Available January 2022

Footprints Nature Quest - South African homeschool curriculum

Footprints Nature Quest is a unique, literature-driven learning safari that takes your family on a journey of discovery through the various natural biomes of our amazing country.

In each region, a local guide will give you insight into the fascinating geography, flora, fauna and other natural features that make that area distinct.

You will explore the depths of the dark kelp forests of the west coast as well as the diverse east coast with it’s warm ocean and lush vegetation. You will uncover the secrets of animals and plants of the Nama Karoo, meander through the rich floral kingdom of the fynbos biome, marvel at our forests, rivers, mountains, bushveld, Kalahari and even travel back in time to learn captivating facts about human settlement in South Africa.

In each area of your learning safari, a selection of ‘living books’ will give your family insight from experts who have lived there and loved our beautiful country and her natural inhabitants. Living books aren’t textbooks; they’re books written by an author who is knowledgeable and passionate about a subject and who brings that subject to life through a story, biography or autobiography.

Our colourful curriculum guide, written in a gentle conversational style, gives you useful background information and researched facts about the complexity of each biome. 

Home education is not so much about filling children’s minds with facts, but rather as Charlotte Mason said, it is a science of relations – it’s about introducing your children to topics and subjects that fascinate them, views and ideas that challenge them and great authors whose stories and experiences enrich their knowledge and thinking. It’s about creating an atmosphere of learning where questions, curiosity, and discovery are part of your family culture.

In a Charlotte Mason-style education, there are no worksheets, no tests or quizzes, no busywork. Instead, in Footprints Nature Quest, we offer you a selection of meaningful assignments to choose from – mapwork, writing assignments and practical activities that will enrich your children’s learning and experiences. We encourage you to plan outings, trips and holidays to visit some of the regions you will learn about to explore them in person.  In each area, you will discover a specific treasure that you will store in your treasure chest of knowledge!

We believe that learning should consist of great stories, rich conversations, purposeful work and an atmosphere of joy and delight that leads to a love of learning.

Footprints Nature Quest is aimed at children between the ages of 8-14 years. It is a unit study that covers Geography and Natural Sciences.  It is an ideal resource to use alongside our best-selling Footprints On Our Land social studies programme, but each of these products can be used on their own as well. For families with children in the 4-8 years age category, Footprints Nature Quest also includes a list of picture book stories in each biome you will explore, so that you can include the younger children in your studies too. As moms of large families, we understand that we need to make multi-level home education easy and normal!

Why did we create Footprints Nature Quest?

While writing our Afrikaans programme, Voetspore, we included a natural science section that explored the various biomes of our country. Knowing that our English-speaking homeschoolers would also want a programme like that, which included many beautiful stories about animals and conservation in South Africa, we decided to publish the programme in English too.

What do you get with Footprints Nature Quest?

  • Curriculum Guide
  • Booklist
  • Wall map of South Africa
  • Treasure chest picture discs
  • Course website with links, video clips and other enriching resources

We provide you with a list of over 70 South African stories and reference books that will delight your family. Where appropriate we also list movies and documentaries that will expand your learning.

Footprints Nature Quest - South African homeschool curriculum

The Curriculum Guide

Footprints Nature Quest - South African homeschool curriculum

The comprehensive and colourful Curriculum Guide highlights the unique features of each region to give you a wealth of knowledge about South Africa’s natural heritage.

At the beginning of each lesson there is:

  • a summary of the recommended stories and reference books
  • suggestions of possible field trips
  • titles of movies and documentaries to add to your studies

The content that follows in the guide leads your family on an awesome adventure into the natural wonders of South Africa.

The course webpage

We provide access to a course webpage where you will find links to additional articles, video clips and other resources to enrich your children’s learning safari. You don’t need to spend hours searching the web for additional material – we’ve done it all for you!

What else should you know?

Footprints Nature Quest - ostriches up close

You could work through Footprints Nature Quest in one year, if you plan carefully and keep up a steady pace. However, if you use it in conjunction with Footprints on Our Land or other homeschool curriculum products, it could take up to two years to complete. 

We encourage you to work at your own comfortable pace and to take plenty of days for field trips to places of interest where you can see and experience firsthand the things you are learning about. We believe that this real-life learning is much more valuable than sticking to a schedule and learning from books!

We encourage you to use our lesson plans as a springboard and to dig deeper or go down ‘rabbit trails’ to explore further if your children are particularly interested in any specific topic. This is how you give them a delight-directed, customised learning experience. It’s also how you discover more about your children’s interests and personalities. They might even discover their future career path when given the freedom to pursue this kind of in-depth learning on topics that fascinate them!


As Christians, we hold a Biblical creationist worldview, but not all the books that we have included share this perspective. Matters of faith are not the main focus of this programme, so families of any faith or none at all should be comfortable using it.

When issues like the age of the earth or the origins of creation arise, we believe that this diversity of views is something that you should address as a learning opportunity with your family instead of shying away from it. Discuss why you believe as you do and why others hold different views. Encourage your children to keep researching these matters so that ultimately they can make their own informed choices as they mature. Teach them to read more than one side of any controversy, to ponder and even wrestle with the information they find. Teach them to think critically, rather than simply drilling them with what you believe.

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When will Footprints Nature Quest be available?
We hope to have it for sale in our online shop by January 2022. Use the contact form below to be added to our announcement list, so we can notify you when it is available. No obligations!

What’s the ideal age for Footprints Nature Quest?
The programme is aimed at children between ages 8-14 years but many of the stories included are also suitable for children in the 4-8 year age group.

Can we use it with Footprints On Our Land?
Yes, in fact we recommend this. While you immerse your family in a study of the history of South Africa, you can also enrich their learning with a study of the natural heritage of our country by using Footprints Nature Quest.

Do you provide a daily schedule?
No, we don’t provide a daily schedule as we believe that you know best how to pace your family’s progress, depending on the number of other resources you are using, your family size,  your work commitments and other factors that make your family’s circumstances unique.

How long will it take to complete Footprints Nature Quest?
You could complete it in one year but we recommend that you take all the time you need rather than stressing to complete it in a predetermined time frame. Rather focus on making your learning experience as rich and enjoyable as possible.

Do you provide all the recommended books?
No, we offer a range of books that you can enjoy in each section, but they are not compulsory. As some of the books are currently out of print, we are in the process of obtaining copyright for them. However, we can provide the bulk of the books to you in package form and you can use the library and online stores to source as many of the currently out of print titles as you can.

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