the end of June and will contain more ideas and freebies for your family adventures. You can still get that printable - just sign up on my side bar or click the link here
Day #2 - Was all about "why bother?" to get outdoors with your children - hint - (It's all about HIM) Intelligent Designer - intelligent kids who study His creation - healthy in mind, body, and soul 
Day #3 - Keeping it simple - the value of a family walk - more reasons why it matters and how to make it a bit more special (finding ways to bring glory to God by investigating His creation) 
Day #4- Loaded with links to information to help you teach on nature - tips for simple, local, daily exploration and crafts to reinforce the learning with your children. 

Which brings us to Day #5 - Exploring step by step - I want to finish the series by going over with you a step by step example of our process in studying nature and sharing some of our favorite resources. 

 I generally take what I like to think of as a "directed - interest led" approach in our homeschool. Some may see that as a misnomer - but it works for us. By finding the right materials along the way - I am directing our studies - but I pursue topics of interest to my boys to ensure their whole hearted participation. Tricky! I know - and it seems to be working. 

Step #1 - Round up curriculum materials that work well for explorers!
 Our favorites are Apologia's "Swimming Creatures" - "Flying Creatures" -
Trail Guide to Learning-Paths of Exploration - Paths of Settlement -
 or for older students Paths of Progress  by GeoMatters
 Free Notebooking pages from Notebooking Fairy
 (I highly recommend you get the Notebooking Success ebook for your studies)  
 Free or membership pages from  Notebooking Pages 
(check out the All about Birds pages and the Nature Study pages) 
 Make a plan - I study over the curriculum and browse the various Notebooking pages we have available and lay out a rough outline of what I want the boys to study based highly on their interests. 
Add Scripture - Our creation bible verses are a big part of our studies. 

Step #2 - Schedule field trips or nature walks -to coincide with your studies- putting it on the calendar means you are more likely to follow through - even if it's a simple walk in the woods or trip to the park.

See tips for finding local resources from Day #4 here.  We purchase an ASTC Science membership yearly - this year I got it for half price - because I asked for a homeschool discount!
 Don't be afraid to ask if there are any discounts available -
 Let them know you are a homeschool family. The worst thing they can say is No and you might save your family a bundle - in our case it was a savings of almost $50.
The ASTC Passport Program  gives us access to hundreds of Science Centers around the country. 

Step #3 - Plan crafts, art and experiments to go along with your studies - See Day #4 for ideas - with the internet and Pinterest readily available - it's easy to organize your ideas. You are welcome to follow my boards here - Link to Homeschool Art Projects here and Nature School board here -

 Gain more insight and ideas for making the outdoors a regular part of your homeschool through my 
31 day series here - which includes free camping list printables and much more! 

Free Downloads for you- 
     Get the Creation Bible Verses printable by joining our monthly newsletter
     Like our Facebook page and get a Wildflower Unit Study  
     And for visiting today and checking out the 5 day series  download this Clouds Unit Study 

It's been an honor to contribute to the 5 days of Mothering and Homemaking Series! I do hope you'll check out the posts from these lovely ladies - they've been a blessing to me! 
*hint you can also find them on my 5 days of Mothering and Homemaking Pinterest board 

And linking with Time Warp Wife 


Leslie said...

I need to do more nature studies in our days. Thanks for the tips and ideas.

Jimmie said...

What a great series and link up. Love it when bloggers take the initiative to create these kinds of cooperative projects.

I have seen a lot of these photos in your Instagram stream, so I feel like I had a sneak peek. We have not done well with nature study lately. I've fallen off that wagon!

(Thanks for the links to Notebooking Fairy.)

Kelli Becton said...

you are welcome girls- Yes - instagram is the tool I often use to grab pics for my blog posts ;)

Kim said...

I have never thought about asking for a homeschool discount unless it is offered. What a great suggestions. :-)

Kelli Becton said...

Thanks Kim - you never know unless you ask!