I have tried repeatedly to include a regular nature study in our homeschool curriculum. One thing I confront is my belief that the best way to learn abut nature is to have free time outside. The other recurrent problem is that we are often DONE with school before I feel like I have time to do a nature walk. Now, I'm trying this outdoor hour challenge to see if I can follow someone else into the great outdoors for a more deliberate look at nature.
Our walk today took us into the pasture. We have had lots of rain recently, and what the children immediately noticed was that we have lots of mushrooms and lots of different types. We talked about why there are so many and then we talked about how careful one must be with mushrooms. Then, we gathered as many different kinds as we could find.
We brought them into the house and laid out the ones we thought might make a mushroom print. We pulled out our mushroom field guide and tried to identify a couple of them. We washed our hands, as at least one of them looked like a poisonous variety. Lastly, we took out Handbook of Nature Study and read just a little about mushrooms.
I felt some disappointment that the children were completely done by this point. I feel this each time I try this, because I keep thinking i must be doing something wrong. Other times, I've forced the issue a bit. This time, I want to be more "go with the flow", because even little short lessons like this are better than nothing. And nothing is what we get when I push too hard.