How Summer Nature Study Complements High School Biology

The last days of summer have lingered here in the south as expected. Steamy, humid weather hung on after recent tropical gulf storms. Yet, even so, we’ve noticed the days growing shorter, a few leaves starting to fall. And just when we were getting eager for cooler weather… it came over the weekend with refreshing breezes and gentle rain. Preparing us for fall.

If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder…he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in. ~ Rachel Carson

We’ve been blessed with the benefits of family nature study in so many ways. We notice the subtle seasonal changes and more. And just when we were enjoying nature the last couple of weeks, we were surprised by how much our times compliment formal high school biology studies. A few recent delights…

Flowers and garden goodness. Summer flowers. A mushroom discovered in the backyard and a photo taken by six-year-old. (Remember her independent nature study? She’s still enjoying much nature study on her own). Garden things – okra to fry up one more time, eggplant for parmesan. Plus, that pond scum has a tale to tell…

…Middle Girl braved getting stuck in the muck in order to collect pond samples. An Apologia Biology pond water study ends up being for all our ages. End of summer nature studies have the whole family gathered around the microscope.

Nature and biology studies mix. We saw first hand how rewarding formal biology study can be – perfectly complementing our nature studies. Middle Girl collected the samples – we even spied a dragonfly while we were at our friend Angie’s lake. Then, Hodgepodgedad placed a slide with a pond sample under the microscope. Using our Apologia text, we identified the squiggly things we saw. Wow! Cool! Let me see! There’s more than tadpoles in that water. Nature and biology learning are hand in hand and it is wonderful to experience. Hooray for Biology labs with Hodgepodgedad!

Back outside there were creatures. Mr. camouflaged praying mantis posing on the hydrangea.

And a gulf fritillary butterfly willing to land on Middle Girl’s geranium blossom.

Ants marched along, below the morning glory.

Hummingbirds and gold finches at Mama Ann’s feeders. (She really loved the purse Middle Girl made her from birdseed bags!)

A picnic and evening walk at a local park and we found our first yellow leaf.

Marvelous sunsets

We should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. Ecclesiastes 5:18

Many thanks to prompts and encouragement from Handbook of Nature Study! And to Apologia for high school Biology studies. Won’t you join us for fall nature study?

I invite you to subscribe (it’s free!) so you won’t miss more at Hodgepodge…


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      Oh I look forward to your post Phyllis! How lovely it would be if we could do these together now and then (hugs to you!) I have only skimmed the surface with how great this is. Nature study gets better and better as children get older, doesn’t it? As we go deeper in our learning with high school studies. I happened to love, love biology in high school. Having fun…

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    What beautiful pictures. We are following a Charlott Mason style curriculum this year, and CM was big on nature studies. We have been waiting for our weather to cool off a bit before we start trekking off for our Nature Studies. I made the neatest little Nature Study Journals from recycled materials that we will use to draw and document our walks. We’ll probably start Oct 1. We are very excited to incorporate this into our curriculum this year. Luckily I have your blog to help us figure out what we are doing. Thanks again for sharing the pictures. As usual it is always a pleasure to read your posts.

    God Bless,
    Kimmie <3
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