Nature Study Goals for 2013

After reading Barb's post about her goals for this year at the Handbook of Nature Study blog, I was inspired to write a list for myself. 

Studying nails closely at home, 2011
Doing nature study with my children has been an enjoyable activity in our homeschool over the years. You can see all our nature related posts from my old Canadian Home Learning blog here and the more current ones here. We don't always record our findings or sketch, but we do love to spend time outside in nature.

Observing nature in Windsor, Ontario ~ Summer 2010
My nature study goals for 2013: 

  • start my own nature journal, putting together a take-along kit with sketchbook, pencils, water-colour pencils, field guide, and binoculars (and make a similar kit for Celeste!)
  • set up a life list for birds observed (find out best set up for me: journal, an app, and/or through Project Noah?)
  • visit five provincial parks and follow at least one trail at each park
  • visit five Island Trails, including walking part of the Confederation Trail (more about the Confederation Trail here)
  • participate in the Backyard Bird Count 
  • learn, read in Handbook of Nature Study (or other field guide if needed), and include a journal entry (with sketch or photo) for 5 birds, 5 trees, 5 wildflowers, 5 seashells, and 5 mammals - try to include native species to the island
  • learn about the Piping Plover
  • Participate in the Big Week of Birding at PEI National Park 
  • Help at the World Oceans Day Beach Clean-Up 
  • Find and participate in two (or more!) other nature-related events, either educational or helpful ones.
Since we only moved to Prince Edward Island in June 2012, we have still a lot of places to explore. I have always loved exploring new nature areas, parks, trails, or beaches; and we have already visited several as a family. My children always come along. Honestly, as they get older, my older two children might grumble at first, but they always end up loving the outing too! 

This year, I want to make sure I record what we see and observe during our nature outings, not just with my camera. I am looking forward to learning more about the nature around me through this process and also to become more comfortable with sketching. These goals should help. 

A few brochures I collected last summer, all related to nature on the island.

Did you set up similar nature-related goals for yourself? Leave me a comment with a link if you did a post about them, I'd love to read them. 


  1. I don't have any specific goals, but you're definitely inspiring me here! One thing I've been thinking about is learning birds by sound. We studied owl calls recently, and I'd like to do more. Sketching is a goal for me, too!

  2. These look like wonderful goals, especially getting to explore a new place. I have a post coming up about bird life lists this week so you may get an idea of how to keep yours from my post.

    Thanks so much for sharing your goals. I will be anxious to hear how it goes for you this year.


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