Too hard? Too much effort? Why bother?

What exactly is Nature Study, why should you do it and how can it be easy?

We know moms are busy and keeping children engaged and learning is a daily challenge.

 Our mission is to make that task easier and more effective.

Why study nature?

Nature Study – the foundation for science

History shows us that many scientific breakthroughs and innovations were inspired by observing nature. A famous example is the apple dropping from a tree that inspired Newton’s law of gravitation. Many modern inventions are patterned after nature too, such as Velcro inspired by burrs hooked on socks, robotic arms modelled after elephants’ trunks, bullet trains shaped like kingfishers, LED lights using firefly ‘chemistry’ and eReader screens inspired by light-reflective butterfly wings, to name a few!

But even if we aren’t aiming to change the world by studying nature, nature study can change us.

Charlotte Mason was an innovative and inspirational 18th century educator whose timeless wisdom and ideas are still popular among home educators today. One of the many non-school-like practices she encouraged was for children to be out of doors as much as possible and to learn first hand from observing nature.

One of her often used quotes by homeschoolers is: “Never be within doors when you can rightly be without!”

We’re going to look at what, why, when and how to do nature study effectively.

Why should we study nature?

Nature study is the foundation for scientific study. According to Albert Einstein, one of the world’s finest scientists of the 20th century, “All great science begins with a close observation of nature.”

Charlotte Mason said that “education is a science of relations”. Our goal is to help our children to make their own personal connections with that which they study. It’s up to YOU to help your children make those personal connections with things in nature.

Nature study - Footprints Nature Question - South African Homeschool Curiculum

No matter where you live, you can enjoy the richness of nature in your environment, right where you are – even if you live in a concrete jungle! (We’ll show you how and give you a plan that suits you!)

In addition to making personal connections with nature right where you are, here are more reasons why deliberate nature study benefits children:

  • They develop keen observation skills, self-discipline, patience and perseverance.
  • They develop an understanding and an appreciation of natural processes and the interconnectivity of all things in nature.
  • To sit or stand quietly and observe an animal or plant and then draw it and describe it requires complex focused attention, clear thinking and good communication. These are valuable skills that are also useful in other fields of education.
  • To crown it all, being out of doors instead of stuck at a desk or table is a refreshing and joyful change in the daily routine.
Footprints Nature Quest - South African homeschool curriculum

Footprints Nature Quest

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. Plus you will get tips and ideas for studying the natural wonders of your home environment – no matter where you live!

But we’ve already got a Science Curriculum! Why do we need another one?

Discover the secret formula of how Footprints Nature Quest goes above and beyond all the best science programmes we know.