My boys love being outdoors and with the arrival of warmer weather I have looked for different ways to take their learning outdoors. I admit that there are some subjects that are a tad trick to take outdoors, with one of those being Math. We have tried different ways to bring it outdoors, but in all honesty it wasn’t the best option for us. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring other subjects outdoors. Here is a look of some of the ways we incorporate outdoor learning in our homeschool:
There is something to be said about sitting outside, taking in the fresh air, and enjoying the beauty of the world. I may have a reluctant writer while we’re indoors, but the minute we head outdoors he can seem to write anything. It may be something as simple as a bug he watched passing by, or a story about the crazy squirrel that makes a huge mess every day on the picnic table, but in the end it’s writing. He’s not just having fun, but he looks forward to it.
Getting your hands dirty and learning at the same time? I’m in!! Planting, growing and harvesting a garden is an amazing way to learn. It’s such a fun and physical activity, and they also learn and understand how to produce healthy, organic foods. We learn what it takes to grow different plants, about composting and the huge array of critters like are often found lurking in the garden. We even incorporate a journal so that they can keep track of how their plants are growing as well as the different insects we’ve discovered in the garden.
Simply enjoying nature
Science is one of the easiest subjects for me to take outdoors. Nature studies can be as simple as bird watching in your back yard, cloud observation, or even taking a hike. While on a hike, they can learn about the different types of plants that are native to our area, what type of plants are safe to eat, the history of the area and even the different elevations that they are walking. When taking it outdoors, education can be endless.
When I started writing this article, I really wanted to include four different activities that would bring learning outdoors, and I wanted to add something that is a little different from the usual activities. As we were on one of my many weekend road trips, it hit me! Why not sure Historical Markers as a way to take learning outside. Often times these markers can go over-looked, especially when they are located in an area or town that we grew up in. Once I had it in my mind that we were going to do this, I was amazed at how many historical markers were in our little town. These were markers that I never really took the time to read, or even pointed out to the kids.
This is also something that can be done while on a road trip. There is a really cool site called the Historical Marker Database. This site is set up to help you find and discover the historical markers near you.