Mother Earth News Cover

I subscribe to the email newsletter of the Mother Earth News — I LOVE it! There are always so many great ideas for the yard and garden. Since we spend so much time exploring outside and gardening for our homeschool nature study (and because I just love gardening so much) I always check out the newsletter for summer homeschool ideas. Here’s what’s in a recent issue:


All About Growing Summer Squash is an article that would be a wonderful resource for a nature study on a garden crop. It has lists of different kinds of summer squash, how-to’s for planting and caring for squash in your garden, and links to no-spray ways to keep those pesky vine borers off your plants. The Handbook of Nature Study has garden notebooking pages that you can purchase for crop plant studies. You can read more about pumpkins in the Handbook of Nature Study (Anna Botsford Comstock, online), Lesson 171 (pp. 611-617). 

Free and Cheap Stuff for Your Garden features a review of a little book entitled, The Quarter Acre Farm, by Spring Warren, where the author describes how she turned her back yard into a gardent that feeds her family, using free resources that she found in her community. Who doesn’t like free? You can also find more ideas for reusing items as gardening supplies in 82 Sustainable Gardening Tips. These two resources could become the basis for some environmental studies centered around your garden this summer, especially if you have older children who are studying ecology. This is the kind of stuff we like to investigate in our house, anyway (we are big re-users), so I might have to explore developing a unit around this book. 




Grow Safe, Natural Mosquito Repellants is a great article for people looking for flowers that serve more purposes than just looking beautiful. There are also directions for creating an all-natural mosquito trap that is simple enough for kids to create (because you’re using boric acid, though, an adult should supervise the project). Some of the plants on MEN’s mosquito repellant list include geraniums, lantana, rose-scented monarda, lime basil, catnip, sacred basil, and thyme. If you are using Apologia Science’s Exploring Creation Through Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, you will study mosquitos and other insects. Why not include a study of mosquito-repelling plants as one of the extra projects?  Some other resources you might find helpful for a study of mosquitos:

Vegetable Garden Planner is a fun design tool that you can download and try for free, for 30 days. Use it with your kids to design your mosquito repelling garden, your kids’ kitchen garden, or a butterfly garden this summer, then subscribe so you can continue to plan during the dreary winter months, and receive sowing and planting reminders year round.


Watch for my nature studies on these topics, coming soon! (I’m very excited…). If you’d like to subscribe to the Mother Earth News newsletter or receive the magazine to your laptop or e-reader, check out their subscriptions page

Peace, and happy gardening!