3 Tips to Help You Take Homeschool Outside
We have had the coldest weather here in NY that we have had in years! What’s more is that I hear rumblings of more deep freezing temperatures coming up in March! With that being said, I am holding my breath and looking ahead to warmer weather.
After being cooped up inside so much during an excessively cold winter like this one, we are all looking to spend as much time as possible outside once the weather improves. The catch is that there will still be school work left to complete! The good news is that having school work to do does not have to keep you indoors! We have found some ways to be able to take our studies outside, adapt our schedule to allow for outside time, and plan school work based on outdoor time.
Tips To Help You Take Homeschool Outside:
1. Pack It Up
When the weather gets nice, we will often just pack up what we can and head out. Head out to the backyard picnic table, head out to the local park, just grab our school books and go! In the picture above, my little one and I celebrated over the chalk alphabet written on the driveway!
2. Plan Outdoor Units
There have been multiple years where I have planned ahead for the warmer weather to include studies we could do outside.
- bird units
- nature studies
- field trips
3. Lighten the Load
Another thing we often do is “cram” during the winter months. We will often try to push through some of the nuts and bolts through the cold winter months. This lightens our load for when the weather is warmer. This means we can enjoy more free time outside when the weather is nice.
Our warmer months are few here in New York, so we really have to make the most of the handful of warm weather months that we have. Thus we spend a little extra time finding ways to plan for and accommodate for the nicer weather.
How do you take your homeschool outside?
Whenever warm weather starts coming our way, I list everything we can do outside. We recently took the kids to the trout nursery. We love to go to the creek to find tadpoles, frogs, and crayfish- that’s a science lesson in itself! We also head to the parkway often and have family fitness days, where we bring all sorts of equipment with us- hula hoops, soccer balls, footballs, jump ropes, etc. We can do anything we want there, as long as we’re moving. My 5-year-old was so funny the last time we were there because he found a toy gun that someone left there, and he spent the entire time running from tree to tree hiding from us because he was a “spy.” We also go to a beautiful park in the city that has a giant tree that the kids can sit in to read. We affectionately call it “our tree.”
I have been planning field trips for our co-op group to go on. There is a great community pool about an hour from us that has a winter dome they put up. I called and found out that we can have the entire pool for our group for the same price as they charge during regular pool hours ($2.25 each). So now once a month we all go swimming. I get the bigger kids and go to the deep end and we practice different strokes and floating techniques. We have gone to National Parks and local museums, school groups are free or have a very minimal charge. There is a Cowboy Symposium in October that celebrates the American cowboy, school groups are free and the SW Dairy Association provides free milk for all students. I would suggest that if there is not a co-op group in your area, consider getting together with fellow home-schoolers and getting a group organized. So far every place I have contacted that allows public school group in for reduced price or free, will allow home-school groups in for the same cost. We meet in the park when it is warm enough and might do leaf rubbings in the summer or discuss the skeletal structure with bones we have found from a mountain lion kill (also leads to a discussion of food chain and predators and outdoor safety in the woods). We are planning on going to a local trout pond this summer and the kids will get to catch their own fish and will also do a cooking lesson with the fish. The ideas are as endless as the warm days!