This week’s blog cruise topic is “exploring the great outdoors”, which is a great topic for our family because we love being outside. There is something about spending time out in the fresh air exploring nature that just reminds me of how amazing God is. When I sit on the beach and smell the salt in the air, or wander through the woods, I am in awe of this beautiful world God created for us.
We are fortunate to live in coastal Florida, where the weather leaves plenty of opportunities to explore nature year round!! A couple of places we like to go locally are Erna Nixon Park and the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Both are full of local plants and wildlife, and they have nature centers and tours where guides will point out features unique to our local area. During mating season, it is not uncommon to see baby bald eagles up in Merritt Island (they have HUGE nests up there, that are easily visible) and it is ALWAYS likely that you may see an alligator or two!!
There are also many other state parks and forests within driving distance to us as well, and many of them are great for camping (but we only camp in the winter around here, summer is WAY to hot and muggy for sleeping in a tent!!). My mom lives in Silver Springs, which is in the Ocala National Forest. This area is great for hiking, and my boys love jumping into the springs and swimming in the cool water. Juniper Springs is one of our favorites. Again, educational materials are available in the nature centers, but sometimes we just go for fun!!
We even make it a point to enjoy nature when we go on vacation. Every summer we spend a week in a little place called Lake Lure NC. I have been going there since I was seven, and I love it. Because we live near the beach, and Florida is generally pretty flat, it’s nice to see mountains when we are on vacation. We have done several hikes in the area, and are always amazed at the abundance of wildlife, and how green and tall the trees are!
A deer we saw:
So, yes, I would say that exploring the outdoors is a big part of our homeschool. On some of our trips outdoors, I have the kids bring their notebooks and sketch what they have seen. My older son is also very into photography, so he takes a lot of pictures, then when we get home, we try to find out what the different plants and creatures are. I believe, that whether you are on a formal field trip, or just outside exploring by yourselves without a formal lesson, there is no place better for our children to truly “see” the Lord! As Romans 1:20 states:
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse”.
How do you incorporate the outdoors into your homeschool? Leave me a comment and let me know. To see what other members of the crew had to say about this topic, click here: