Nature Studies
The study of nature is appealing to people of all ages. It is easy to incorporate nature studies into your homeschooling approach. Some homeschooling methods focus very strongly on nature studies, including the Charlotte Mason method. Learn why it is so important and some great approaches to learning from nature.
Things to See & Do in Wisconsin
International Crane Foundation
The International Crane Foundation is the world's center for the study and preservation of cranes. Located in Baraboo, the ICF features wattled cranes and red-crowned cranes. You will also see the sarus crane--at six feet in height, easily the tallest flying bird in the world. At the AMOCO Whooping Crane Exhibit, you can relax on comfortable seats and watch one of the world's rarest birds, the whooping crane, as our pair hunt frogs and insects, and interact with each other in their tranquil wetland exhibit. Later you may want to visit our art exhibit, or the Chick Exercise Yard and talk with our "Chickparent," or take a walk on a trail that winds through oak savanna, tallgrass prairie, or around a wetland.
Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway
Calm or dancing waters surrounded by shades of green, the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway provides 252 miles of recreational opportunities. Canoe amid the northwoods, where wolves, deer, otter and porcupine can be seen or boat surrounded by wooded bluffs and historic towns. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 created a thin narrow corridor of protection for the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. This corridor provides scenic views and a haven for wildlife. The clean, sparkling river water shelters native mussels, dragonflies, and fish. Overhead, eagles, osprey, kingfisher and warblers fly and nest. Closer at hand raccoons, fox, and bear may be glimpsed. Color bursts forth from trilliums and marsh marigolds, followed by asters, cardinal flowers and the changing fall colors. A wealth of wildlife viewing awaits those who seek it. A glimpse of the River's past can also be seen on the landscape. A stone wall, a steel ring, a cabin or a metal bridge recalls earlier times. Dakota, Ojibwe, voyageurs, loggers and settlers have all known this river.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail
Imagine a public greenway meandering across Wisconsin's glacial landscape. Imagine a trail 1,200 miles long leading both to places of glacial beauty close to home and to some of the remotest parts of Wisconsin. That is what the late Ray Zilmer of Milwaukee had in mind in the 1950's when he proposed that an Ice Age Glacier National Forest Park be established along the entire length of the moraines marking the furthest advance of the last glacier in Wisconsin. An avid hiker, he proposed a continuous footpath, similar to the Appalachian Trail, as the central feature of the park so that visitors could explore and enjoy the glacial landscape at their own pace.
Northeastern Wisconsin (NEW) Zoo
The Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo is located 11 miles northwest of Green Bay, within the Brown County Reforestation Camp. The NEW Zoo and Brown County Reforestation Camp together function as a 1560-acre recreational area serving over a half million visitors each year. The miles of trails, picnic areas, trout ponds, and animal exhibits provide fun and enjoyment for the whole family. Visit the observation tower to see a good portion of the animal exhibits and lush habitat.
North Country National Scenic Trail
The North Country National Scenic Trail links scenic, natural, historic, and cultural areas in seven northern states. The approximately four thousand mile long trail incudes a variety of hikes from easy walking to challenging treks. When completed, through the efforts of many people, the trail will become the longest continuous hiking trail in the United States. From the Missouri River in North Dakota to the shores of Lake Champlain in New York, the trail allows hikers to experience a variety of features, from clear-flowing streams, to thick Northern woods, from vast prairies to clean lakes.
Henry Vilas Zoo
Adventures with animals from all over the world await you at Dane County's Henry Vilas Zoo, located in the heart of Madison. Highlights include the Discovery Center/Herpetarium, the Discovering Primates Complex, the Big Cat Complex, and the Tropical Rain Forest Aviary.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Apostle Islands in Lake Superior offer wild landscapes of pine and hemlock. The area is the ancestral home of the Ojibwe people and includes the nation's finest collection of historic lighthouses.
Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens
The Milwaukee County Zoo is located on 200 wooded acres and is home to approximately 2500 animals, representing 300 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and invertebrates. Offers animal exhibits, special exhibits, and educational programs.
Racine Zoological Gardens
The Racine Zoological Gardens is one of only 11 free admission accredited zoos left in the entire country. Covering 32 acres, the Zoo is home to over 250 animals representing 76 species. Here you will find giraffes, lions, rhinos, orangutans, kangaroos and more, living in exhibit spaces designed to imitate natural surroundings.
Resources
Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking

With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings -- based on his own field research -- and you'll discover if those tracks in the brush were made by a deer or a fox.

In his celebrated style, this author, artist, and naturalist enthusiastically shares a wealth of tips. Jim Arnosky wants you to enjoy watching wildlife. He carefully explains how field marks, shapes, and location give clues for identifying certain plants and animals wherever you are. He gives hints for sharpening observational skills. And he encourages you to draw and record birds, insects, shells, animal tracks, and other finds from a busy day's watch.

Nature Studies Homeschool Curriculum
Considering God's Creation
Life science truly comes alive with this 270-page lap-book style notebook for 2nd-7th graders. A Charlotte Mason type discovery approach is easily implemented with creative activities, music and topical Bible studies, making this program a perfect choice for a homeschool family or a classroom. It may be used as a stand-alone science course or as an invaluable supplemental resource for any other program. 
Nature Studies Activities & Experiments
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: Science
Family style learning is a great way to tackle lots of different subjects, including science.
Handbook of Nature Study
Based on Charlotte Mason's method of education, this website offers ideas and resources for incorporation nature study into your homeschool.
Arbor Day National Poster Contest
Join over 74,000 fifth grade classrooms and home schools across America in the Arbor Day National Poster Contest. The theme chosen will increase your students’ knowledge of how trees produce and conserve energy. The free Activity Guide includes activities to use with fifth grade students to teach the importance of trees in producing and conserving energy. These activities correlate with National Science and Social Study Standards. The Guide also includes all of the information you need for poster contest participation.
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Featured Resources

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Minds More Awake: The Vison of Charlotte Mason
Anne E. White explores what is known as the Charlotte Mason, based on the educational philosophy of the 19th century British educator. The goal is to set a child on the path to an intentional, purposeful life. White explores both the practical and philosophical understanding the Mason's practices. White includes lots of examples of how to use these ideas in your own homeschooling. 
The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric
Opening the door for beginners who seek a thorough grounding in the first arts of human understanding, this book explains the nature of logic, grammar, and rhetoric-the three of the seven liberal arts-and how they relate to one another. In Renaissance universities, the trivium (literally, the crossing of three part way) formed the essence of the liberal arts curriculum. Examined are topics such as the nature and function of language, distinguishing general grammar from special grammar, the study...
A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
Now you can realize the joy filled homeschool of your dreams! This modern classic is written by the homeschool mom who first carried Charlotte Mason's writings to America in her suitcase in 1987. Miss Mason's books were soon republished for a new generation. After ten years of intense study and successful application of Miss Mason s principles with her own children, Karen wrote A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning ™. Today's parents can now see what a C...
Conquering Chronic Disorganization
The real-life stories of chronically disorganized people and the ground breaking, easy-to-learn organizing methods used to end their chronic disorganization in the area of residential clutter, office organizing, paper management, storage, and time management. Conquerings pages includes an extensive index, user-friendly summaries, quick tips, helpful photographs, and a resource section of products and organizations.
A Reason For® Handwriting
A Reason For® Handwriting provides a fun, meaningful approach to developing effective handwriting skills. Each lesson is built around a Scripture verse chosen not only for proper letter combinations, but also inspirational content. “Border Sheets” encourage students to share God's Word with others. You'll find product information about A Reason For® Handwriting here.