Add Some Spring Into Your Homeschool

5  Ideas for mixing it up this spring.

I love this time of year as the many flowering trees bloom in succession.  We are now enjoying the dogwood explosion and it is a beautiful sight to see in the Northwest.

I am the first to admit that it gets really hard to “do school” at this time of year.  When the sun comes out and warms up our porch, we just naturally gravitate to the outdoors.  That is also one of the reasons why I love homeschooling… we don’t have to sit at desks and tables in order to learn.  So, let’s think outside of the box!

This is a great time to do something new and/or different.  I’ll provide a list of fun spring activities in just a moment, but first let me share some of the things that we have been doing at the Johnson house.

Last Friday, we enjoyed a wonderful Colonial feast.  We have been studying the colonial time period, so we wanted to celebrate with an historical feast that will go down in the memory banks.  Here are a couple of pictures:

The two boys didnt get dressed up, so they are not in the picture. Too bad.

As you can see from the top picture, we like to dress up!  It just makes the occasion so fun.  Even the grandparents come in costume!  We had grand amusement making the “powdered wigs” for the event.  Our girls looked like little statesmen!

In the bottom picture, we are enjoying our first course of New England Clam Chowder and Maple Wheaten Bread.  Later, we served up some hasty pudding, rosemary potato cakes and pumpkin pie for dessert.  Of course, we washed it all down with “Liberty Tea”.

Other activities that we are enjoying this spring are building a weather station, watching caterpillars transform into butterflies and planting a garden.

What can you do to liven up your spring studies?

Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Start a nature notebook. Kids naturally love to draw.  Buy your children individual notebooks – even if just at the dollar store – that can be designated for a nature journal.  Then, spend some time outdoors – taking hikes, going to the park, playing in the yard – and bring the journals along with you.  Encourage them to draw the interesting things that they discover – a bird’s nest, a caterpillar on a leaf, a wildflower…
  2. Build a weather station. We’ve been studying the colonial time period and found out that Benjamin Franklin had a fascination for all kinds of weather – not just lightning storms. :-)   You can build a homemade rain gauge, barometer, hygrometer, weather vane, anemometer and compass.  Here’s a site with instructions – http://www.fi.edu/weather/todo/todo.html.
  3. Plant a garden. Even if you do not have a large plot for a garden, you can buy or build raised garden boxes and plant some herbs and vegetables for your family’s summertime eating pleasure.  We actually have plenty of room of a large garden, but still prefer raised beds because it cuts down on the weeding that we have to do. :-)   Alternately, you can plant a flower garden that your family will enjoy all summer long.
  4. Build a chicken coop. More and more families are choosing to grow and raise their own food.  Friends of mine that raise chickens say that they are a good first farm animal and don’t require a great deal of effort – that is, after the coop is built.  Do you have teenage boys?  This might be a good project for them.
  5. Buy Painted Lady caterpillars online and watch them form their chrysalis and become beautiful butterflies that you can release out into your yard. We purchased ours here – http://earthsbirthday.org/good-green-butterflies/.

That’s it.  Enjoy your week!  Get out there and enjoy nature and maybe I’ll see you online at the Homeschool Expo this week.  I hope so!

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 at 4:16 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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