Science, nature’s way . . .

“Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” ~Charlotte Mason

This week’s TOS Crew Blog Cruise poses the question: 

What is your favorite science resource? 

Science has to be Ben’s very favorite subject. Space and flight, human body, chemistry, batteries and magnets, animals . . . he loves it all. I’m not sure he could tell you his favorite science topic or resource. But I can tell you mine. Hands down, my favorite science topic is nature study. And my favorite resource for nature study (besides God’s amazing creation itself) are the NaturExplorers unit studies from Shining Dawn Books. 

I remember a time when I wanted to study nature with Ben, but I wasn’t sure where to start. We could go outdoors with a nature bag filled with a drawing book, colored pencils, magnifying glass, some containers for catching bugs and observing them, a butterfly net, and some field guides. MY plan would be to draw a flower, look for bugs under a log, and discuss what we saw. BEN’s plan would be to climb trees. Not that climbing trees is a bad thing. There’s much to learn when you climb trees. But I wanted a little more direction to our weekly nature walks.

We needed a better plan. 

Then one day I discovered NaturExplorersCindy West had done all the planning for me. 

These awe-inspiring unit studies lay out a plan perfect for one nature walk or a dozen. With living books, carefully selected non-fiction books and websites, tons of hands-on activities, notebooking pages, and a complete list of ideas for how to learn about and enjoy nature, we now love our nature walks and creating a lifetime of memories while photographing and drawing our discoveries.

For the Charlotte Mason fan in me, I love that these units also incorporate studies of artists and their works, composers and their works, and poetry. Toss in some Bible and geography and you have a well-rounded, science-based unit study. Oh, how this makes me happy.

The topics are fun, too. There are the ones that you would expect, like Wonderful Wildflowers, Butterflies Flutter By, Captivating Clouds, and Hard as a Rock. But then there are those that are not as expected, like Flying Creatures of the Night, A Fungus Among Us, and Spectacular Spiders

Probably our favorite NaturExplorers study so far has been Incredible Creeks. We used this study with our Nature Club and had so much fun. I blogged about it here: Dragonflies and Crawfish and Wasps-oh my! 

I love that nature study is not just a great science topic, but also brings the focus of our homeschool back to God’s glorious creation. It helps us see just how much God cares about the smallest of details, how He makes everything work together, and how much he cares for us! 

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? ~Matthew 6:26

Do you have a favorite science resource to share? I’d love to hear about it. To read about the favorites of other members of the TOS Crew, check out this week’s Blog Cruise.
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