How to Include Gardening in Your Homeschool
One of the many great things about homeschooling is that you are free to choose your curriculum, and you get to choose any additional extras to add into your lessons. There are many activities that sometimes just do not work in a classroom setting, but when you are learning from home, you can find ways to incorporate these activities. Gardening is a wonderful example of that! Gardening is a great way to help your kiddos learn a little extra about nature, food, and practical skills.
Here are some ways to help you include gardening into your homeschool plans:
Economics and Supply and Demand
Growing your own fruits and vegetables can help your child learn about economics. While tending to your garden, you can discuss how produce departments generate money for grocery stores. They do this by purchasing from local farmers, or suppliers who purchase and or trade for other item, and are then able to sell the product to consumers. The more consumers buy, the more the store will need to demand from farmers.
You can even use this as an example of how growing your own garden can help you save on your family grocery bill! Show them the savings you will get by doing the work yourselves, and maybe even make the lesson more relevant to the kiddos by taking them for a fun treat with the money you will be saving!
Biology is defined as the study of living organisms. This means that those seedlings that you will be planting with your child are going to open up a whole new world of biology lessons to come. As the earth brings your plants to life through sunshine, water, and soil, this is an excellent opportunity for you to not just teach them about how these things work, but to show them with their own eyes!
You could also print worksheets online that show plant parts so they learn their names, and other plant activities to reiterate the things they are learning into a more school-like environment.
Another option that would make the lessons a little more organized for you is this Gardening Workbook for kids. It has 32 lessons that you can use right along with your gardening to drive home what they are learning. This workbook covers everything thoroughly so you wouldn’t have to piece together the lessons yourself saving you time!
You will you be able to teach your child the basics of what it takes for fruits and vegetables to grow, plus they can also learn about the organisms in the soil that can help or hinder the plants’ growth. Best of all, usually real-life lessons like these stick with the child much longer than just teaching them from a book!
Water is an essential part of growing a garden, providing a wonderful way to introduce and discuss the water cycle. Gardening is an excellent activity to provide a hands on approach to learning about condensation and evaporation. As you are watering the plants, you can explain to them how the water condenses on the leaves, and watch it slowly evaporate while explaining how the water cycle works. This little 2 minute video titled “The Water Cycle Explained for Kids” would be a fun lead-in to talking about this!
It can also give you a great opportunity to talk about the effect of chemicals and other debris found in runoffs that could potentially cause harm. This will help them consider the environment in the future as they remember these lessons they learned in their family garden!
Nutrition and Healthy Eating Habits
Growing your own healthy foods is a fun way to incorporate lessons on nutrition. It is important for kids to learn how to make healthy choices when it comes to food. What better way than being able to introduce them to a variety of healthy choices, grown by their very own hands? You can grow traditional fruits and vegetables like strawberries, tomatoes, green beans, and carrots, or try your hand at foods your child has never had before like romanesco and fennel.
You can even take your kiddos with you to pick out seeds and let them find something that interests them and plant it. This opens the door to talk with them about how some of the unhealthy foods they eat aren’t available to buy as seeds to grow, and how much more nutritious foods are when they are real foods like those that grow in a garden!
Have you started a family garden? If so, I would love to hear some of the ways you use it to teach your children! The best thing about homeschooling is every activity provides a new opportunity for learning!