Nature Study Course

Exploring the Natural World through Scientific Inquiry

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Does your child love science? Are they curious about the natural world and eager to learn more?

The purpose of this class is to teach students how to study the natural world scientifically. It will involve both nature study and the collection of environmental data using scientific protocols. Not only are your kids learning about science and the natural world around them, but they get to BE SCIENTISTS and collect scientific data! My ultimate goal for your child is that they develop a connection and appreciation for their local ecosystem, which is accomplished by knowing the plants and animals right outside their front door.

This course is so much more...

This course will teach your child how to study nature scientifically. They'll learn how local plants and animals are related and begin to approach nature study with a systems mindset.

However, it's important to know that this course is so much more than just nature study. Yes, your children will be drawing and labeling pictures of plants or measuring tree height using geometry, but the ultimate goal is to show your child how truly inspiring nature can be. It will help them learn that they are part of something that is so much bigger than themselves and give them a place where they can feel connected and grounded as they go through life.

Nature Study

In addition to learning about natural processes and systems, we'll be conducting an in-depth study of one organism each week. Nature studies will be recorded in the students' nature journals and include things like labeled drawings, weather data, data on the size and shape of the organism, etc. These studies will be the basis for the course project.

Course Project - Field Guild

The field guide will include 4 components:

1. Details on 10 different organisms that  occur in your area. This section of the project may be very similar to what you would see in a field guide. However, if your child has a creative idea for presenting the information in another way, I'm flexible!

2. A food web based on the organisms your child studies.

3. A phenology chart based on the plants your child studies.

4. A graph of the temperature, rain, and wind data recorded throughout the course.

This project is simply a compilation of what your child will be working on throughout the semester. The 4 components of this project allows them to put together the data and information they've learned in the course.

Required Materials

You will need to purchase a nature journal for the course (I'll include specific details in the syllabus with an Amazon shopping list to make it simple). You'll likely have most of the items we need already on hand, for example colored pencils and markers. But you may want to consider purchasing a metric tape measure (you can get them online for about $12). Depending on how much data you would like for your child to collect first hand, you can purchase  things like a thermometer and rain gauge. However, if that is an expense you can't afford, I'll have a list of apps you can use to gather this data. In other words, there are a few things you'll need, but most of the items you'll probably already have at home.

Course - Quick Facts

  • 12 week, science-based course on nature study/ ecology
  • $150/student (discounts for siblings)
  • Students will learn about an ecological topic or measurement technique each week.
  • Students will keep a nature journal where they'll record a weekly nature study and include any scientific data they've collected.
  • The course project is a field guide. The purpose of this field guide is to help them assimilate all the information they've gathered over the past 12 weeks into something they can use for years to come.
  • I will be checking the students nature journal entries weekly to make sure they have the correct information recorded. If you require grades for these assignments, then I can assign grades.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this course evolution or creation based?

It's neither. We will be studying nature as it exists directly in front of us. I realize that people have vastly different views in this area. By studying nature as it exists today, you can customize your child's learning experience by reinforcing your views with your child. I plan on teaching the science and parents can go from there.

Can you explain the weekly prompts?

Yes! The weekly prompts are general topics that I assign each week for your kids to reflect on. The purpose for these prompts is to help your child slow down, reflect on life, and realize that nature is a great place for them to recharge. As you all know, life is incredibly busy and often stressful. We all learn different ways to deal with stress, and this is simply teaching your children another stress management technique (without actually coming out and saying that's the purpose of the activity!).

Also, it could help reinforce other lessons that your kids are learning throughout the week. For example, if the topic of hope comes up, this gives your child the opportunity to sit in nature and reflect on what hope means to them. It also opens the door for a great discussion because your kids will have had a chance to think through the issue before discussing it.

Is there a discount for siblings?

Yes! I'll deduct $15 for each child who registers for the course. Please email me so I can give you the coupon code! (This offer is not good with any other offers.)

About the Instructor:

Hi, I’m Dr. Jenny.

I’m a biologist and mom of two young children. My research revolves around the human/nature connection and I own a business that helps parents connect their kids to nature using science-based activities ( I have over 10 years of experience teaching science at the college level and during that time I was involved with outreach programs that taught science to school-aged children. I’m excited to teach your children how to study nature scientifically and that nature can be a great place to reconnect and recharge!

Sign your child up for the course today!

I can't tell you how excited I am to teach your child about nature! Every week will be an adventure! The course is organized in a structured format, but your child will have freedom to choose which plants and animals they want to study. I can't wait to start this journey of exploration with your family in September!