Apr 15, 2010

Taking Advantage of Nature!

This post was inspired by a QOTW that was posted to several Yahoo groups this week - QOTW: Do you include outdoor time and nature study in your homeschool? If so, how do you incorporate it? How much time do you spend doing it?

We ABSOLUTELY incorporate nature study and outdoor time as much as we can! Our local group does Family Hikes during each season - where families choose a location to hike and everyone shows up to enjoy a fantastic day in the woods! We take advantage of the many local resources for nature education as well and our local group does a TON of field trips for canoeing, tidal pool searches, Questing (another local version of letterboxing or cacheing), naturalist led hikes, park days, picnics, ~~~ the list goes on and on.

At home we have a garden that we expand every year and my daughter is responsible for helping with that and often does all the research on any new items we want to try to grow. We take lots of hikes on our own and will often incorporate photography, sketching, painting, and nature study when we do so. My dd's favorite alternative study spot is a tree platform in the sideyard that is just within wireless range of our house - so she is often found there with piles of books and her laptop! She always seems to be the most productive when she is outside - as if the fresh air reminds here that she should just get her lessons done, so she can go really enjoy the day!

I think that time spent in nature is one of the GREATEST benefits of home educating children! Allowing them time and freedom to spend outside - even if that just means moving lessons to the back porch or doing backyard science experiments - heightens all experiences for our children.

What do you think? How much time do you spend in Nature? What types of things do your kids like to do outside?
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