Are you longing to incorporate more time in nature into your homeschool days, but struggling to fit it all in? We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kristin Moon of Kristin Moon Science to the Homeschool Compass to share with us why it is worthwhile to prioritize time in nature. Not only has Dr. Moon homeschooled her own children from birth through high school, but she also draws from her background as a science researcher and educator to show us why time spent outdoors is so vital.

The brilliant Albert Einstein once said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” This great scientist—capable of complex thought that many of us can only dream of comprehending—understood that nature was an incredible teacher.

Unfortunately, so many of us spend days and even weeks without exposing ourselves to the wonders of the world outside the four walls of our homes, our work spaces, and our classrooms. We need to change that. Spending time in nature is good for all of us, no matter our age or stage in life.  

Scientists have discovered that spending time outdoors provides amazing benefits for our health–both physically and mentally. Additionally, the outside world also provides amazing opportunities for children of all ages to learn.  Not only does time in nature expose children to a variety of topics (including but not limited to earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and meteorology), spending time outdoors has been demonstrated to provide measurable benefits in focus, memory, and test scores.

Read on to discover the reasons time in nature is good for you and for your kids!

Time in Nature is Good for You

There are countless scientific studies that have shown that spending time in nature is good for your health—physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Here are just a few health benefits to spending time outdoors.

Clearly, time in nature provides a wealth of benefits for our health, but what specific advantages does spending time outside provide school-aged children?

Time in Nature is Good for Your Kids

Children who spend time in nature have been shown to have better focus, increased creativity, and boosts in memory. Beyond the health benefits, time in nature has been found to improve academic performance. Studies show that students who participate in outdoor classrooms and other nature-based learning experiences fare better academically.  One study in particular demonstrated that students in outdoor science programs improved their test scores by 27 percent.

In addition, time spent in nature helps children regulate the sensory input they are taking in all throughout the day. Getting outside and away from the constant barrage of information coming at them from screens allows them time to think, lets their minds wander, and may even give them a chance to become bored (though that’s actually a good thing).

While many parents and teachers can appreciate the value of adding outdoor time into the day for young children, they may feel pressure as kids get older to increase the time spent inside doing “real school”. However, spending time in nature can provide excellent learning opportunities for students in middle school, high school, and even college. 

For me personally, when I think back to my college biology courses, the memories I recall most vividly involve field work, taking the concepts we’d learned in the classroom and investigating how they play out in nature: tracking how many and what kind of pollinators visited a flower, measuring how many ant lion traps there were in a given area, and so on.

Nature has so much to teach us.  In a single trip outside, your student can learn about biology, chemistry, physics, meteorology, earth science, and astronomy.  Nature can even inspire your children creatively like many of the great authors, playwrights, and artists. 

In our next article, we’ll explore some of the many ways you can get your kids learning and exploring out in nature!

Enjoy this post? Be sure to visit Dr. Moon at Kristin Moon Science and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.


Kristin Moon

Dr. Kristin Moon earned a doctorate in Molecular Genetics from the University of Florida. She left lab life behind to stay home and raise her two sons. Not only did she homeschool her own children from birth through high school graduation, she has taught hundreds of students in homeschool co-ops, science clubs, online academies, and live lab intensives. She blogs about the science of everyday life in simple-to-understand ways, and has developed several self-paced, online courses which can all be found on her website (https://kristinmoonscience.com/). You can also find Kristin on social media, where she shares resources and ideas for helping others understand, teach, and love science.