Don’t Get Behind A Desk Yet! Homeschooling Outside Is Much More Fun

Photo by Nathan LeClair on Flickr.com

 

Batten down the hatches, lock the doors, and shut the blinds because school is starting, and you don’t need the distractions. 

While the traditional approach to education is having selected information effectively programmed into our children, there is a better way.

Taking education to the great outdoors will help your children learn more than just sitting at a desk – and you won’t hear “how much longer” every five minutes.

We already know the countless social, psychological, and emotional benefits kids receive when playing outside, as Mommy Underground has previously reported.

Now we can add educational benefits as well.

Research by UW Stevens Point expounds all the reasons why you should take kids outside during the school day:

“Studies have shown that students who learn outdoors develop: a sense of self, independence, confidence, creativity, decision-making and problem-solving skills, empathy towards others, motor skills, self-discipline and initiative.”

So, we know we should take our kids outside for the better part of the day – but how do we do that and still get lessons in?

Here are some great ideas using the biggest, most inexpensive learning tool to your advantage.

Go out for rainy days rather than staying in!

As long as there’s no thunder and lightning, get your boots and raincoats on (and let your son use that Paw Patrol umbrella he keeps trying to use indoors) for a lesson in physics and nature. 

Look at the way the rain falls on the leaves. Each leaf collects and distributes water differently depending on the plant’s needs. 

Follow streams of water to see how the curves and dips of the ground direct the path. 

Jump in puddles soft and hard to see how the various forces make the splash size different. This will likely be a class favorite.

Take a fieldtrip to Old McDonald’s Farm.

Visit a local farm and identify the various crops and take a deeper look into the seeds and plant structure. 

Investigate the types of environments farm animals enjoy, and why, being sure to bring a little snack for the horses.

Take out the maps to be a real explorer.

Reading maps is a crucial real-life skill (and no, you may not always have your cell phone to lead the way).

Create a scavenger hunt in your backyard where the younger kids have to follow a map to find points of interest – and when they’re older, let them follow a series of directions on a real map to find a destination.

You don’t have to travel far and wide to get find fun outdoor activities, some of the best excursions are right outside your front door. 

For homeschooling moms, there’s the constant worry as to whether we’re providing our children with a well-rounded education.

Make life easier and a little more sane, by doing as much schooling as you can outside in the open air – where the sound doesn’t bounce off the walls!

Nature is calling!

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