Back to Homeschool! 5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Outdoor Learning
It’s back to school time! After being cooped up inside for so long due to the pandemic, incorporating outdoor learning is a great way to kick-off your child’s back-to-school learning.
The good news is that by following recommended guidelines, you and your family can safely enjoy the outdoors and incorporate learning into your daily activities. Check out these family-oriented outdoor activities that can be customized to fit almost any grade level and boost your children’s knowledge in their core subjects.
Study the Natural Setting in Your Town
Make natural studies a part of your homeschooling program. Visit local parks and study the native flora and fauna. Bring a notebook or tablet and have your children jot down and sketch the different plants they discover. Go birdwatching, rock collecting, or if you have a pond or lake nearby, collect samples of water and study them under a microscope. Other fun ideas include:
- Building a birdhouse
- Going on a photography tour at your local park
- Planting a flower or vegetable garden and studying the plants’ life cycle
- Using a magnifying glass to study insect life
- Going fishing and taking notes on the fish you catch
- Visiting a local farm and learning about the animals and crops
The ideas are boundless and the great thing is, they supplement skills in science, math, writing, technology, critical and creative thinking, and more! With just your imagination, you and your children will have a wonderful experience together enjoying the natural diversity in your area, while boosting the academic skills.
Cultural and Historical Studies
Every town and community has a unique story to tell through its culture and history. Visit local historical societies, cultural museums or the local town hall where they may house interesting artifacts regarding your town’s history. Perhaps Native Americans once lived near your community, or immigrants from other countries settled in your area long ago and influenced it’s architecture, food, or art.
Improve your children’s research, writing and technical prowess by having them prepare a report or a Google Slides, Keynote or PowerPoint presentation on your town’s history.
Rejoin Your Homeschool Group or Enjoy Activities with Friends
If you were a part of a homeschool group, or have friends that homeschool, re-connect with them and plan safe, fun outdoor group activities. Visit an interactive museum, art museum, or local park. Hold classes outside or enjoy a field trip to a local destination, such as an aquarium, a nature center, zoo, or a community organization such as a fire station.
Bringing kids of all ages back together in a safe manner will give them a sense of normalcy and relief. You’ll also be building their social skills, which is an important aspect of a well-rounded education. Depending on their age group, kids can make crafts, build model rockets, play hide and seek, take a camping trip, visit an outdoor market or do almost anything that includes social interaction.
Roadschooling is a growing trend in which families take their homeschooling on the road. Families visit different places and have their children immerse themselves in the culture, environment and history. Children absorb information, ask pertinent questions and use their critical thinking skills to analyze and evaluate what they are learning.
Because the places they visit are usually new, this learning experience is always exciting and fresh. It’s also incredibly flexible: some families have their children work on their core subjects using an online curriculum program in the morning and then explore and learn new things throughout the afternoon. It’s an effective technique for incorporating outdoor learning into your child’s education.
Combine Interactive Lessons with Outdoor Learning
Optimize your learning opportunities by combining outdoor learning fun with an interactive program such as Time4Learning. This is especially helpful for students who enjoy a variety of learning styles, who require extra help in certain subjects, or just benefit from a program that reinforces their skill set and builds new skills through motivational exercises.
A few things Time4Learning offers include:
- 3,500+ multimedia lessons, printable worksheets and graded activities.
- 24/7 access so children can learn at any time, day or evening.
- A curriculum that maximizes retention by providing an entertaining atmosphere that makes learning a fun, engaging activity.
- A student-paced approach that allows your child to take their time with challenging subjects and learn at a pace that is right for them.
- The ability to customize the curriculum to fit your child’s unique learning styles and individual needs.
- Automated grading and detailed reporting for portfolio usage.
By integrating various educational resources, you will be keeping your child’s interest in their studies at a high level in preparation for a successful school year. Afterall, children often get bored with the same old school work. And Time4Learning is an exciting antidote for the doldrums — and you can even take your laptop or tablet outdoors!
Now that you have some fun ideas for incorporating the outdoor world into your homeschooling program, head out and enjoy the endless opportunities that await.