With spring just around the corner, we are itching to spend some time outside! After the long winter months, staying inside on a beautiful spring day to work on school is not something I’m interested in doing.
Usually, on the first warm, sunny day of the year, we take the day off of schoolwork and just enjoy God’s creation. But since we can’t exactly do that every time the sun peaks out and shares its warmth, I started thinking up ways we could bring our homeschool outside.
Here are some ideas the kids and I have come up with to soak up the sunshine and homeschool outside:
Spelling with sidewalk chalk
The kids suddenly love spelling when they get to use a chunky piece of chalk to write their words on the driveway. On any given sunny day you’ll find dozens of brightly colored words scattered all over our driveway and sidewalk because they’ll keep asking for more words. Spelling doesn’t have to be the only subject you whip out the chalk for, though. The kids could review their math facts or draw constellations or practice their cursive. The size of your driveway is your only limit!
In the early years when the kids are practicing their decoding, we use cards with practice words on them. You could also use sight words or even sentences. I stand in a designated spot while the kids stand a few yards away in another designated spot. I set the timer for one minute and one child races to read the word I’m holding up. Once it’s read correctly, the child races back to the next child and tags him so he can race to read his word. The racing continues until the timer goes off. We count how many cards they managed to read together. Then we set the timer again and see if we can read more words the next time.
Math with rock paperweights
Okay, this isn’t just for math. One of the problems with doing schoolwork outside is the wind blowing papers around. My kids enjoy searching out fun looking rocks to help hold down their papers while they work. I use them, too, when teaching from a book. They’ll also use them to hold open the books they’re reading just for the fun of it.
What better time to take a long, leisurely walk through the woods than in the spring? There’s so much to explore as plants and wildlife wake from their winter slumber. Bring along a notebook for writing notes, drawing pictures, and collecting whatever fascinates your child. There’s so much to learn from nature!
Keeping in mind the rock paperweights, lay out a large blanket in the yard and do school outside just the way you would inside. There’s no rule that says history must be done at the kitchen table or math must be done at a desk. But in my house there is a rule that says when the sun is shining, we go outside!
One of my favorite reasons for homeschooling is the freedom to change things up. While a routine is a good thing in homeschooling, scrapping the routine every now and then can be just as good! So when the sun finally makes its debut this spring and the flowers peak through the ground and the trees begin to bud, get out, enjoy it and take your homeschool outside.