When it comes to homeschool, one of the more creative and interesting ways to learn about earth science and biology is by collecting specimens in nature and then drawing pictures of them in a journal. This way, you can identify them and eventually produce a book of nature finds by the end of the school year.

I recommend that you (the mom/dad teacher) make one as well as your kids. Sometimes your kids may not be able to draw that well and they may be trying to compare their work to yours — that happened to my daughter and she decided to finish her own drawings later, not right in front of her perfection oriented six-year-old.

But your kids will enjoy collecting items and if you take the time to identify your finds, everyone will learn some science.

Some days you can just take a nature walk and pick up things that you see. Other days you will want to prepare in advance and have a specific goal. You can make this a one day activity or spread it out over several days, depending on how much you want to cover.

Here’s one activity where my daughter and her two children learned about cochineal food dye that comes from bugs on cactus. Luckily she found the cactus with the bugs near her home and was able to collect some in a box. (Yea don’t let your kids handle the prickly cactus.)

First watch this video about Cochineal bugs and red dye:

cochineal dye bugs on cactus

cochineal dye bugs on cactus

cochineal bugs on cactus

cochineal bugs on cactus

 

 

nature books for homeschool

Nature Book for Homeschool — drawing and identifying our collected items

Nature book for homeschool

Another day of collecting, drawing and identifying