Sometimes being a parent feels overwhelming. In fact, many a day I have sat and wondered if there was anything that I was doing right. I can only guess that there are many parents who have felt the same way.
As parents it's our job to support our kids learning process. But trying to teach a child to read, master their math facts, and develop their writing skills can be tough to do. And sometimes, it feels just plain daunting and maybe even a bit boring. If it's becoming tedious or boring for you, think what it must be doing to your child's psyche!
So here's a hint that worked for me. Change up your child's classroom setting.
Take your kids outside and build a garden together. I know you may think, wait a minute this won't help them remember their math facts, write or read better! But you're wrong, it will!
Here is what you'll need to get started:
Enthusiasm and Patience
A child's book on gardening. Here are three of my favorite:
Square Foot Gardening with kids; Learn Together Mel Bartholomew
the book of Gardening Projects for kids Whitney Cohen & John Fisher
Growing vegetable soup Lois Ehlert
- Basic gardening tools
- Seeds or cuttings
- String to mark off your gardening areas
- A notebook, pencil and crayons to record the growing process
Learning magic can occur as you introduce your child to the world of gardening as they are initiated into:
- Recycling to composting
- The importance of following instructions
- Geometry (How to divide up your growing areas)
- Teamwork (Why working together can make a difference)
- Measurements (How high a plant grows. What is the size of the seed vs. the size of a grown plant)
- Differentiation (Why some plants grow bigger, wider, flower or provide fruit)
- Tracking/ (How long does it take one plant to grow versus another)
- Geography (what grows where and why?)
- Investigation skills ( As they search through books, on line, gardening stores & their personnel for support growing their plants)
- Math ( How many seeds can you plant in an area, how long did they take to grow, how many pieces of fruit or flowers did you harvest)
- Money ( What does a seed cost vs. buying a grown vegetable at the store?)
- Responsibility (When you complete your chores by watering your plants and pulling weeds what are the results)
- Cooking (How many wonderful meals can you grow in your garden?)
- Documentation and Record Keeping skills ( When kids keep records and write about all that is happening in their gardens)
- Art (Documentation should also include pictures that your kids draw as their plants frown and develop. Introduce the work of other artists who drew plants, flowers and fields)
- Calendaring (when we plant certain plants and why)
Spring is here so open up your classroom doors and get a little dirty with your kids!