We love natural history in the River Houses, and we think bird study in particular is one of the best educational activities you can take up in a homeschool environment. It can be made as elementary or as advanced as you wish, it teaches a wide range of facts and skills, and it can be done at all times of year and just about anywhere. There’s no better way for beginners to get started with bird study than through the big annual event coming up next weekend (12–15 February): the Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by Cornell University and many other nature organizations.
The idea is simple: just count the birds you see in your backyard (or any other single location) for at least 15 minutes on one or more days during the count period (12–15 February 2021), and then submit your list to the GBBC website. Your counts will be combined with tens of thousands of others to generate a snapshot of bird populations across the United States and around the world — in other words, your homeschool observations will become part of a real international scientific project.
Please join in! On the GBBC website you can print out a set of beautiful Great Backyard Bird Count posters, and after your participation has been recorded you can print a handsome GBBC certificate — just the thing to display on your homeschool bulletin board.
How many birds can you find in your homeschool neighborhood? 🐦
❡ Books in the running brooks: Our recommended homeschool reference library includes an excellent bird guide that would serve your homeschool well. Many other similar guides are also available — find one that’s a good fit for your family and take it with you on all your outings, whether far afield or just out to the backyard. 🦅
❡ Nature notes: This is one of our regular Homeschool Natural History posts. Add your name to our weekly mailing list and get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🗞