One way to supplement childrens’ homeschool learning, is through the use of gardening. Every since my children were toddlers, we were always big on getting something planted. It started with them as toddlers, painting pots, talking to them about Earth Day and getting some seeds going, with the intention of moving them outside if they ever did really well.
Most years that wasn’t the case, and the plants would end up dying off before producing anything. But the kids had gotten the lesson about how to plant, how to care for plants, etc.
This year my oldest got the lesson of patience and how to transfer plants carefully. He did successfully get some cucumber plants growing, but they died; we think either because he wanted to brush off their roots when he transferred them or because it was still too cold outside at night for them. They died, he got angry.
I had him try again and now, months later, he has done very well.
All in all, his plants haven’t done amazing. They’ve produced 2 cucumbers, which both need some time to grow. But what they have really been successful with is giving my child the confidence in just knowing now that he can do it. He can raise a “crop,” as he has been referring to his 2 cucumbers. And this is an 11 year old boy we’re talking about.
He already has so much pride and self-esteem now from this, what I would consider small victory, that he is talking about all of the plants he wants to grow next year, including strawberry bushes.
But some of the other wonderful things children can learn from getting gardening can simply include: how plants grow (anatomy), requirements for plant growth (sun, water) and how it differs with different plants. Outside they can learn about the bugs they encounter in the garden, and even in the house. My children have now made a habit of if they find bugs in the house (first was a spider) they release them as they call it in the “garden” (the one lone cucumber plant). We have even had a chance to talk about rain with the gardening because we have gotten a lot recently and the spikes on the cucumbers led to a conversation about how plants protect themselves.
Have your children done any gardening? What have they learned or what lessons would you want to incorporate from the garden when you do plant with your children?