The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is still ongoing, and in accordance with the UK government's current guidelines, most children are currently staying home from school. Critical workers may still take their children to school or a childcare provider, but all other parents are having to look after their children themselves.
As a result, many children are now being homeschooled for the first time in their lives. Homeschooling has its disadvantages - most parents have no formal teacher training, and many children will miss be missing their friends right now - but here's one indisputable benefit of homeschooling: it gives kids an opportunity to do their learning outside instead of spending all day cooped up in a classroom.
If the weather's nice and you're lucky enough to have an outdoor space to call your own, why not mix up your homeschooling timetable and have some - or even all! - of your lessons out in the garden?
Benefits of learning outdoors
- It's good for your child's health. Going outside means getting an extra dose of fresh air, exercise and vitamin D!
- It's a great way to teach them about nature and the environment. What better to learn about the world around us than to actually go outside and discover it firsthand?
- It's an opportunity to develop a different set of skills. Reading and writing are crucial, but outdoor lessons can be great for nurturing other abilities - like creativity, fitness and observation.
- Variety keeps children engaged. By alternating indoor lessons with time in the garden, you make it easier for your child to stay switched on and interested in what you're teaching them.
What can my kids learn in the garden?
Here are 8 outdoor homeschooling ideas for the parents of young children:
- Gardening. Show your kids how rewarding it can be to plant flowers or vegetables and watch them grow over time!
- Physical education. The garden is a great place for all sorts of games and exercises. Whether the goal is to keep fit, learn a new sport or just have fun, it's better to do it outdoors!
- Drawing. If you're raising a future artist, why not challenge them to draw something from the garden, like a leaf or a flower? This will help to hone their powers of observation as well as their drawing skills.
- Painting. Alternatively, why not get the paints out and get a bit messy? Better to do it outdoors than in the house!
- Bug-spotting. Your garden may not look like a wildlife reserve, but there are probably all sorts of wonderful creatures to be found if your child is willing to look. Challenge them to find as many different mini-beasts as they can in an hour!
- Photography. If your child is interested in photography, there are probably plenty of interesting items in your garden for your son or daughter to point a camera at.
- Reading. You can read just about anywhere, of course, but taking your books outdoors means that you're getting some fresh air and sunshine in the process.
- Meditation. It's never too early for children to learn the value of quiet time and self-reflection. Sitting out in the garden is a lovely way for them to spend a short spell alone with their thoughts.
Of course, if your home has a veranda or garden room, your children can learn in the garden even when it's raining! Call SunSpaces on 01727 845 788 if there's a project you'd like to discuss.
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