Nature walks–they are part of a Charlotte Mason homeschool and hands-on science at its finest. They also provide an opportunity to see God’s creation close-up. Yet, nature walks are something that we have had a hard time making intentional. This is why I am so excited about Cindy West’s latest release, 40 Nature Walks: Outdoor Science Labs On-The-Go, Volume 1. It is such an easy way to intentionally add nature walks to our biology studies.
Now before you think this is another paid review, let me be clear. I bought both our science curriculum and these nature walk labs outright. Yes, I am affiliate of both companies, but neither company is paying me to review these products or share about them. I am just so excited about this combination that I had to share in case others are looking for a similar path for their science and nature studies this next year.What better subject to add nature walks to than biology because its all about the study of animals and plants! Click To Tweet
Biology is a great subject for incorporating nature walks because so much of it is about the study of plants and animals. In other words, most of biology is about the study of nature!
We are going to be using the elementary science curriculum Christian Kids Explore Biology by Bright Ideas Press this fall, but the tips I am going to share with you could easily be incorporated with any biology curriculum as the subject matter will be very similar.
How to Easily Add Nature Walks to Biology
- Download a copy of Cindy’s 40 Nature Walks.
- Look at the table of contents and compare it with your biology curriculum table of contents to see which nature walks would fit best with your curriculum.
- Each week, print your nature walk worksheet and go. That’s it. No other prep work is necessary. All the instructions for the nature walk are on the worksheet for your kids to read and discover. Oh, I might recommend a clipboard for each child so they have a hard surface to place their worksheet on as they fill it out in the field. That’s it!
How This Looks with Christian Kids Explore Biology
So how does this look with Christian Kids Explore Biology? We are completing one biology lesson each week over two days. One day we will read the lesson content, read supplementary material, and fill out any complimentary worksheets included with the curriculum. On the second day we will complete the experiment included in the lesson. Then, for our light day (which will be Mondays for us this next year) we will go on a complimentary nature study using one of Cindy’s 40 Nature Walks.
Here’s a few examples.
|Lesson||Biology Subject||Nature Walk Lab|
|6||Digging Into Plants||Get to the Root of It|
|7||Photosynthesis||Inside a Seed|
|8||Plant Reproduction||Fresh Flowers|
|9||Fruits and Vegetables||Flower Comparisons|
|13||Bird Structure||Migrating Flocks|
|14||Mammals Introduction||Track It|
|21||Our Five Senses||Characteristics in Nature|
|34||Freshwater Life||Pond Plant Party|
|35||Amphibians||Large Scale Observations|
Want our full match-up for Christian Kids Explore Biology and Cindy’s 40 Nature Walks Labs? Click the button to download your own copy free.
While the two curriculum don’t match perfectly, overall, Cindy’s 40 Nature Walks provide a great compliment to biology because so many of her nature walks involve the study of plants and animals. And, in cases where there is not a perfect nature walk lab, such as when we are studying bears or crocodiles, I chose to fill in our nature walk lab schedule with extra animal or plant nature walks that we might not get to otherwise. With 40 nature walks, there are more than enough nature walk ideas to last you a complete school year if you incorporate one a week.
About Cindy West’s Nature Studies
Cindy West is known by many as the nature study guru. Yes, there are others who also put out nature study ideas but Cindy is a classic who has been around for a long time. In other words, she knows what is important when it comes to nature studies which is why I like her stuff so much.
By the way, if you want to go into more depth about a particular area of study such as the study of birds or trees or frogs, Cindy has all sorts of nature study curriculum available. She even has one nature study curriculum out for those of us who want to incorporate nature study without the bugs (aka inside). So pick and choose what would work best for your family. I just happen to really like these 40 Nature Walks because it’s open-and-go and involves very little reading or prep-work ahead of time from me.