Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Nature Study Resource, Giveaways, and More!

I am so excited to tell you about a new nature study resource for SO many reasons.

First, because the resources have been put together by two wonderful homeschool moms that I had the privilege of meeting last year at a homeschool conference and I'm blogging buddies with. (If their names sound familiar to you it's probably because I've mentioned them several times in posts already as they have truly inspired me in the way of nature study.) ...

Secondly, because I have had the opportunity to review one of their unit studies and as you'll see below... we loved it! ...

Third, because I am such a nature study wannabe but need serious help in the area...

Okay, I could go on and on, but let's just get right into it.

NatureExplorers Unit Study E-books have been created by Cindy West and Melissa Leach at Shining Dawn Books. So far they have created 12 unit studies and plan to add more every few months. The following titles are what they have currently:

Animal Signs Beautiful Birds Captivating Clouds Creatures of the Night Delightful Deciduous Trees Everchanging Erosion Frogs and Toads Fungus Among Us Hard as a Rock Peaceful Ponds Spectacular Spiders Wonderful Wildflowers

These affordable unit studies are not only a great way to introduce you to the idea of nature study but also terrific resources to add to the nature study you are already doing!

I had the opportunity to review Wonderful Wildflowers...perfect for this time of year! Truly, there is so much packed into this unit study so I'll just try to name a few things.

You'll find inspiration and some basic background information on wildflowers. Note: This is not an exhaustive listing of wildflowers, so you will want your own wildflower identification guide specific to your area or at least access to internet to help in identifying the wildflowers you find. There is a link to a very helpful article on identifying wildflowers included in Wonderful Wildflowers.

You'll also find TONS of practical ideas on how to look for wildflowers and what to do once you find them including hands on activities and crafts. Then there are:

Writing prompts and Research Ideas!
Bible Lessons!
Suggested Poetry, Art, Composer, and Literature References!
Internet Links!
Ideas for Nature Study Groups or Co-ops!
Notebook Pages!
And more!!

You can order the Wonderful Wildflowers and other NatureExplorer's Unit Study Ebooks from the Shining Dawn Books website...which is an incredible nature study resource in and of itself. Wonderful Wildflowers is only $7.00.

Other great nature study resources are Cindy's blog and Melissa's blog.

See a free sample of NatureExplorer's Unit Study Ebooks.

Plus...too cool...both Melissa and Cindy are giving away three of the units!! Make sure to check out their contests which run today through next Monday, May 25th.

I can assure you I will be purchasing more of these unit studies in the future. Actually, the first day I received Wonderful Wildflowers I opened it up just to skim through it and see what it was like. The more I read, the more excited I got. I looked out my window at the beautiful day and thought,"What are we doing inside?!" Five minutes later the kids had their shoes on and we were out the door with our digital camera in tote.

Here's what we found just while walking down the street in our neighborhood...all of these wildflowers were found in our neighbor's yards just next to the road! Of course we found more if they hadn't mowed recently :o). Plus, there is one empty lot that has not been maintained on our street that was a treasure trove of wildflowers!

Aren't these pretty! After our walk we identified these online. These are called Common or Philidelphia Fleabane.

These purple flowers are all around our area, but I haven't been able to identify them yet. Ideas, anyone? Update: Melissa let me know that these are Red Clovers, which explains my problem...I was searching in the purple flower section of all my identification guides!

This little patch of wildflowers are called Hop Clover.

This isn't a great picture and we're uncertain of what it is yet. We are thinking it's called Cow Vetch, but all the pictures online look a lot bigger than our flowers.

These are all over our area too. All the little girls used to tie them together to make necklaces and bracelets when I was a kid but I never knew what it was called. Apparently, they are White Clovers.

We actually found several more wildflowers, but not all of my pictures we're very clear. We're not worried though because our wildflower studies are far from over! Is it a pretty day where you are?...What are you are waiting for?!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you Shanna for your support!

    Those gorgeous red flowers are red clover. I think they take the most beautiful macro photos. And the Common Fleabane are also known as Philadelphia Fleabane just in case you see them listed somewhere like that too! Happy wildflower hunting!




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