I grew up in the woods so my parents never had a garden. But my Granny who lived down the road did. I remember her flowers better than her vegetables. She planted a very large piece of land with rows of irises. I remember that each one was given a name.
As an adult, I absolutely adore my garden and I’ve taught my children the same. Each of them began their gardening careers on the sidelines in a playpen. From there, they not only learned gardening but math, language, science, home economics, and more—all while growing our food.
Lessons from the Garden is a compilation of lessons that you can use with your children while growing food, flowers, fruit, or herbs. Do your children ever complain and ask when they will ever use a certain skill when they grow up? Seeing their world as their classroom, rather than looking for all life’s answers in a textbook, will help them to see all the why’s behind the lessons.
The lessons in this unit study are not divided by age, grade, or subject. Rather this study is divided into phases of the garden: Preparation, Planting, Growing, and Harvesting. Here are a few to give you an idea:
- Draw the different stages of growth–Sprout some larger seeds like sunflower or mung. Have your kids create a poster showing the different stages of growth by drawing first the seed, then the seed with the little sprout starting to emerge, up until the sprout has shed the seed casing and has its two little leaves on the top. Have them label their drawings and label the poster with the names of each stage of growth.
- One of the best ways to help your soil is to add compost. If you do not already have one, start a compost bin. The slideshow “Composting for Kids”, written and produced by Robert E. (Skip) Richter, CEA-Horticulture, Travis County, Texas Agricultural Extension Service, is great for explaining the concept to younger children.
- Research and discuss companion planting. For instance, planting nasturtiums around your squash will repel squash bugs, and planting tomatoes with your cabbage will repel flea beetles. What are some other ways to companion plant? Give what you find out a try in your garden.
- Choose 5-10 plants and look up the botanical name for each. Where does the name come from? What other plants are related? Are they a fruit or a vegetable? Annual or perennial?
- Weigh out a pound of peas in the pod. Shell them. Then weigh just the peas and see how much you have. If you were to sell your peas at the farmers market (unshelled) for $3.50 per pound, once the customer shelled them, how much have they spent per pound?
This fifth unit in the Lessons from the Homestead series contains over 50 lessons from math, language, science, art, and home economics. A list of vocabulary words follows the lessons. And if you want resources, this book has plenty.
Start integrating your homesteading with your homeschooling now. Buy Lessons from the Garden and you will see how easy it really is.
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That’s 14 pages of lesson plans, PLUS over 30 vocabulary words taken straight from the gardening books sitting on my shelves–all for only $3.99.
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