There are many easy and fun ways to do this. From incorporating nature walks into your curriculum to using nature-based resources, there are endless possibilities. By bringing nature into your homeschool, you’ll not only add some variety to your lessons, but you’ll also help your children connect with the world around them.
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Bringing Nature into Your Homeschool
Most people believe that homeschooling means sitting at a kitchen table with textbooks strewn about, but this does not have to be the case. In fact, there are many benefits to incorporating nature into your homeschool curriculum.
Nature provides a wealth of resources that can be used for learning. For example, you can use rocks and leaves to help teach your child about science and math. You can also use the outdoors to teach your child about history and geography.
Bring Nature Inside
Keep indoor plants. Have your child choose a plant and create a regular schedule to take a photo of the plant and write notes about its growth. At the end of the school year, review all the photos and notes together so he or she can see how the plant changed throughout the time period.
Hang nature prints around your home, or have your children create art using elements from nature to display. You can change these up based on what you are learning in your homeschool.
Create a nature shelf where you can keep and display the treasures you collect during nature outings.
Grow fresh herbs on your windowsill. Research medicinal and food uses. You might be surprised by how aromatic some herbs are. Lavender is a great herb to grow in your homeschool space.
Collect some rocks and sort them using your own categories. Even landscaping rocks have a lot of variety when you look closely.
Try sprouting different varieties of seeds in a moist paper towel to see how they germinate and grow.
Go Out into Nature
Plant and maintain a garden. Give each child his or her own section. They get to choose which plants to grow and are responsible for keeping them watered and weeded. You could easily do container gardening.
Use things from your yard that are edible. Show children why it’s great to grow your own food.
Camp in your backyard. If it’s safe in your area, build a campfire, roast marshmallows, and observe the night sky. Tell stories, listen to crickets or other nature sounds, and notice the changes that take place from day to night: color, temperature, sounds, and more.
Learn seasonal constellations and help your children learn how to find them. (The free Skyview Lite app can help you identify what you see in the night sky. Simply point your device at the sky to identify stars, constellations, planets, and satellites.) Visit our Make Your Own Constellations blog.
Teach your kids different ways to cook outside (great for camping and emergencies).
Spot fun shapes in the clouds as you identify their types.
Make a sundial and test it out at different times of the year.
Take your lessons outside. Use natural materials like acorns, rocks, leaves, or sticks for basic math problems.
Picnic outside often.
Create Nature Art Projects
Create a rock sculpture.
Create nature rubbings using different textures in nature, such as leaves or the bark of a tree.
Paint or sketch something new you discovered on a nature outing.
Make imprints of differently textured natural objects by dipping them in paint and pressing them on paper.
Press flowers and make a bookmark.
Make your own dye from plants and dye a shirt or paint it on paper.