I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

50+ Summer Nature Study Themes

50+ Summer Nature Themes {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Most of our school year is buried deep under a blanket of snow. We spend our time in doors looking longingly out the window. While we continue to do science during that time, our study of GOD-made themes is limited to what can survive freezing temperatures. 

But, that's OK. 
Who ever said learning has to be boxed up with all the workbooks and curriculum guides at the end of May?

50+ Summer Nature Study Themes {The Unlikely Homeschool}

I'm a firm believer in "summer gentle school". This means that we are able to learn about nature more naturally...more organically. We learn it simply...with observation and exploration. Towards the end of each spring, we sit down for a big brainstorming session. I ask lots of questions and I listen with earnest in hopes of guiding my children towards a summertime science interest.

By the end of our family Q&A, we take a vote to decide on one group nature-themed project that we will learn about TOGETHER throughout the entire summer. This allows all of my children to have a voice in their own education and helps them explore new topics of study that they might not otherwise have chosen.

50+ Summer Nature Study Themes {The Unlikely Homeschool}

This year, the kids have decided to spend the next three months studying horses. Like in year's past, our learning will be done gently by reading lots of living literature books, maybe completing a few projects and notebooking entries, but mostly by observing and discussing horses TOGETHER. 

I don't do a lot of planning for these summer studies and we don't intentionally set aside time each day to accomplish anything in particular. We just keep our eyes open. We explore. We take our longing-to-learn with us wherever we go. Inevitably, we stumble upon lots of real life examples of what we'd only be able to observe in books during the winter months. 

50+ Summer Nature Study Themes {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Interested in joining us for some summer-long NATURAL learning of nature? Here are fifty nature study themes that my kids and I have considered over the years.

Summer Nature Study Themes

  1. animal habitats
  2. animal tracks
  3. animal scat
  4. ants
  5. baby animals
  6. birds
  7. cactus
  8. caves
  9. cloud formations
  10. crustaceans 
  11. eggs/nests
  12. erosion
  13. fish
  14. forest life
  15. geology/rocks
  16. insects
  17. land formations
  18. leaves
  19. life cycle of a frog/toad
  20. life cycle of a butterfly
  21. lizards
  22. deciduous trees
  23. evergreen trees
  24. mammals/zoo study
  25. marine life
  26. moss/fungus
  27. moths
  28. mushrooms
  29. oceans/waves
  30. one square foot of any spot of earth and how it changes over time
  31. phases of the moon
  32. pond life
  33. prairie life
  34. rivers
  35. rodents
  36. seasons
  37. seed harvesting and preserving
  38. seashore life
  39. shells
  40. snails
  41. snakes
  42. soil sampling
  43. spiders
  44. turtles
  45. underground habitats
  46. vegetable/fruit gardening
  47. weather
  48. weeds
  49. wild flowers
  50. worms/worm gardens

50+ Summer Nature Study Themes {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Gentle Projects for Summer Nature Study

While you are observing and exploring, you will no doubt want to display or curate your specimens.

Here are a few ideas to easily capture nature in a natural way...

50+ Summer Nature Study Themes {The Unlikely Homeschool}

For more thoughts on summer nature study, be sure to visit my Nature Study Pinterest Board


  1. Beautiful waterfalls and rocks! Where are they located?

  2. Love the ant farm idea. Where did you get the ants from? Did you catch your own? A friend of mine recommend ordering them online at http://www.antsalive.com.