Overview: Once beautiful weather arrives, it’s hard for kids to stay inside with their noses inside of books. Don’t make them! Here are 5 Fun Ways to Take Learning OUTSIDE!
Once the beautiful spring weather arrives and the sun is shining brightly, it becomes very hard for kids to stay inside with their noses inside of books. There just aren’t enough hours in the weekend for that to be the only time that we’re able to spend time in the great outdoors.
Fortunately, as homeschoolers, we have the freedom to take our learning outside whenever the weather allows. We don’t have to wait for spring break or conference days! We can declare an Outside Learning Day whenever we’d like!
Sometimes when the weather is beautiful, we can cancel classes altogether and just spend the day enjoying nature. We can’t do that every day, however. Some days the homeschool lessons must go on. So, how can we take advantage of the beautiful weather when we’re homeschooling in the spring?
Here are 5 Fun Ways to Take Learning Outside:
1 – Field Trips
Field trips are a great way to get some real-life learning injected into our children’s education. And they are a great way to help kids get excited about learning. It’s so much more memorable to learn about the Civil War by going to a battlefield or a reenactment than it is to merely read about it. When the weather is beautiful, try to come up with ideas for field trips which will get your kids outside such as a botanical garden, an organic farm, a state or national park, a beach, etc.
2 – Nature Study
Spring is a wonderful time to study the beautiful world that God has given to us. Have your kids find a caterpillar, put it in a habitat, and watch it turn into a butterfly. Collect rocks. Go birdwatching. Play in a creek. Collect a tadpole and watch it turn into a frog. Take the nature journals outside and allow your kids to draw whatever they observe. Or bring pencils and paper outside and have them write about what they see. So many interesting ideas!
3 – Take a Hike
There are lots of lessons kids can learn when you take them on a hike. They can try to identify animal tracks, identify trees and flowers, create an insect collection, and just have fun viewing the various types of wildlife that cross their path. To keep it interesting, try to hike in a variety of terrain to keep your kids on their toes. Rather than always hiking in the woods, you might want to try hiking along a beach, in a cave, through a prairie, in the mountains, or near a wetland.
4 – Gardening
Gardens are great places for kids to learn. The more you allow your kids to be involved in your garden, the greater the learning opportunities. Allowing them to help plan out the garden, including properly spacing the rows and plants, will give them practical practice with their math skills. Asking them to research natural pest control options will give them a chance to develop their ingenuity and perseverance. Weeding, watering, and watching the plants grow will help them to develop their patience and give them the opportunity to learn how to put in some honest, hard work.
5 – Physical Education
It’s natural for kids to want to spread their wings when they head outside. Be sure you don’t keep your kids on too tight of a leash when you take them outside. Let them exercise and have fun as well. Some kids love to go on bike rides or to jog. Others enjoy kicking around the soccer ball or shooting some hoops. Still others will want to dig in the dirt or play in a sandbox. The sky’s the limit on this one. You can be organized and set up an obstacle course for your kids to run through. Or you can simply open the door and allow your kids to have free reign. There is a time and a place for both approaches.
This spring, as the weather is warming and the sun is brightening, try to come up with some fun opportunities for you and the kids to head outside. More memories will be made outdoors than if your kids are forced to sit inside with a pencil and paper for hours on end.
Have you found any other fun ways to take your homeschool lessons outside? Please leave a comment below!
Originally written for True Aim Education. Reprinted with permission.