Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Backyard Nature Study

Every day I feel so blessed to live where we do. I'm not talking about the country where I reside, or even the state (although I am incredibly grateful for both). I'm talking about the actual location of our house.

Our family has moved around quite a bit and my husband and I have been pretty picky about the homes we've purchased. We've shied away from typical neighborhood living, wanting a bit more privacy and land. But three years ago when we were house hunting, God gave us this wonderful gift.

Not only is the house more than sufficient for our family, we have a wonderful lot that backs up to a small wetlands area. We are smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood, but that neighborhood is nestled between two lakes. Because of the lakes and the wetlands next to our lot, we have a great variety of nature wildlife that we can observe and study right in our backyard.

This is exactly where I want to be right now - at this point in our family's life. This is exactly the kind of hands on learning I want to offer my kids in our home education journey. 

Although our yard is "hopping" with frogs, and has been for the 3 years we have lived here, my kids never get tired of finding frogs. Whenever they see one hopping away, they get excited. 

We've done our share of encouraging the wildlife to come into our backyard. We've created gardens and filled them with butterfly attracting plants. We've hung bird feeders and filled them with seed. We've kept our lawn free of harsh chemicals that would kill off the little frogs and salamanders that live here. We've even bought praying mantis egg sacs and released hundreds of ladybugs each spring.

Most importantly, we've taken the time to enjoy the visitors in our backyard. Camera in hand, I head out almost daily to see what I can find. Just yesterday I went to the herb garden to see if I could find the praying mantis that we commonly see there. My daughter wanted to know what I was doing and when I told her, she looked down into the grass and said, "There he is!"

The only visitors that I don't eagerly welcome in my yard are these guys.....

But unfortunately they make their home on the other side of the fence and venture into our yard regularly looking for food. They were probably here before me, so I guess we are learning to share the space.

This is a huge part of what homeschooling looks like for our family. Taking time to observe and appreciated what's right in our back yard.


  1. Wonderful entry! You have some really awesome the butterfly photos a lot.

  2. Love it! And that hummingbird shot is amazing!