Resources for the Animal & Nature Lover in your Homeschool

Resources for the Animal & Nature Lover in Your Homeschool

We have been having discussions lately with the older boys about how as they grow older they need to start taking more responsibility for their education.  I don’t want our educational experience to be one of me being the task master and they are the sulky, reluctant students.  There are far too many interesting things to learn about!

I’m always trying to ask for suggestions and be flexible about how and what they are studying.  It’s one of the many advantages of homeschooling!  Some suggestions are very good, Jacob and I have been working on a geography study, and some suggestions just aren’t going to fly.  We can’t do away with math and writing!  But I am trying to be flexible.

The other night Jonah, my almost 11 yo, came to me and said he had been thinking about our talks.  The one area he felt was lacking was our animal study.  That is his passion.  Gone are my days of heading out to the zoo and then calling it good!  He needs more in-depth study than that.

Right now we are using Nancy Larson Science 2 which works well for us, but this year doesn’t focus as heavily on animals and nature as Jonah would prefer.  So we need to beef it up a bit.

I asked several of my blogging friends if they had any ideas, suggestions, and recommendations for resources and I loved everything they shared so I thought you might find the resources helpful too.

Animal & Nature Homeschool Resources

Shining Dawn e-books – We have picked two books to get us started, Frogs and Toads and Animal Signs. Both books are full of easy, hands-on ideas, fiction and non-fiction book ideas, poetry selections, internet links and suggestions for including both older and younger children {great for big families!}, plus several notebooking pages. I’m pretty positive Jonah will be interested in make edible scat!

Burgess Animal Guide – We read the Burgess Bird Book several years ago for our Bird Unit and we enjoyed the book. I love how Karyn provides resources for each chapter as well as the audio version.  I may have Jonah listen to this on his own, then we could read through the Handbook of Nature Study chapters together.

An Introduction to Entomology – This is a 40 page study geared to middle school students, everything you wanted to know about insects and more! I like the idea of a long term project.  That might be a good lesson in perseverance for my highly distractible boy.  Now that we are able to frequent the beach on a regular basis, the Echinoderms and Molluscs study will be of interest to him as well.

This is not a new to me resource, but one that I have under-utilized!  Barb @ Handbook of Nature Study always has so much to share on her blog!

I have many more science resources on my Pinterest Science board too.

How do you engage your animal and nature lover?

I’m linking up with Finishing Strong – Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years


  1. Jessica says

    Have you done the entomology unit study? I just clicked over and am considering purchasing it. We have a few more weeks until the insects are out here. But the grass is starting to get green and I just noticed my strawberry plant has new leaves. We could begin it soon. It looks perfect for Lilah who has always loved insects.

    I am headed over to the site you are linked up with. That one is new to me too!
    Jessica recently posted…Enjoying the ProcessMy Profile

  2. Marci@TheHomeschoolScientist says

    I’m so thankful the weather is warming up around here and the snow has finally melted. We need to get outside and explore! We have some woods behind our house and a stream. We like to watch nature change from day to day. It makes for good discussions and research projects.

    We have used Shining Dawn ebooks in the past and love them. In fact, I might break them out again this spring.
    Marci@TheHomeschoolScientist recently posted…How To Find Me At GHC CincinnatiMy Profile

  3. Barb-Harmony Art Mom says

    One thing you might do to help your son with an animal study is just to get a local field guide. I purchased one when I came to Florida last year and it is so very interesting to page through. Get one that has mammals and then just start studying them one by one. My boys did that for our area as part of their high school biology course and they learned a lot.
    Great post Jen. Pinning!
    Barb-Harmony Art Mom recently posted…Outdoor Hour Challenge – Spring Bird ObservationsMy Profile

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