Gardening in the home school can provide learning in a full range of subjects as well as fun outdoor exercise. Kids love to dig in the dirt and make exciting new discoveries. For various reasons, including health, economical and environmental, many families are growing more of their own foods right in the backyard and it just makes sense for many homeschoolers to incorporate gardening into their studies.
Children's gardening books can be found for every grade level and encourage reading and research skills. Students can also keep a journal of their progress in the garden or write letters to friends and relatives detailing their gardening discoveries. Younger students may enjoy drawing pictures.
Science and Health
Gardening is rich in science lessons. Students can examine plant structure and growth, effects of weather, soil types and water cycles, the food chain, insects, pollination, nutrition, and food preparation and preservation.
As their interest in gardening grows, students may enjoy discussion with neighbor gardeners or browsing farmers markets. Students also learn the importance of environmental stewardship through studying and discussing community or global food and agricultural economy and the environmental impacts of various agricultural methods. Researching farming methods in other communities and how they relate to variations in geography and climate encourage social awareness as well.
A wealth of math lessons can be found in gardening. Students develop math skills when they use measurements such as area of garden, length and width of rows, volume and weight of produce, growth charts and graphs, ratios, percentages, fractions, and comparisons of the cost of buying groceries to the cost of gardening.
Every year Urban Harvest conducts more than 100 classes at various locations around Houston, covering all kinds of gardening subjects ranging from canning vegetables to living sustainably through permaculture priniciples. If you're a bit rusty on gardening skills, these classes are a good place to find help.
Homeschool gardening ideas
Diana Bauman of myhumblekitchen.com is a simple living, homeschooling mom. She offers her thoughts and ideas in an example of a homeschool lesson in planting a garden.
Homeschoolers are generally a pretty creative lot. If you're a homeschooler and have more ideas for lessons through gardening, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.
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