The benefits of planting a garden in your backyard are countless. Your own supply of homegrown produce is the most obvious return you will receive. However, your own veggie garden can provide you with so much more.
By sowing your own produce, you open up a world of educational opportunities to your children. Everything from math and science to reading and writing can be practiced while working in the garden, and your kids will be soaking up plenty of vitamin D while they’re at it.
Here are just a few of the many ways you can incorporate schooling into your spring garden.
- Count seeds — Allow younger children to practice their counting by telling them to plant a specific number of seeds or dig a certain number of holes. The little ones will get a kick out of this and will feel included and important.
- Multiple seeds — Decide how many seeds you will plant per hole and let your child do the math to figure out how many total seeds you will need. This is an excellent real-world use of multiplication.
- Build a raised bed — Build a raised bed and put older kids in charge of the design and building of the structure. This will give them some intense geometry practice and will leave them with an end product to be proud of.
- Measuring — Have your kids measure the plants each day and document their growth on a chart. This is a good use of charting skills, and a great way to launch into a discussion about units of measurement.
- Photosynthesis — Check out library books and read or watch videos online about photosynthesis.
- Create a Compost Bin — Do some research and create a compost bin. Discuss what can and what can’t be put into a compost bin and why. Talk about the process that takes place in a compost pile of bin.
- Experiment — Test out various pesticides on your plants. Record results and decide together what would be best to use next year.
Reading, Writing, and Research
- Read Seed Packets — Early readers can help you out by sounding out the names of various seeds. Depending on the seeds you select, this could even be a challenging project for intermediate readers.
- Write Labels — Your young writers may find it entertaining to create labels for the various seeds you plant. Give them markers or crayons and let them decorate the sIgnacio too.
- Research — Older kids and teens can be in charge of the care of your plants. Have them research the topic of plant care online and give the the responsibility of putting any information they find to good use.
- Creative Writing — Give your young authors the task of writing a poem about their favorite plant or a fictional story about something that takes place in their garden. Encourage them to get creative with this one.
These are just some of the academic lessons that could be incorporated into your springtime gardening. Think outside the box and see how else you can tie your child’s lessons into your work.
Additionally, it is important that the life skills gained while working in the garden aren’t underestimated. The ability to grow food is a valuable tool that your children will use for the rest of their lives. Lessons in patience and good work ethic are also certain to come about when gardening, and are both highly important.
So what are you waiting for? Head outside and get to work. Go prepared to learn something new and create fond and happy memories.