Autumn Reading List--an antidote to burnout

Truth be told, I'm too tired to write and contracting too much to sit here, so I dug up the autumn reading list I used a couple of years ago when I was battling bigtime burnout. We were just talking about what to do when you just can't make the plan happen. These books and lots of outside time (for both mom and children) are a great place to start.

Although nature study is to be pursued every day, every year, one fall I gave over at least twelve weeks to the intensive study of the world around us and to the study of nature-related literature and biographies. We did a little math and everything else revolved around nature. My goal was to acquaint my children intimately with the natural world near our home and to develop a love for natural history writing and illustrations. Perhaps more importantly, I wanted to embrace with them the world God created for us, to be inspired and to rest in the comfort and splendor there. My sense was that we would head for the hills (the woods, the pond, the river) and never return to doing school at home again! Here are some books we enjoyed that autumn and a smattering of samples from nature notebooks. We get these books out every year as the evening air starts to turn crisp. Now, they are familiar friends with whom to embrace the season!

Read Alouds for Everybody

Caddie Woodlawn

My Side of the Mountain




Water Sky

Where the Red Fern Grows

Paddle to the Sea

Minn of the Mississippi

Owls in the Family


Level Three Readers

Black Hearts in Battersea

Nightbirds on Nantucket

The Wolves of Willouby Chase

Michael O'Halloran


The Keeper of the Bees

The Harvester

The Best of Beston

Girl of the Limberlost

Level Two

Trumpet of the Swans

The Herriott Treasury for Children

Autumn Moon

One Day in the Woods

One Day in the Alpine Tundra

Kildee House

Owl in the shower

The Blue Hill Meadows

Tarantula in my Purse

Winter Moon

Picture book biographies to share

Into the Woods

A Man Named Thoreau


Black Whiteness

Pond Watching with Ann Morgan

Bug Watching with Charles Henry Turner

Bird Watching with Margaret Morse Nice

Nature Art with Chiura Obata

Flower Watching with Alice Eastwood

Fish Watching with Eugenie Clark

Exploring the Earth with John Wesley Powell

Wildlife Watching with Charles Eastman

Girls Who Look under Rocks

(note: We enjoyed this last book, with inspiring stories of young scientists. But, as a homeschooling family, were surprised?there is a specific bit of information the author did not include. Miriam Rothschild, for instance, never went to school. Why didn't the authors mention that her family believed that school was a waste of time, and that it stifled scientific creativity? And what of the early education of other women naturalists? Be inspired to use this book as a starting place, as an inspiration for more in-depth research. --MacBeth Derham)

Picture Books
(but good enough for everyone to enjoy):

Give Her the River: A Father's Wish for His Daughter

Crawdad Creek

Henry David's House

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

Henry Builds a Cabin

Louisa May and Mr. Thoreau's Flute


More great picture books:

Joanne Ryder

When the Woods Hum

Fog in the Meadow

A Fawn in the Grass

Each Living Thing

Wild Birds

Mockingbird Morning

Catching the Wind

My Father's Hands

The Waterfall's Gift

Hello Tree!

Eric Carle

The Very Busy Spider

The Very Quiet Cricket

The Very Lonely Firefly

The Very Clumsy Click Beetle

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Mixed up Chameleon

The Grouchy Ladybug

The Honeybee and the Robber

Cynthia Rylant

Every Living Thing

The Bird House

Tulip Sees America

Night in the Country

Blue Hill Meadows

In November

The Wonderful Happens

This Year's Garden

Not to be Missed

America The Beautiful

Salamander Rain: A Lake and Pond Journal

Crinkleroot's guide to Knowing the birds

Crinkleroot's Guide to Animal Habitats

Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Trees

Resources and books for Mom and/or high schoolers

The Amateur Naturalist

Golden Guides:
Pond Life, Insects, Birds

The Wild Out Your Window: Exploring Nature Near at Hand

The Curious Naturalist: Nature's Everyday Mysteries

Reading the Mountains of Home

Writing Naturally: A down to earth guide to nature writing

Fun With Nature Take Along Guide

More Fun with Nature Take Along Guide

Drawing From Nature

Keeping a Nature Journal

A Crow Doesn't Need a Shadow

Acorn Pancakes and Dandelion Salad and 38 Other Wild Recipes

Hurricane Reading
Peter Spier's Rain

Galveston's Summer of the Storm


Magic School Bus inside a Hurricane

Rain Makes Applesauce

Come on, Rain!

Down Comes The Rain

One Morning in Maine


Picture Study

Cloud Dance

Mountain Dance

Where the River Begins

In Blue Mountains

Walking With Henry