The Stinkhorn – A Mushroom Only A Mother Could Love

It “hatches.” It smells like death. Some have a questionable shape. What’s not to love about stinkhorn mushrooms? Stinkhorn mushrooms like to grow on rotting organic matter, so you typically find them in your mulch beds. But don't worry, if you don’t want these stinky ‘shrooms showing up in your flower bed, you can replace your hardwood mulch with pine needles. Like all mushrooms, what we … [Read more...]

Impromptu Nature Study

In our neck of the woods, the weather is finally turning more spring-like, so we have been spending quite a bit more time outdoors. This has provided us with several opportunities for impromptu nature study. This type of nature study is all about taking advantage of the opportunities to study science outdoors as they present themselves. What does Impromptu Nature Study Look Like? The other … [Read more...]

The Robin – The Most Common Bird You See

The first bird I learned to identify was the robin, so although it is not my favorite - that spot belongs to the tufted titmouse - it does hold a special place in my heart. These orange-breasted birds are easy to spot and hear as they are typically the first ones to wake up in the morning! American robins are found all over the US and many stick around through the winter months as they can puff … [Read more...]

The Secret Life of the Gentle and Useful Cow

Don’t you love the way cows look at you? It’s so gentle and calming! We used to live near a cow field and although the smell wasn’t so great when the wind was blowing the right direction - we did enjoy pausing on our walks to observe their stocky bodies and wide heads as they gently chew their cud in the fields. These mammals are herbivores and ruminants, which means they digest the grass they … [Read more...]

Careful, Kowalski, You Need To Know This About Penguins First

My kids love the Penguins of Madagascar on Netflix - the antics of those birds crack us all up! And so when we visited an aquarium on a recent field trip, we had to spend quite a bit of time observing their penguins. We saw firsthand how these birds fly through the water and waddle on land. Penguins are flightless birds. They have “wings” that act like flippers instead - so they can’t soar in … [Read more...]

What Is Nature Study?

Nature study is a style of educating that searches for the principles of science in nature. It became a popular educational movement in the early 20th century and it is currently regaining popularity once again among homeschoolers. Anna Botsford Comstock, one of the pioneers of the movement, shares the following about nature study in her book: “Nature study cultivates the child’s … [Read more...]