After being cooped up inside all winter many homeschool families are looking for ways to get everyone outside and learning as much as possible as the weather turns nice. Getting out can take a bit of planning now that so many options are limited. These simple ideas will help you get your kids outside and learning this spring.
Start a nature journal
Nature journals are one of the best ways to get kids to stop and take a closer look to document the world around them and the changes they see. Starting a nature journal in the spring is perfect because your child has the opportunity to explore the very beginning of life coming back to the earth to start out the beautiful story of the world that their journals will preserve as the pages fill.
Nature journals can be as unique as your child raging from a fresh notebook to a 3 ring binder complete with sheep protectors for pressed flowers. You can use what you have running around to make your own nature journal. To make the most of your journal be sure to take colored pencils or crayons out with your journals whether it be in the back yard or on a hiking trip.
For kids that prefer to do their work digitally, a journal or blog complete with photos they took out on your springtime adventures is a great way to make a digital nature journal and get even tech-savvy kids excited to explore and document nature.
Start a garden
How to homeschool in the Garden is one of the best ways to get your child out and explore what the world has to offer. From digging in the dirt finding worms to watching the tiniest seeds turn into big tall plants that produce their favorite foods. Growing a garden teaches your child responsibility and the importance of caring for others. As your child helps you start a garden they are learning everything from planning the garden to how to keep pests out of your garden opening many amazing opportunities to become one with nature.
While you may not wish to have your child run the family garden you can give them a small garden bed that can be their own garden space to work with. This can be a great way to split things up if you have more than one child as well. When your child gets the opportunity to grow food themselves they are more likely to eat healthy fruits and vegetables and try new varieties.
Build a weather station
Springtime is the perfect time to explore nature and all it has to offer including the ever-changing weather. Building your own weather station and putting together a backyard weather station is a great way to study the weather and how it affects the world around us. If you are making nature journals this can be a great way to add information to your child’s journals as they observe the changes in the weather through the spring from cold wet snow to warm sunny breezes.
You can buy kits to help build a weather station or start your own by putting together a few simple tools like a windmill, thermometer, and cylinder with a ruler to measure precipitation. This can be a great opportunity to discuss how the weather is tracked and predicted as well as compare weather predictions to what really happened in your area.
Raise and release insects
Raising butterflies is a fun and popular spring activity for homeschoolers. Choosing to raise and release endangered species butterflies is also a great conservation activity to teach our children about helping to take care of the world around us. You can buy butterfly raising kits to make it fun and easy.
Not into the idea of raising your own insects? Why not take the kids out for a backyard bug hunt?
Get messy with science
In the winter it can be hard to do all of the science projects you want to with the kids. Messy science and part projects like this one on force are best saved for outdoor activities to help control the mess and make clean-up easy. As the spring weather turns it is the perfect time for pulling out these projects and making the most of it.
Kids learn better hands-on and the messier it gets the more engaged they are getting but messy projects aren’t the only ones perfect for taking outside. Don’t forget to give projects like plastic bottle rockets a try when the weather turns nice this spring.
Take your everyday work outside.
Homeschooling doesn’t mean you have to do it in your home. Pack everything up, grab a large quilt, and go get out of the house. Take your work to the backyard, park, or even an empty soccer field. Anywhere you can make the space to spread out and work. Make a list of spring homeschool field trips like visiting the zoo or going to explore the pond to make getting out while learning fun and exciting.