Do you want to create childhood memories that will last a lifetime?
Do you want to give your child a STEM advantage? (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
Do you want your kids to feel connected to nature and have a desire to care for it?
Do you want your kids to have a good, wholesome upbringing that makes them happier & healthier?
Nature Matters Academy is a program that encourages family connectedness, STEM learning, environmental stewardship, and healthy kids.
We curate the types of memories that childhoods are made of.
In Nature Matters Academy we build rock towers, search for bees, climb trees, and make crafts with nature treasures. We also learn a little about the science along the way!
We're here to help you create memories that will last a lifetime. We do that by providing you with all the information you need to get outside with your kids. This means you get to focus on the experience and not all the prep work. Here are a few examples:
- Weekly email with a STEM nature lesson
- Weekly email with a nature craft idea
- Weekly email with a nature challenge
- Monthly challenge log where kids can win prizes
- Packing checklists
- How-to's for getting outside
- Support - I'm always here if you have questions!
We give your child a STEM advantage.
(Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics)
What makes Nature Matters Academy different is that this program is centered on STEM learning outside and the curriculum is designed by a scientist. We know that it's imperative for kids to start developing STEM knowledge, skills, and confidence at an early age. We also know that some parents aren't comfortable teaching STEM subjects.
So, we make it easy for you. Every week, we provide a STEM nature lesson with explicit instructions, the science summarized on a single page, and videos to help you learn the material. You'll get 4 STEM lessons per month.
Here is a small sample of topics covered in Nature Matters Academy:
- Home Sweet Habitat
- Serenading Soundscapes (all about soundscape ecology)
- Is a Lady Bug a Bug?
- How to Measure the Height of a Tree
- Get a sample lesson by clicking here.
We foster environmental stewardship and connectedness in families.
I research the human/nature connection. Specifically, I study what types of experiences people need at different ages that will lead to environmental literacy - what people know, how they feel, and how they act toward the environment.
Nature Matters Academy is full of the types of experiences that will help your child become a steward of our natural resources. These are a few of the experiences that we help curate for your family:
- Consistent outdoor time
- Nature challenges and games
- STEM nature curriculum
- Nature workbooks
- Fun nature crafts
We support good, wholesome upbringings that make kids happier & healthier.
Research shows that nature makes our kids happier, healthier, and smarter!
Specifically, scientific studies provide evidence that time in nature can:
- Increase brain development
- Improve social behaviors
- Decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity (ADHD symptoms)
- Decrease the risk for obesity
- Decrease blood pressure and heart rate
- Decrease stress hormones like cortisol
- Improve our immune system by increasing natural killer cells
- AND make us nicer!
What parents are saying about Nature Matters Academy...
These photos are from kids that I teach in person, but the comments are from in-person and online parents. The activities you see these children doing are the same types of activities you can expect your kids to do in the Academy. They’ll just be taking what they learn from me online and doing it at home!
Want to see some of the curriculum for yourself?
In the video below, I show you a few STEM lessons as well as our monthly nature challenges. If students complete their monthly nature challenge within 30 days, then they win a fun nature prize! One of our prizes is the "My Bird Book" shown in this video.
A student in Nature Matters Academy walks us through the habitat of a Red-Tailed Hawk.
Home Sweet Habitat is one of the STEM nature lessons in the Nature Matters Academy curriculum. To try out a STEM lesson in the Academy, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is this membership for me? If you’re a homeschooling mom, then this is for you! If you’re a parent who looks for extracurricular science activities for your kids, then this is for you. If you love and value nature and want your kids to feel the same way, then this membership is for you! This membership is for you if you are looking to find ways to spend more quality time as a family, give your kids a STEM advantage, and give them the type of childhood you had - or wish you had!
- How much time do the STEM lessons take? Each weekly STEM lesson will take approximately 30 minutes to complete with your child. You'll want to prep for each lesson by reading the material and watching the videos. On average, it takes about 30 minutes to prep. So total time, for prep and lesson will be about an hour.
- What is my weekly time commitment for Nature Matters Academy? This is completely dependent on you and what you want to get out of the Academy. If you only want the STEM lessons, then you're looking at about 1 hour per week. If you want to do the STEM lesson and craft, you're looking at about 2 hours. If you do the lesson, craft, and nature challenge, it will probably be about 2.5 hours per week.
- I want to get my kids outside and learning about nature, but I'm not sure I have time to fit it in. What can I do? The best thing to do is to schedule your nature lessons like you schedule piano lessons. You'll want a 30min-1hour block of time once a week. It would probably be easiest to schedule your lesson after school on a specific day each week. That way, you can go directly to the park or a wild space without making multiple stops by going home first. Or, if you homeschool, just plan the lesson into your weekly schedule and maybe make your nature time around lunch time so you can eat outside!
- What ages are appropriate for the Academy? You're the mom, so you know best! I started my son doing STEM nature activities when he was 4. Our time outside looked very different from what it looks like today - we did the same activities just in a different way to meet his needs and interests (these modifications are provided in the lesson plans). When I teach kids in person, I start them at the age of 6 - they are able to read and write somewhat independently and can easily follow directions. I have students in the Academy from 3 to 17 years old!
- What types of materials or supplies will I need for the STEM lessons? The supplies needed for the STEM lessons are typically items you already keep in your house. The one additional item that you might need to purchase is a nature journal. For the nature crafts, we'll use things like paint, mod podge, pipe cleaners, construction paper, etc. Most of this will also be items you already keep at home.
- Where do I go to do a nature lesson if I live in the city? These lesson can be done in a city park! You don't have to live near a wild space to learn about nature. Even a local garden will provide you with everything you need!
- How in the world will my kids learn about nature online? Isn't this counter intuitive? Yes and no! In Nature Matters Academy, we encourage your family to get outside and exploring nature as often as possible. However, some parents need a little help - both with ideas and with the science. This is where the online part comes in. You'll receive weekly emails that give you everything you need to know to complete 1 of 3 different nature activities. I'll also provide you with apps and online groups that can help you identify organisms. Sometimes, we need a little help online to get offline!
- What if I'm a city girl and I don't know much about nature? That's okay! If you're really interested in getting your kids engaged in nature, then all you have to do is SHOW UP. Read the lesson plan and get your kids outside. I'll provide you with everything you need to know and I'll encourage you when you kids ask questions that no one is capable of answering! Ha! In fact, we want more of these! It's the basis for critical thinking skills and something that's become more rare in our society.
Hi, I'm Dr. Jenny!
As a mom, I know the struggle of getting kids outside and engaged with nature. Pulling them away from the screen. What to actually DO when you’re out there. Sometimes it feels impossible to just get out the door.
For the last decade, I've worked as a biologist and professor, researcher, and outdoor guide. I've been involved in countless community education projects that teach ecology and environmental issues to families. I've had the pleasure of partnering with state-wide initiatives that focus on getting kids outside. What I've learned from these experiences can be found throughout Nature Matters Academy.
Join me as we connect our children with nature through STEM activities, crafts, challenges, and so much more! This program will help your child develop a love and curiosity for the natural world so they're more likely to care for it as adults.
With a few simple tweaks, we can intentionally and consistently infuse nature experiences into our kid’s lives, giving them (and our planet) a brighter future!
Take a look at Student Nature Journals
Every student in Nature Matters Academy keeps a nature journal. As you can see, the students' journals look very different based on their age and interests. But they all have one thing in common! Keeping a journal helps the students remember what they learned and it keeps all their work in one place!
Nature Matters Academy not only provides inspiration to get out into the great outdoors, but it provides details to help make that experience positive and educational. Dr. Jenny is knowledgeable and creative. Her hands-on (and brains-on) activities are organized, thoughtful and easy to implement. Our family has really enjoyed and learned a lot from Nature Matters Academy. I recommend it to any families who are looking for solid outdoor learning activities. And you may just learn about the scientific process as well.Heather Johnson Stay-at-Home Mom and Pediatric Home Health Nurse
Dr. Jenny is fabulous with sharing tips on how to enjoy time outdoors with your kids and at the same time how to care for the environment. I love her posts and videos with her kids because I can totally relate. The membership site has loads of fun activities scheduled so a busy mom like me can stay on track and be guided in times that I run out of ideas for outdoor fun. It’s educational too since she explains all the activities in detail. My kids love learning from it. I highly recommend joining!Carmella Baterna Mel B Cake Designs
I’ve been trying to raise my sons to love and care for the environment but I wasn’t quite sure how. We’d go outside a lot but more for a change of scenery (and sanity!) than learning about nature (also I don’t know much about wildlife) and we tend to do the same activities over and over. I love that Dr. Jenny gives suggestions for how to adjust activities depending on your children’s ages. Most of all, the activities are simple, fun, and close to home which was is SO nice because it takes the pressure off of feeling like I need to plan all day outings in order for my sons to ‘connect with’ nature.Yun-A Johnson Your Aesthetic Style
Join the Academy Today!
Give your kids a STEM advantage with a curriculum that's outside the box of traditional learning and classrooms.
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Enrollment for the Academy is Currently Closed
Click below to be added to the waitlist. You'll be the first notified when I open the doors to Nature Matters Academy again. PLUS, you'll get special discounts and offers!
Want to know a little more before signing up?
In the video below, I'll walk you through what Nature Matters Academy offers and why it's vitally important that your kids have the opportunity to be outside and learn about nature!