Nature Study: The Moon

We have not kept up well with our nature studies this school year so one of my New Year’s Eve goals is to get back in the nature study habit. The boys love it. I love it. We need it! Getting back to nature study in January means not waiting for good (read: warm) weather. Ha! This was our first full week of nature study since the new year.

A FAVORITE nature study resource is Lynn Sheldon’s Exploring Nature with Children. It is simple and so easy to implement. We have been loosely following along for two years now. I also love using The Handbook of Nature as well. So much information in that book!

I also browsed our home library to find other books on the moon. I had so much fun with all these books and materials that it was tough putting them all away this week.

One of my favorite projects was using watercolor to create our own moons. The boys, surprisingly enough, loved it as well. We watched a quick YouTube tutorial and then I turned them loose on their own creations. I even created my own watercolor moon.

We read every day from the Handbook of Nature and several other books from our home library. We studied moon phases and learned about solar and lunar ecplises. The boys were shocked to learn that we always see the same side of the moon! We watched Journey to the Moon on Prime, a documentary about Apollo 11 and the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. It was fabulous and I definitely recommend it!

Of course, I think the boys’ most favorite activity was creating moon phases with Oreos! As we waited for the eclipse, I read to them The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons and we used the illustrations to create our own moon phases.

Lastly, we watched the lunar eclipse. We armed ourselves with coats and hats and binoculars and our phone cameras. We did not stand out in the cold the whole time. It was SO cold! We went out in 15 minutes intervals, taking turns with the binoculars. We also looked at many amazing photos online the next morning.

This was such a fun nature study week! It really set us up well for the rest of our school year. I’m looking forward to learning about trees this week and probably next. We went on a little nature walk last week to find trees for each of the boys, and now they are ready to learn all about the trees they picked out. I hope we can keep up the nature study. They enjoy being outdoors much more than I do but I’m having a lot more fun with it than I thought. See you next time!