Nature Study in the Christian Homeschool

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Nature Study is about more than merely observing God’s creation and learning about the natural world. Nature study in the Christian homeschool is rooted in natural theology. Homeschool nature study has become hugely popular in the homeschooling world especially in the Charlotte Mason, Wild and Free, Classical education, and other homeschool communities that prioritize wonder, outdoor experience, and hands-on learning. But for the Christian parent, nature study ought to be so much more. Nature study provides a way to nurture our family’s faith as we explore God’s created world.

Rooted in Wonder Nurturing Your Family's Faith Through God's Creation Nature Study in Christian homeschooling

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Special Revelation -v- General Revelation

Christian nature study is rooted and grounded in a respect for God’s Word as the primary source of truth. It’s important to start at the beginning by defining our terms and explaining the difference between special revelation and general revelation.

Eryn Lynum, master naturalist and author of Rooted in Wonder, explains it this way: “There are two main ways that God reveals himself to us. The first is Special Revelation. That is His living, active, inspired word. The second is Natural Revelation, also called General Revelation. That is what we see, what we learn about God through what He has made.”

Rooted in Wonder book by Christian naturalist homeschooler Eryn Lynum

The idea of Natural Revelation comes from Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

“Think about if you’re staring at an artist’s painting. The more you look at it, the more you can really understand that artist. It’s just like that with God’s world, His created world… There are so many materials outside that we can use to point our children to their Creator,” explains Eryn.

Special Revelation and Natural Revelation complement each other. Scripture itself is full of examples and parables derived from nature. And the intricate designs we see in nature point us to the Creator.  

Eryn emphasizes, “Special Revelation is primary. God’s word is essential. That is what gives us the gospel message. Even if I was locked in a room without a window the rest of my life, but I had the Bible – I’d be sad, I’d probably be a bit depressed – but at the same time, that would be enough because I would have the Gospel. The opposite is not true. General or Natural Revelation is not enough on its own. We cannot look at a tree and get the gospel message. Natural Revelation and what I teach in my books and my podcasts, they have to be rooted in Biblical truth. That is the foundation.”

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What is the best way to learn about nature as Christian homeschoolers?

Eryn reminds us that science began as the study of God. “There were natural theologians and philosophers who [saw] it was really meant to be a pursuit of the Creator. Then, with the scientific revolution, they separated. I think that was a huge scheme of Satan’s. He saw that people were seeing the creator God through what he had made. He had to put this big wedge and chasm in it.

“Out of that came naturalism, which is a worldview also connected to materialism. Both of those are just really a way of saying nothing supernatural exists. That’s what naturalism would say. Only that which is tangible, physical, that you can see, touch, taste, smell, feel is what exists. It would separate creation and Creator. I, again, I think this is something that Satan has used to just sever the connection between creation and Creator.”

Rooted in Wonder Nurturing Your Family's Faith Through God's Creation Nature Study in Christian homeschooling

How Nature Study Teaches Us About God

When we as Christian homeschoolers think about nature study, we face that same choice. Do we separate the creation and Creator or see nature study as the pursuit of God?

Eryn says, “ I believe we need to take nature study and return it to its rightful place as theology, as a study of God… Even secular scientists are beginning to see that there is so much more than the tangible world, that materialism doesn’t work. I think they’re actually in a lot of ways coming back together, almost like a magnet, like science and God is coming back to its rightful place. It’s a really powerful way that we can point our kids to their creator.”

She continued, “We should not be afraid of science. I think that’s a natural inclination for a lot of Christian parents. It was for me for a long time. When I started on this journey, I was really afraid of studying things like evolution because honestly, I wondered if it would make me doubt my faith. 

“The very opposite has been true. We should not be afraid of science. We should be willing to jump into it because it is a revelation of God. We need to be willing to ask the hard questions and do the research and learn alongside of our children because there is this whole rich arena in nature study that we can use to, again, reconnect creation and Creator and point our kids to the One who made them.”

Rooted in Wonder Nurturing Your Family's Faith Through God's Creation Nature Study in Christian homeschooling

Here are a few suggestions for thinking Christianly about nature study:

  • Use language to describe God as Artist, Architect, and Designer
  • Switch to using the term “creation” instead of “nature”
  • Notice opportunities to connect Scriptural truths to things found in nature
  • Trust that God will work in your children’s hearts as you practice and learn together

Eryn encourages, “You don’t have to become a naturalist. You don’t have to be a biology teacher. You don’t have to be a theologian. Really, all it takes is getting into God’s Word and learning about His created world and spending time out in nature, and He will begin making those connections.”

Rooted in Wonder Nurturing Your Family's Faith Through God's Creation Nature Study in Christian homeschooling

It is worth it to include nature study in your homeschool!

Nature Study in the Christian homeschool is rooted in natural theology and the interplay of Special and Natural Revelation. It bridges the gap between creation and Creator, fostering a deeper faith in God. As science and theology converge, nature study becomes a powerful tool for pointing children to their Creator. Through simple practices, Christian homeschoolers can embrace science without fear, connecting Scriptural truths with the wonders of creation, trusting that God will work in their children’s hearts through this enriching journey.

Listen to the full podcast episode “Rooted in Wonder: Nurturing Your Family’s Faith Through God’s Creation with Eryn Lynum,” Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology Season 9, Episode 3 

Eryn Lynum is a certified Master Naturalist, educator, national speaker, and author of Rooted in Wonder: Nurturing Your Family’s Faith Through God’s Creation and 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting. Eryn hosts the popular podcast for kids, Nat Theo: Nature Lessons Rooted in the Bible. She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband, Grayson, and  their four children whom they homeschool. Eryn has been featured on broadcasts including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, Christian Parenting, and Raising Christian Kids. Every opportunity she gets, she is out exploring God’s creation with her family and sharing the adventures at ErynLynum.com.

Links mentioned in Rooted in Wonder: Nurturing Your Family’s Faith Through God’s Creation 

Rooted in Wonder Nurturing Your Family's Faith Through God's Creation Nature Study in Christian homeschooling

You may find the following nature study resources helpful

Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews Podcast HumilityandDoxology.com Amy Sloan

Read the full transcript of my Homeschool Conversation with Eryn Lynum below

Amy Sloan: Hello, friends. Today, I am joined by Eryn Lynum, who is a certified master naturalist, educator, national speaker, and the author of Rooted in Wonder: Nurturing Your Family’s Faith Through God’s Creation, as well as the book, 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting. Eryn hosts the popular podcast for kids, Nat Theo: Nature Lessons Rooted in the Bible. She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband, Grayson, and their four children, whom they homeschool. Eryn has been featured on broadcasts, including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, Christian Parenting, and Raising Christian Kids, and now, Homeschool Conversations.

Every opportunity she gets, Eryn is out exploring God’s creation with her family and sharing her adventures at ErynLynum.com. Eryn, I am so excited to chat with you today. Here, at the beginning, just tell us a little bit about your family, yourself, how you guys got started homeschooling. I think you and I share in common that both we and our spouses were both homeschooled.

Eryn Lynum: Yes, that’s true. Thank you, Amy. Yes, my husband and I were both homeschooled. He did a little bit of school in high school, and then I did one year of public school in ninth grade. That was an experience, but for the most part, we were both homeschooled, and we’ve been married 14 years. It’ll be 15 years this coming summer, and we have four kids. Our boys are ages 12, 10, and 8, and our daughter is 5. Yes, we run a few businesses. We have three businesses together, and then we homeschool the kids.

He actually has our kids right now, so I can do this recording, and there’s a lot of that going on in our house, just juggling and being flexible, and being able to do a lot of life together. That’s us in a nutshell.

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Amy: Yes, it is such a joy to be able to balance out some of those responsibilities. Generally, I am the one who runs the homeschooling part of things. Since 2020, my husband has been working at home more often, and it’s really nice to just have him here. It’s nice to just be able to see him, go give a quick hug, send a kid in for a quick hug in the middle of the day. It’s really nice.

Eryn: It’s so true. it definitely has its own challenges, right? I’m sure you’ve experienced that, too, when you’re trying to create a structured homeschool, but you do live a very just diverse schedule, but it’s been really cool to figure out those challenges together and let our kids see us figure out those challenges together also.

Amy: How has your own personal approach to home education, philosophy of homeschooling grown and changed over the years? I’m always especially curious about this question when I talk to fellow second-generation homeschoolers because we also have this personal experience as being the homeschool student that can affect the way we think of ourselves as homeschool teachers. What have been your sort of thoughts over the years?

Eryn: Oh, my goodness. Yes, that’s such a good question. We’ve been homeschooling from the start. Our oldest is 12. He’s in middle school this year, and so we’ve been homeschooling since he was in. We started in first grade, so since he was first grade. This is the first year that we have four schooling. Oh, my goodness. Our methods, our strategies, our schedule has changed so much over the years, and I think that’s healthy because, as your family grows and changes and just lifestyle changes, and even your values just grow and develop, I think that our homeschool life should really reflect those changes.

We’ve never been really stuck in one way. There have been years where we used no curriculum. There have been years when we, like this year, we’re probably using more curriculum than we ever have. Just finding what our children need. One thing I did this year that I think really helped was before the school year started, I took time in my journal just to write out what is true of me as a homeschool mom. I was really surprised by some of the things I wrote down. I wrote down some things that I just don’t enjoy and being okay with that. Like, I don’t enjoy teaching my children to cook.

That sounds awful, but I also don’t enjoy doing crafts. It sounds so bad to say that, but at the same time, that was releasing me like, okay, maybe for those things, we bring in some help or we sign up for a class where it’s not all on me. Maybe it’s not in our own kitchen where I’m stressing about the mess and just being really honest with myself. What is true of me? What do I enjoy? What is true of my children? Shaping our homeschool life around that and even changing it throughout the year.

One thing I loved that Sarah Mackenzie talked about in her book, Teaching from Rest, was every six weeks, reassessing and making changes and looking at what’s working, what’s not working, but don’t make any changes until that reassessment. That way, you’re not reacting like, “Oh, this isn’t working. I’m just going to drop that and do this.” That is so reactive and so stressful. Instead, she said, “Plan out these times, know that they are coming. That’s when you can make those changes.”

Amy: Yes. If we just react to that one bad homeschool morning, that one bad homeschool day, that math lesson that made the kids cry, right? We’ve all been there. If you were like, “Okay, we’re going to change everything.” Every time you had a hard day, you would never really have that consistency and that purposefulness to make the choice, on purpose wisely. Sometimes we need to change and sometimes we just have to work through the hard part to get through to the other side. I love what you brought up too, considering your own strengths, weaknesses, inclinations as a mom.

There’s a lot of talk about, making sure you take your child’s interests into account, their strengths, their weaknesses, the way God has made them. I think sometimes we forget that moms were born persons too, right? We also matter in our homeschools and considering our own strengths and weaknesses can be a really important place to start as well.

Eryn: Yes, exactly.

Amy: Eryn, what are some of your favorite parts of homeschooling?

Eryn: I mentioned in the intro, just doing life together. That’s one of our top family values is do life together. Like I said, that has so many challenges. We don’t have a huge house. We have a tiny, small home office with a paper-thin door and we are always together. My husband owns a business and he works from home a lot as well. We are just always in each other’s area, which can be the hardest thing, but also one of the sweetest things because I love that our kids get to see us running our businesses and ministry, and we get to be a part of what they’re creating and what they’re doing and just that overlap of life.

Then my second favorite thing is getting to be a part of those aha moments for them. I had the sweetest one yesterday. One of our sons, we found out over the summer has dyslexia. We have never faced this. Our first two that we taught to read, just picked it up like nothing. They’ve been reading novels since. This was just a real challenge, probably our biggest challenge yet in homeschooling. We took a lot of time off this past month. I was so afraid that when we got back to it, that our son with dyslexia would have backslided and that I would have to spend a ton of time just getting him back to where we were.

We picked up his language arts lesson and he read every word. For the first time, he was actually reading. I looked at him and told him I was so proud and I was like crying and just to realize like, “I don’t want to miss those moments. I don’t want to sacrifice those.” 

It is so worth all the hard work. My kids see me at my very worst and my most sinful self because homeschooling will bring that out. It’s worth all the hard things just to be a part of those moments and to get to see our kids make those milestones and really just grow into who God has for them to be.

Amy: And sometimes in those challenges, as we are going through those hard times, it makes those wins, those aha moments even more precious, right? Because it’s not just like, “Oh, yes, now you can read. No big deal.” It’s like, “Wow, you have worked so hard.” I’ve seen the struggle and I’ve seen God answering those prayers on the other side.

Eryn: Yes, and we get to be the one to journey through that with them. That is such a privilege and an honor.

Amy: It really is. You mentioned there a challenge you faced in your homeschooling. Are there other challenges that you have faced or how have you thought to work through some of those harder parts of homeschooling?

Eryn: I remember a few years ago, actually, it was probably about, I think it was four years ago that we were coming up on the school season. It was probably August and public school starts really early. A lot of my friends were already posting their back-to-school pictures and even homeschooling friends were pictures of curriculum and setting up their homeschool space. I remember being in such a hard spot, where I had zero desire to educate my children.

We were several years into homeschooling. At that time, I should be excited. We’ve had a summer break. I should be rearing to go and school my kids. I just couldn’t even bring myself to look at plans or curriculum or anything. I was sitting out in our yard one day and just praying, just crying out to God, “Change my heart, give me a desire.” The coolest thing was that he did not give me a desire to plan math lessons or reading schedules or curriculum. Instead, he renewed this desire in me to disciple my children. That was exactly what I needed.

Because one of my biggest challenges is on most days, I don’t actually want to educate my kids. I’m really overwhelmed. We don’t have a heavy workload. We are pretty simple homeschoolers. Even at the beginning of the day, I can be really overwhelmed by what’s in front of us to the point where I don’t even want to start. I like running and I’ve run several half marathons. I think of it in a similar way because, at the beginning of the race, you’re really overwhelmed by the length and the challenge ahead of you. It’s not until you get past that halfway mark where you realize like, “Oh, I can do this. Okay, I’m actually going to finish.”

That’s how I feel every single homeschool morning where I’m just like, “I don’t even know if I want to start.” I have to get to that halfway point to realize, “Okay, this was good. This is worth it. We can do this.” Honestly, my challenge is just getting started every single day. I hope that’s encouraging to some listeners because it’s really vulnerable, but I know that so many of us are there. Most days, we don’t want to do this really hard thing. It’s been such a sweet thing that the Lord has used in my life to grow my character.

Again, just like he gave me that vision for discipleship, he constantly is reminding me this isn’t about the spelling or reading or math lessons. That’s all essential and good. First and foremost, this is about discipling your children. You get to do that right now today.

Amy: That is beautiful and such an encouragement. I think so often, homeschool moms think we’re supposed to have this rosy colored, twinkly light Instagram with the lovely music in the background kind of thought about homeschool day when we get started. It’s just often not quite like that. As you were talking about the metaphor of a half marathon, I was like, “Yes, I can relate to that so much.” I’ve run a few myself and I’ve always done a run walk. I would run a few minutes and then walk a minute, run a few minutes from the very, very beginning.

It’s because maybe if you think about like, “Oh, no, I have to do this whole half marathon, it feels overwhelming.” I’m like, “I can do anything for like three minutes. I can run for three minutes.” Then you have that little break and you run another three minutes. I think a lot of times, the homeschool day is like that, too, or the homeschool years. If you think of the big thing, I am responsible to disciple and educate my children. That’s really big. That’s too big for us on our own, for sure.

If you just think, “Okay, I’m just going to do this next thing.” Then that next thing, moment by moment, God is faithful to get us to that next step, to that next walk break, the next Gatorade stand.

Eryn: Yes. I love that because that is what has gotten me through this week. Like I said, we took a big break and this was our first week back, and I was really struggling with motivation. That is exactly what got me through was just, “Okay, do this next language arts lesson, do this next math lesson, do this next thing.” Eventually, we’ve done the whole day and it was good.

Amy: I’m going to have to put in the show notes a link to a poem. It’s about little drops of water and little grains of sand. It talks about how it’s that little drop of water that makes the ocean and those little grains of sand that make the beach and it parallels with the little moments that are adding up to eternity. That’s always been an encouragement to me. I’ll try to remember to put that in the show notes.

Eryn: That’s so good. I think I’ve actually heard that one before. I think we read that one a few years ago in school and yes, I found it so profound as well.

Amy: Eryn, one of the reasons I’m so excited to chat with you today is I have really come to love your perspective on nature and communicating about it to our children. When I first, I think maybe you had reached out via Instagram or when I first heard about you and your book, I have to say I was super skeptical. I tend to go skeptical first on the internet, especially when someone tells me they’re going to say something in a particular Christian way because I’m always like, “Hmm, what’s the theology behind this?” I was worried I was going to get this book and you were going to over-romanticize nature.

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Like, “You don’t need the Bible. You just go out in nature and commune with God,” or something like that. I came into your book very skeptical, but as I read it, I was so excited because you had this beautiful love for Special Revelation, for the Word of God , and that was the foundation. It was from that, that you then had this love for his creation as well. I really appreciated your emphasis on the Word of God . I wanted to just start by asking, maybe there are people listening who aren’t familiar with the ideas of Special Revelation versus General Revelation and how those relate to each other.

Before we start talking about nature study stuff, can you give us the big picture there of those terms and ideas?

Eryn: Yes, that is a great place to start. Thank you so much for saying that. I can’t even tell you how much that means to me because that was my heart in the book, to communicate exactly that, that bring everything back to Scripture. My first passion is theology. My husband and I met in Bible college. While we were there, they taught us that there are two main ways that God reveals himself to us. The first is what you mentioned, Special Revelation. That is his living, active, inspired word. The second is Natural Revelation, also called General Revelation. That is what we see, what we learn about God through what he has made.

That comes from Romans 1:20, that His invisible attributes, His divine nature and eternal power have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world through what has been made so that we are without excuse. Think about if you’re staring at an artist’s painting, the more you look at it, the more you can really understand of that artist. It’s just like that with God’s world, His created world. As we began having more kids and when we moved to Colorado and we’re spending more time out in nature, I started to just see that there are so many materials outside that we can use to point our children to their creator.

In the book, I make it clear, these two revelations complement each other. We can look in Scripture and see how God uses nature from cover to cover. Especially, I love the examples in the gospels when Jesus was on earth teaching and He used things like olive branches and birds and wild flowers. Nature is all throughout Scripture. In the same way, we can learn about nature outside and see these incredible designs that God has made. When we start learning about both, they begin to synthesize. They complement one another.

I also knew it was really important in the book to identify that Special Revelation is primary. God’s word is essential. That is what gives us the gospel message. I made the point that even if I was locked in a room without a window the rest of my life, but I had the Bible, I’d be sad. I’m probably a bit depressed, but at the same time, that would be enough because I would have the gospel. The opposite is not true. General or Natural Revelation is not enough on its own.

We cannot look at a tree and get the gospel message. Really, Natural Revelation and what I teach in my books and my podcasts, they have to be rooted in biblical truth. That is the foundation.

Amy: I love that. I think that’s so important. I hope that encourages people who are listening to check out your book and your podcast because that’s such an important distinction. Right now, my husband is actually out of town. Generally, he reads our family devotions. We just read through the Scripture together from Genesis to Revelation and then start back at the beginning. When he’s out of town, I get the chance to pick what I want to read just randomly, so that we don’t get off track without him. I decided this week in the five nights he was gone to read the five final chapters of Job.

Our family is going through some challenges right now. I thought those last five chapters are when God speaks to Job. He just asks this series of questions. He’s telling Job and us about himself. It really struck me in a fresh way this time as I’m reading that. He’s bringing all of these things from his creation. This is how he is asking questions to Job. Did you put Orion in the sky? Did you set up the Pleiades? Do about this animal or that animal? I think that it’s really amazing to see how God created this world as a way to be a parable, like a living parable.

We’re living inside a parable that is always asking us questions to make us then go to the word for the answers.

Eryn: That’s so good. I love that passage, that section in Job. I can’t remember if it’s in those last five chapters. I think it is. There’s one that says, “Stop and consider the wondrous works of God.” It’s just like such a strong statement, especially with the other mentions in the book, like you said, just how God uses nature to prove His sovereignty. Yes, it’s powerful.

Amy: It makes us praise him so much. I think science leads me to doxology, even though maybe science isn’t my personal favorite “subject” or area to invest time in. I will say that of all the things I study, nothing makes me praise the Lord as much as the study of science. It’s me in that way.

Eryn: Amen. I 100% agree. Nothing has strengthened my faith more than diving into science.

Amy: In the homeschool world, this idea about nature study has sort of just become this catchphrase. Everybody talks about nature study, right? Everyone. From Christian homeschoolers to secular homeschoolers. It’s just a real– it’s having a moment right now. What would you say, a sort of big picture, how do we approach this idea about nature study distinctively as a Christian? Then what does that look, that big picture then look like on my actual ordinary Tuesday afternoon when I go walk outside with the kids?

Eryn: Ooh, that’s such a good point. It really is. Yes, in the Christian realm, in the secular realm, like this return to [inaudible 00:21:25] study. I think it’s really interesting when I began diving into science, realizing that science began as the study of God. There were natural theologians and philosophers who it was really meant to be a pursuit of the creator. Then with the scientific revolution, they separated. I think that was a huge scheme of Satan’s. He saw that people were seeing the creator God through what he had made. He had to put like this big wedge and chasm in it.

Out of that came naturalism, which is a worldview also connected to materialism. Both of those are just really a way of saying nothing supernatural exists. That’s what naturalism would say. Only that which is tangible, physical, that you can see, touch, taste, smell, feel is what exists. It would do away, it would separate creation and creator. I, again, I think this is something that Satan has used to just sever the connection between creation and creator. All that to say, like now we are seeing that in nature study, that you can go one way or another with it.

What I am trying to do is I believe we need to take nature study and return it to its rightful place as theology, as a study of God. Really interesting is science is starting to do that as well. Even secular scientists are beginning to see that there is so much more than the tangible world that materialism doesn’t work. It’s really interesting. I think they’re actually in a lot of ways coming back together, almost like a magnet, like science and God is coming back to its rightful place. It’s a really powerful way that we can point our kids to their creator.

We should not be afraid of science. I think that’s a natural inclination for a lot of Christian parents. It was for me for a long time. When I started on this journey, I was really afraid of studying things like evolution because honestly, I wondered if it would make me doubt my faith. The very opposite has been true. We should not be afraid of science. We should be willing to jump into it because it is a revelation of God.

We need to be willing to ask the hard questions and do the research and learn alongside of our children because there is this whole rich arena in nature study that we can use to, again, just reconnect creation and creator and point our kids to the one who made them.

Amy: I love that encouragement. What does that mean then if I go out and walk through the woods with my kids? How do I take that idea and that desire to link our science study, our nature study with our love and worship for the Lord? Do you prepare ahead of time and think ahead of time, “Okay, I’m going to bring this up to the kids while we walk,” or do you go along and see the thing that you happen to see that day? Yes, how does that work in practical daily life?

Eryn: It can look a lot of different ways. Like we talked about earlier, it’s really coming to realize what you enjoy, your teaching method. How do you want to do this? How do you enjoy doing it? For me, it’s looked like a lot of different things. Sometimes it’s really spontaneous that we just say, “Okay, let’s go out on a walk.” It’s the language that we use. It’s talking about God as the artist who painted the sky, as the architect, as the designer, and just reframing how we talk about nature using the word creation instead of nature.

That’s a really easy place to start is just helping your kids to see there’s more behind this. There is a designer. There’s someone who made it all. I think it really comes down to just spending time in God’s word and out in creation. I just want to encourage listeners, God is on your side. He wants your children to see Him. He’s going to bless these efforts. I love the Scripture in Isaiah 55:10-11 that talks about God’s word going forth. This is another nature narrative in Scripture because He uses the visuals of rain and snow.

It says God’s word goes forth like the rain and the snow and brings forth life. It does not return empty. Of course, that’s talking about his Special Revelation, the Bible. I believe it’s also true of our efforts in taking our kids into God’s creation that that’s not going to return void. He will use that. I have a lot of resources on my website to help parents start doing this. If you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start and don’t know how to really like– Sometimes we’ll try to over curate and we’ll try to– It gets overwhelming because we’re like, “I have to plan this whole thing.”

No, you really don’t. If you’re looking for a place to start, I have a lot of free downloads, activities, devotionals on my website that you can use to just get started. Then God’s going to run with that. The neat thing is when you start doing this and bringing together nature and the Bible, it’s like practice and it becomes easier over time to the point that now, I’ll go to the library with my kids and I will go to the science and nature section and I just start reading children’s books. My mind is connecting them with Scripture.

“Oh, this can be a lesson and this can be a lesson and this can be a lesson.” The same when I’m reading Scripture, I begin thinking of animals, insects, plants that I can use to teach these biblical truths but it just takes time and getting started.

Amy: Did it take time for you as well? Was this an area of study or thought that always came naturally to you?

Eryn: No, this did not come naturally to me. When I was a kid, we camped and we hiked and we spent time outside, but it wasn’t a huge emphasis. I did not enjoy science very much. It was not my favorite subject. I never saw myself doing this. Even when I began writing books, when my first one came out in 2018, there was a section on spending time outside with your kids. Really, my new book, Rooted in Wonder, is a whole expansion of that section in the first book but that was never my aim or what I saw coming.

It was so interesting because after the first book released, there was a couple [inaudible 00:27:47] I was writing, really passionate about them. They didn’t go far. Then, as I mentioned, we started spending more time outside with our kids. I realized the potential of using the outdoors to teach theology. That’s when the idea for the new book took route. Then I signed up to take a naturalist course. It was a secular course. It’s really just to become a nature teacher. I wanted to learn more about nature because I knew that if I did, I could teach theology through it.

That was the whole catalyst for becoming a naturalist was always to teach theology through it. I always encourage parents and teachers like, “You don’t have to become a naturalist. You don’t have to be a biology teacher. You don’t have to be a theologian. Really, all it takes is getting into God’s Word and learning about His created world and spending time out in nature, and He will begin making those connections.”

Amy: That’s really encouraging because I could imagine a mom listening, thinking, I don’t really know anything about the creation. I don’t really necessarily even like going outside. They think, “Okay, I’m catching this vision. This is important, but I don’t know where to start.” I hope that’s an encouragement as well to anyone listening that you don’t already have to know all the things. You don’t have to be an expert naturalist. Start with the Word of God and ask the Lord to give you eyes to see what he’s already built into His world and then just be willing to, I think, just go outside and try and do it again. It doesn’t have to be perfect or ideal.

Eryn: Yes. Again, if you just need a place to start, we have our podcast. That’s exactly what it is. It’s Nature Lessons Rooted in the Bible. I think you listen along with your children and you’ll see how we’re creating these lessons. After listening to a few, I think you’ll be able to start having those conversations with your kids and doing that same synthesizing. That’s a great place just to learn how to create lessons like this.

Amy: I will definitely have that link in the show notes as well. Eryn, you mentioned earlier that you have seen being out in God’s creation and studying it more has grown and nurtured your own faith. I was wondering if you have an example or could talk to us a little bit more about that, how it’s grown your faith and your children’s faith.

Eryn: It’s been really neat. In writing Rooted in Wonder, and even after writing it, I started just deep diving into fields of science and reading these books that were really hefty and hard to understand. I had to like intellectually just super engage in them. My faith journey has really been one of just an intellectual journey. Some people, an experience is enough and emotion is important. I think I can use so many different things to grow our faith, including emotion and experiences.

For me, it was really important that I had these facts and this evidence for what I believe. That’s what I’m trying to pass along to my children now. Looking at evidences in science and in history and seeing just how much proof there is for what we believe. With my kids, I’ve read books like the Case for a Creator for Kids by Lee Strobel was a really big one that we just went through it together and it brought up some great conversations about all the evidence we have for our creator. Personally, I dove into books.

One that was really instrumental was Science and the Mind of the Maker by Melissa Cain Travis. It was very interesting because I just happened on that book. It was a really engaging read. It took me a while because I don’t have a background in science and I had to really just take time with this book. As I was reading it, it strengthened my faith so much seeing how finely tuned the universe is for us to live here and that God has created us with an intellectual capacity and curiosity to see him and what he has made.

It strengthened my faith so much, but as I was reading it, I just kept thinking, how can I make these truths accessible to parents in a way that they can then make them accessible to their children, if that makes sense. I wanted to take these truths and just make them simple in nature study to bring them to more families. Yes, I think all that to say, just diving into science and all of [inaudible 00:32:44] bringing in doubt. It did the very opposite. My faith is stronger than ever after the last few years of pursuing God through what he has made.

Amy: I think that’s amazing. The Lord is so great and majestic that He doesn’t feel threatened by questions and by academic study, right? I was talking to a friend who was going through a very difficult time in her faith and pointing to the Psalms. The Psalmist, it’s not that they never had a question or never had doubt. It’s to whom they took their questions and their doubts, right? They were like, “Okay, Lord, I don’t understand this. Let me bring this to you. Help me to see, help me to understand.”

We don’t have to be afraid to dive deeply into God’s creation and to learn more about him there as well because it will reflect the truths that he’s told us in Scripture.

Eryn: Exactly. It’s so powerful for our kids. They are going to face so many questions and doubts and the society that they’re growing up in is really chaotic and confusing. If we can give them a solid foundation first in Scripture, but also shoring that up with evidence in science and history, like we are just giving them so much more to stand on.

Amy: Eryn, this has been such a delight to chat with you today. Here before we close, I want to ask you the questions that I ask all my guests. The first is just what are you personally reading lately?

Eryn: Ooh, I love that because I’m reading probably my favorite book I’ve read this year and I’ve read a lot this year and it’s called The Last Supper on the Moon by Levi Lusko. I’m almost done with it. So far, it’s been super, super good. I usually don’t recommend a book until I’ve read the whole thing and I have a couple more chapters. Don’t take this as a 100% recommendation, but so far, it’s amazing. What he does is he brings together the gospel and space travel and he talks about the history of NASA and landing a man on the moon.

He starts with this amazing story I’d never heard that when the first two men landed on the moon before Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the surface, he took communion. Isn’t that beautiful? He took communion on the moon and he just [inaudible 00:35:07] the seven letters to the churches and the seven final words of Christ on the cross. He takes those three sevens and he’s going back and forth between space travel and the gospel. It’s just so unique and so beautiful and so theologically sound. That one’s been really good.

Amy: That sounds really fascinating. I have loved space since I was a child. When I was a kid, I thought I was going to be the first woman to have a baby in space. Thankfully, changed my mind about that. I don’t think I’d want to have that happen now, but I did love the idea of space.

Eryn: That’s so good.

Amy: The final question I have for you is what is your best tip for helping the homeschool day run more smoothly?

Eryn: Do less. I keep coming back to that and I have a lot of really sweet homeschool moms. We have an incredible community here and that is what all of us always come back to is do less. Like I mentioned earlier, this year, we’re using more curriculum than ever and I had a lot of pressure going into the year just feeling like first year with all four in school, first year with a middle schooler, and we had a really strong two months. Then my work got busier and I just began seeing like, “Okay, God blessed our first two months. We got a solid start. Now, it’s time to do less.”

One book that I’ve read several times that has really helped me with that is Sarah Mackenzie’s Teaching from Rest. Instrumental book. Changed my life. I think every homeschool parent should read it and just this premise of begin from a place of rest. We see that all throughout Scripture. That’s actually what my next book is on is biblical rest because it has been so instrumental, so important in our home, in our homeschooling, in our businesses. Yes, just don’t be afraid to do less.

God is too big for us to believe that it’s all up to us. We shouldn’t get in His way by thinking we have to do all the things. If we are willing to do less, we are going to get to see Him do more.

Amy: I love that encouragement. What a wonderful way to end here. Eryn, can you tell people where they can find you all around the internet?

Eryn: Thank you. Yes, my website is my name, which is spelled a little funny. It’s Eryn Lynum, E-R-Y-N-L-Y-N-U-M.com. On there are all those free printouts and resources I mentioned, a God of Wonders Devotional, which is a great place to start as well as our podcast. Then my new book, Rooted in Wonder, is available on Amazon or my website or wherever you buy books.

Amy: I will have links to all those things in the show notes for this episode over at humilityanddoxology.com. Thank you so much for listening today. Please take a minute to share this episode with a friend who you think would be encouraged by it. Make sure you’re subscribed and leave ratings and reviews. As Eryn knows, that’s still one of the best ways to get the podcasts out to more listeners. I hope to chat with you again soon.

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