Learning in the garden is one of the oldest and simplest forms of home education.
Homeschooling families tend to have several things in common, one of those being an annual garden. Whether a small box with just some tomatoes or a huge field with many acres, a garden most of us strive to have each year.
Aside from being delicious, a garden also fosters a different type of learning environment.
Different learning environments
If there’s one learning environment that is severely underrated, it’s the great outdoors. There are many studies that suggest taking school outside can give your child an entirely new perspective on their education, improves their mood and increases their engagement with their studies.
Nature and learning within nature is an essential part of education. Being a homeschooling parent, you have the entire world available to be your classroom.
If you’re a family that farms, you’re already going to have your children working outside with you. By allowing your children to go outside for their learning, you’re giving them a chance to take a few risks and experience things with their senses. They learn to identify the stages of growth in flowers and food. They learn to use outdoor tools – under your supervision, of course – and they can learn to be resilient.
Learning in the garden
Setting up a garden with your child starts with asking them what they would like to grow. Once you establish what you’d like to grow, decide on the geography of your garden by visiting www.ProIrrigation.com.
Incorporate a little science by getting the children to map out the spots in the garden that have an equal amount of sunshine and shade throughout the day. You could make it a whole project to grow vegetables that they can later cook.
Once you’ve all decided on the various plants and food that you would like to grow as a family, you need to choose exactly where in the garden things should be planted. Fruits and vegetables, for example, need to have five hours of sunlight minimum each day. You can create a lesson surrounding the best fruits and vegetables to plant in these areas of the garden.
What about a shed or shelter for picking, washing, watering and caring for plants? Teach the children about the different wildlife in the garden that can affect the plants.
While you’re teaching the children to plant carrots and grow tomatoes, you can also encourage them to eat their veg. The lesson here is that they can expand their culinary horizons as much as they can expand their education and hands-on learning.
Children that grow up around vegetables they plant, nurture and grow themselves are more likely to eat those vegetables. They know where they come from and they have seen the entire growing process from start to finish.
There’s nothing like the natural learning that takes place in the garden.