In our homeschool, we have found that sometimes we need to take our learning outside of the books. This is something that helps both the kids and me. Finding a way to take the learning outside of the books is not always easy, but you just need to look outside of the box, literally.
After years of homeschooling, man it feels weird to say that, I have finally realized that some days we just need to put the books away and have some fun. One thing my kids don’t realize is that even without their textbooks and worksheets, we have still been able to spend a lot of time learning. How do we do it? Well, we get outside and learn from the environment that God gave us to learn from!
One of these tricks is to do nature studies with the kids. When the weather is nice, and even when it isn’t, we like to get outside and see what is happening around us. My kids are not like me in any way when it comes to bugs. These kids go and find rocks to turn over just to see what bugs are under them. They will find a bug and ask me to take a picture of it. When we do that, they beg me to go on Google and see what kind it is.
Once we find out the type of bug it is, the kids have more questions. We are able to spend time digging into the type of bug, what it eats, the enemies it may have and so forth. The kids don’t think this is school for them. They think they are out exploring, but when they can recall the information when they see a similar bug, I know they are learning!
Since we live in Minnesota, we have all kinds of weather. Not only do we get to get outside when the sun is shining, but we get out there when there is snow on the ground. The best thing about this is seeing the new animal prints in the fresh snow. This is another time we like to take pictures and guesses as to what animal made those tracks. This has even lead us into a discussion about what animals are awake during the winter and those who hibernate!
As an add-on to our nature studies, I have been printing pages from NotebookingPages.com for the kids to use when we are outside. These pages help us focus our attention on different things. We have used the pages for looking at birds and at trees. These pages don’t give much of anything specific, rather just pages that allow us to write what we are learning.
We found some great pages on trees. This allowed us to learn about the leaves and the bark of different trees. Even when we didn’t have the pages in front of us, the kids would notice the difference in the trees when we would go for walks. I love watching the kids see these differences without me pointing them out.
We also use pages from NotebookingPages.com for watching the birds at the feeders. The kids will draw pictures of the birds they see, marking down when they see them and any information they want to see. I keep a bird watchers book handy in case the kids want to use it, but I don’t require it. All I want them to do it watch the birds. Our favorite birds are the cardinals and orioles. The kids can tell what each likes to eat and when they like to eat. We recently got a bird bath that used to belong to my great grandpa, so we have a new way of watching the birds and how they take care of themselves.
It is so fun to see the kids learning outside of our classroom setting. I love knowing that even on the days that the kids don’t want to open their textbooks, we can still spend time learning.
I am joining in with the Homeschool Review Crew Round-up on Non-book Learning. Want to read more about this? Check them out right here: