How to home ed – nature studies

I feel like this is going to crop up afew times on the blog over the coming weeks as we just absolutely love outdoor activities. But with the threat of self isolation and lockdown looming how can you use nature studies in your home education activities?

Do I need to home school?

It’s true to say that if you choose to send your child to state school that you have handed the responsibility of formal education to the local authority. As such, with the threat of lockdown many schools have started sending home learning packs home with school children in an effort to allow them to have some appropriate work to complete, should they wish to do so. But lets be honest, although these booklets will be brilliant for some and give children focused learning activities we could also embrace home education and empower our children by showing them the knowledge that we as their parents possess. After all it wasn’t that long ago since we were at school and worksheets are not always the best way of learning and retaining new information.

Take my own daughter for example. She has recently been formally diagnosed with dyslexia and massively struggles to read and write but is full of ideas and her understanding is above the national average. For her, practical activities will help her learn. This is where nature studies will be useful for her over the coming weeks and why I, although not required to do so, will be putting as much effort as possible into providing her and my other children a stimulating, fun and worth while home ed experience.

Planning

Today I took my minded children to the garden centre and stocked up on seeds which will be planted and cared for by the children. They will be able to log the information that they learn such as how to plant a seed, the biology of a flower, how flowers grow and any further observations they make in their diaries. I will use this time to give the children the freedom to explore their surroundings, look for signs of growth and change in our garden and broaden their understanding of the world. They will likely learn new words and these could be used in spelling tests or to enhance their own stories. Short stories can be made about lots of things, can my children explain the life cycle of a flower in picture form or in short sentences? Only time will tell.

Last year was our first year growing our own and we now have very green fingers that are eager to get started. I bought lots of beans, peas and pumpkin seeds today and we hope to beat out courgette size from last year.

Preparation

Like everything preparation is key and I am starting to think about all the activities I can do with the children whilst potentially being self isolated or locked down. Thank goodness we have a garden but if you are reading this and thinking about your back yard or balcony there is still lots you can do. I have strawberries in hanging baskets and up-cycled a pallet into a painting station complete with herbs in the top.

I’ll be bringing you more on nature studies including bird spotting, bug hotels and lifecycles. All of which are brilliant fun for children to learn about and easy for you to teach.

Let me know if there is any topic you would like me to talk about and please do leave me your feedback.

Jen x

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