We typically homeschool year-round, which means that we homeschool in the summer months. Summer homeschooling offers some unique and fun educational experiences that aren’t always available during the typical school year schedule. This summer we will be homeschooling in the garden; we will be learning about plant life, insects, soil, composting, and anything else that comes up while planting and tending to our garden this summer.
When it comes to homeschooling sometimes the best way to make progress is to think outside the box or, in this case, outside the home. Children learn better when they get to be active and hands on. A garden makes an excellent place for children to learn through observation and hands-on exploration. Homeschooling in the garden offers many different avenues of learning for all ages.
Here are some simple ideas to add to your summer homeschooling in the garden!
A garden is a perfect place to make nature observations right in your backyard. Helping dig out beds, they get to explore the natural ecosystem from organic matter in the soil to insects living in the ground. They can see how seeds sprout and leaves and fruits form, observe the seasons, and even the breaking down of solid matter.
In the garden, children can learn about how food grows. A nature journal documenting each stage of plants is a great way to help them learn to observe the details of plant growth. Learn to deal with pests that may find their way into the garden and even common desires plants can get and how to treat them. Gardening is the best farm to table lesson a child can understand.
A garden is perfect for teaching math and literacy in new and exciting ways. Reading and spelling practice can be done in the dirt with a stick or making garden markers for new plants you are adding to the garden. Math can be practiced hands-on with rocks, sticks, flower petals and leaves. You can even act out math while weeding the garden. Five little weeds. We pull 2. How many weeds are left?
To get the most of your garden experience embrace what your garden has to offer. Add a bird feeder and grab a local bird guide to explore and observe birds in your garden (here’s a great Birds unit study to add). You can do this same thing with bees, butterflies, and other creatures.
Use the garden chores to teach your child responsibility in a new and exciting way. Giving your child their garden bed that they must care for on their own is a great way to teach them natural consequences to not following through on caring for things. Unlike using a pet to teach responsibility, you can let the garden die for this lesson.
A garden is a perfect place to learn about life cycles. From watching caterpillars turn into butterflies to the basic process of going from seed to plant and the plant produces a seed again. This is one lesson that you can learn so much better in person than a test book.
To get amazing value from gardening in your homeschool involve your children in every part of the process. From researching companion planting to caring for a sick plant; every stage of gardening offers amazing benefits to your homeschool. Even if you started the garden on your own, there is still plenty of time to work with your child in the garden this year. It is never too late to involve your kids and encourage them to learn.
Want to add more to your Summer Homeschooling in the Garden? Check out the other posts in this 10 Day Series below.
4: Creating Your Garden Plan + Free Printable Garden Journal Page
5: All About Soil in Your Garden
7: Seed to Plant: Life Cycle of A Plant
9: Harvesting Your Garden