Welcome to my Spring Series called “Bringing Spring into your Homeschool”. Today’s post is by Kristina Peterson about how getting outside helped her homeschool run smoothly. Check out her bio below and enjoy reading! Also make sure to check out other posts in this series and guest author bios by clicking on “Bringing Spring into your Homeschool” under Blog in the menu.
How Spring Saved our Homeschool
Written by Kristina Peterson | April 27, 2018
Kristina is a blogger, homeschool veteran, and proclaimed bibliophile. She has towed her sons to book stores where they wandered through the aisles collecting books to read with smiles on their faces. On her blog, Book Bound Boys, her hope is to help you create a love for literature in your home. In this guest post find out how spring brings life to your days with stories and fun activities.
Watching the stars in the sky, planting little garden landscapes and hiking trails breathe more life into our homeschool. It seems that every year spring saves our homeschool with it’s abundant opportunities waiting to be discovered. With the birds chirping and snow melting it is getting hard to keep the boys focused on indoor science experiments and endless reading about adventures on the seas. It is time to go outdoors!
“Do you want to take a little walk down toward the brook?” asked the Hermit. “I should not wonder if I could prove to you to-day that it has not forgotten how to talk to you.”
When the first day of spring has arrived and the daffodils and crocus pop through the earth we know that it is the perfect weather to head outdoors and go for a hike. When we are going to go for our first hike we fill our backpacks with tools to explore the earth, trusty cameras that capture a moment, plastic bags that store our finds and sanitizing hand wipes (protecting yourself from the slim possibility of E. coli.)
Our first outing into the Pennsylvania mountains is short and local so that we don’t need special hiking boots or other equipment that you would need for advanced hiking trails. We live in Bedford near the historical Bedford Springs where you can find interesting artifacts deep in the ground and the water is filled with a variety of minerals that the kids can fill jars to examine at home. Many hiking trails have their own history that can be discovered while researching where you can hike. We will also grab a few worms for the garden and for fishing later in the week. Get those sneakers on, grab your backpacks’ and get on a hiking trail to watch spring unfold.
“It was springtime, and all the other flowers had their heads poked through; and she was the prettiest little pink rose in the whole garden!”
In our style of homeschool, stories play an important role to our lessons and have become a part of the way we live. When it comes to the garden I will share many stories as we cultivate the soil and work in cleaning and preparing our yard. One of my favorite stories is The Little Pink Rose. This is one of the stories I used to tell (you can read it too) to my sons when they were young before we made our storytelling garden. This is such a fun project!
This is what you need to make your storytelling garden:
- A large terra cotta dish (that catches the water)
- Potting soil or dirt from your yard
- Grass seeds
- Little items like rocks, shells, sticks, wooden animals, etc
While we started our garden landscape I took this time to feed their imagination about what animals or people, maybe a fairy, might live in the garden they were creating.
- Spread the soil evenly into the dish
- Add the grass seed by sprinkling it over the soil
- Using a spray bottle, water the seeds
Now you can add your garden decorations. The boys loved to watch the grass grow and water their storytelling garden. One day I found them playing in their storytelling gardens with LEGO figures. These little garden landscapes led to many storytelling moments that often included a LEGO Stormtrooper as the star.
Stars in the Sky
‘He caught them up into heaven and set them there. The mother is the “Great Bear,” and another smaller group of stars near by is called the “Little Bear.”’
Spring is our favorite time to watch the stars in the sky. In fact, Among the Stars tells a heart touching story about a woman who was turned into a bear and her encounter when she saw her human son. Together they became Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. We see them as the Big Dipper and Little Dipper.. Sharing this story when you go outside in the night is educational without sounding like a textbook. It is unlikely that your kids will marvel at the story but they will remember that constellation. To help you find Ursa Major a.k.a. Great Bear you can use free tools available on your cell phone.
While my men in my house love the stars as much as I love books, we are not amatuer astronomers. We use Star Walk 2 ( or Android) to locate the stars and constellations in our neck of the woods. This is helpful when we bring out our telescope. But you don’t have to have a telescope. It is just as amazing to see the stars in the sky with your naked eye. Learning about the stars is as simple as taking a step outside.
Every year Spring rescues us from cold snowy days. Promising us the freedom to either run around in our gardens, walk hiking trails in the meadows, and spend time together bundled outside watching the stars in the sky. This is my favorite time to learn and make family memories.
Be sure to download my freebie for The Little Pink Rose by clicking the picture below.
Check out more of Kristina’s most popular posts below.
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How do you get outdoors to enrich your homeschool? Share in the comments below!