I have to say that this year has definitely been our best year homeschooling thus far. Partially due to the fact that we have formed (together with two other area families) a wonderful nature study group. Charlotte Mason recommended nature study to her students, and now I know why. My children are so much more in touch with their natural surroundings now, than I ever was as a child. We have been taking weekly nature walks with our group in an area park near our home. There are many different paths (mowed) for the children to explore their natural surroundings without the risk of poison ivy, snake bite, etc... We meet every Friday morning at 10 a.m. What a wonderful experience for our children.
At the end of our daily excursion, we sometimes do a nature craft, and most often have a picnic.
In our daily studies, we have been going through the book Pocketful of Pincones by Karen Andreola. What a wonderful example she has set for us each day, and the children are loving drawing in their nature notebooks, and learning the scientific names for plants and animals. After we finish this book, which should take us through the year, we will be starting Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study. This will probably take us through the next several years, as it is over 800 pages. I do believe my children will be richer in knowledge for learning about their world in this fashion. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to give this wonderful gift to them.
PS... If you are interested in learning more about Anna Botsford Comstock, there is a wonderful movie that we found at the public library called The Girl of the Limberlost that is all about her life as a child, and her love of nature.