One of the key benefits to homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. Are your kids restless and having trouble focusing? Why not try homeschooling outdoors?
A quick trip into the outdoors has been just what we’ve needed to refresh us this year in our homeschooling. During a school day if we can go for a short walk down the street or drive to a nearby park to play for thirty minutes, we feel like we’ve had a chance to enjoy the outdoors. We don’t have to make a whole field trip out of it to feel energized.
Connecting With Nature
Do you want your kids to really experience nature? Let them explore! If you don’t live in the woods or have a big backyard, look for parks in your area that feature trails. This winter we went to a nearby park a few times to feed chickadees. Walking down trails looking for birds and then trying to coax them to eat birdseed out of our hands turned into an exciting mission. My daughter was thrilled when a female downy woodpecker landed on her finger. Now every time we are outside, they are looking for birds. What a connection they feel with nature!
What is near you? How often do you include in your day the outdoor resources that are at your fingertips? Remember to just get outside. Kids will learn from the outdoors once you get there. What might draw your child’s interest? Some of our favorite parks have trails with fairy houses which my kids love to hunt for. Along the way they are finding birds, interesting trees, and woodland creatures.
Put it on the Calendar
My kids look forward to several different outdoor adventures that are about an hour away from us. However, we can’t just jump in the car at the spur of the moment. I have to schedule a trip to a state park or the beach or we won’t ever go. Planning to bring a special lunch or meet friends or family adds to the fun. Once we are there my kids are having a super time and learning about the outdoors without even trying. But I have to write in on the calendar to make it happen.
What’s near you to make homeschooling outdoors a possibility? State Parks have a free pass for fourth graders. Check out www.nationalparks.org to find the Every Kid In A Park Program. Look for outdoor clubs in your area or start one of your own. Enjoy homeschooling outdoors!
Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might find her training for a half marathon, escaping for a morning at the beach, or chatting on the phone with one of her four siblings. Sarah loves writing on her blog sarahswritingcafe.blogspot.com and currently teaches creative writing at her kids’ weekly co-op.