Homeschool High School Nature Study and Making it into an Elective

Summary:  Homeschooling high school does not often include #nature study.  But ours did, and we made it into an easy #homeschool highschool elective.  Doing nature study together also helped to build a strong #teenrelationship.  #homeschoolhighschool #homeschoolhighschoolelective #naturestudyforteens

This week, my daughter was offered the chance to apply to a new program at her college.  We spent last night considering it as a family, together at dinner.  It may be a great opportunity for her, and would mean a big change in her college major.  

I am so glad that we built a strong relationship with her, during the high school years.  That is key to helping her with this decision now.  

Growing and keeping a strong relationship with our teens can seem like a daunting task.  I worried about how it would work out, as a younger mom. 

Then, as time rolled on, we found a natural way to keep connected during these teen years.....And taking nature road trips together, while homeschooling high school, became a big part of that....

Every week while homeschooling my teen, we tried to work in what we called - mini nature road trips.  It was a chance for us to pile in the car, go to a favorite park, explore a local country road, or visit a beach.  

To get out in nature, to learn about it and to appreciate it, as we explored.

These trips provided us with so many benefits, by refreshing us, giving us one-on-one time, a chance to do nature photography, and even a little driver's ed at the same time. 

And it became something that we looked forward to each week.  One Friday, we headed out into a beautiful, sunny day. Mind you, it was after a lot of rainy ones.  We drove to our most favorite beach, the one we go to every June for ourhomeschool picnic... and were treated to this gorgeous blue sky!

Having time out in nature, helped to renew us each week, balancing out the head work that is part of homeschooling high school.  

Enjoying nature means so much to me, and I am so glad to be passing that onto my daughter.  She has become quite a nature photographer!  She loves taking pictures of birds, and anything in nature.

We began taking pictures together when she was 9.  This has become one of her favorite hobbies, and a big part of our mini-road trips.

My daughter took both of these. It became a chance for us to be creative, and use our right brains for a change!  I loved taking pictures, too.  And the hours spent with the camera became a half semester class in photography on her transcript.

Or it could become an elective such as "science life studies".

And while on our mini road trips, sharing with my teen tended to happened more naturally. My daughter felt comfortable talking in the car, while driving on a country road nearby, or on the way to a favorite park.

Here we stopped for some iced tea for me, and a bubble tea for my teen.

I think that 1 on 1 time is still so important to our children as teens, especially as they begin to widen their horizons.  

And when she was ready to learn to drive, that became a part of our mini-road trips.  She loved being the one to drive her mom around!
In our state, she needed to do a certain number of supervised driving hours, so we just kept track of the time, along the way.

Helping my daughter to practice her driving skills was a joy as we went about spending time in nature.

And these little trips have helped keep our relationship strong through the busy, and emotional, high school years. 

My daughter and I are planning another mini road trip together during her upcoming spring break from college.  I can't wait!  What ways do you use to connect with your teens?  I love reading your comments.

More high school posts are on Pinterest here: Homeschooling High School Pinterest Board.

Do you have a college bound teen in your house?  

Have you seen my NEW book yet called Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition?

It lays out 10 easy steps for homeschool to college, and covers everything you need to help your teen get into the college of their choice, with 7 NEW chapters. Recommended by Lessa Scherrer, a certified college counselor and a homeschooling mama of 3.

Create your own unique and nurturing high school program for your teen and showcase their accomplishments to the colleges. 

The 17 Chapters include:

>Chapter 1 - How to Start Homeschooling if you are a Newbie
>Chapter 2 - 101 Reasons to Homeschool High School
>Chapter 3 - Researching and Getting Started
  Chapter 4 - Planning High School and Making a 4 Year Plan
>Chapter 5 - Choosing Your High School Curriculum
>Chapter 6 - Three Ways to High School Credit
>Chapter 7 - Making Your Teen's Transcripts
>Chapter 8 - 100 High School Electives
>Chapter 9 - Making Homemade Courses
>Chapter 10 - Writing a Winning College Essay
>Chapter 11 - Course Descriptions and Reference Letters
>Chapter 12 - The Common Application - Your GUIDE
>Chapter 13 - Preparing Your Teen for College Writing
>Chapter 14 - Dealing with College Testing SAT/ACT
>Chapter 15 - Top Sources for College Scholarships
>Chapter 16 - Dealing with “Those Questions” from Others
>Chapter 17 - Don’t Forget the FUN!

>There are 12 downloadable high school homeschool planning printables plus a transcript form for you to just fill in. The kind of transcript form that the colleges are used to seeing.
Review by Lit Pick is here: 

Homeschooling High School with College in Mind Video 

Paperback is at Amazon $11.99 
15% OFF at Barnes and Noble 

College in Mind - 2nd Edition

It has lots of planning printables on:

Making your overall plan
Writing the college essay
Dealing with reference letters
Writing those course descriptions
Choosing your curricula

...and more.

Thanks for stopping by,


Betsy is mom to her college grad whom she homeschooled from age 3.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book Homeschooling High School with College in Mind - 2nd Edition.  She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting

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Copyright @ BJ's Homeschool 2015 
Revised 2019
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  1. What a great way to connect with your teen! I love all of your ideas!

  2. Thank you, Mary Prather, of Homegrown Learners, for stopping by and for your kind comments! I enjoy linking up at Collage Friday, so that I can catch up with what's going on, on your blog!

  3. I LOVE this idea!! Perfect timing as spring has sprung around here.

  4. TFantastic, Aimee! It is getting that way here, too. We live in the pacific nw, and actually had a week full of sunshine! Hope you have a nice road trip with your teen(s). I got to go on one with mine last week,


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