Gardening is one way I can bring nature home, and I find it to be a very rewarding and fulfilling use of my time. And gardening with my children is not only a great learning opportunity, but it’s also a way of teaching them patience and diligence. In fact, gardening as a family can be a wonderful way to connect with your children this spring and summer. And, after spending time and working hard together, you get to eat the fruits and vegetables you’ve worked so hard to grow! You may even find that the practice of working in the garden together gives you the chance to discuss some valuable life lessons.
In truth, gardening has helped me learn that everything that grows in nature (from plants to people) requires some of the same basic principals of care. In gardening with my children, I get to show them, real-life examples of these principals and talk about what they can teach us in our own lives. Today, I want to share 5 of these lessons with you! Feel free to use them in your own gardening experiences, with your own children!
5 Life Lessons I’ve Learned While Gardening
1. The Importance of Diligence.
Gardening requires lots of diligence. For many of us, it proves difficult to keep working when the days get hot and the work gets difficult. And because our lives tend to be so busy, it can be hard to say no to activities we may really want to do and choose to work instead. But we (and our children) need to learn diligence! It’s worth the time and effort we put into our gardens–working together and keeping at it.
2. Sometimes You Have to Pull Weeds.
It’s so much fun to start a garden in the spring! The weather is beautiful, and it’s so much fun to set out young plants or start seeds and watch them grow. By mid summer, though, the beautiful weather has turned to hot weather, and the soil has become overgrown with weeds! It’s so easy to let a few weeds creep in here and there. It’s easy to ignore them or purposely overlook them because there are so few of them, and we’re so busy. But before we know it, the weeds are overwhelming!
Life is like that too. Homemaking, homeschooling, paying bills, church activities, field trips, and so many other things keep us busy. When we’re distracted, it’s easy to let weeds creep up in our lives. Before we know it, it’s hard to tell the difference between what’s good and what’s bad. Like a gardener who works to tend her garden, we need to work for our lives too, keeping them clean and not letting them get overgrown with weeds. Then we can produce good fruit!
3. Nourishment is important.
Gardening reminds us that nourishment is essential! We must give our gardens food and water so they can prosper. If they don’t have these things along with plenty of sunlight, they won’t grow well, and they won’t produce much. A garden that doesn’t receive nourishment just won’t grow very well. Even a neglected garden, though, can perk back up if it’s given what it needs.
This can serve as a reminder to us too. We need to continue to nurture all areas of our lives–physical, spiritual, and mental–in order to be healthy. For lots of reasons, we often neglect caring for ourselves. Just like a garden, though, we will soon start to see the negative effects on our health and our lives.
4. Time is precious.
The amount of time we put into our gardens will directly affect their outcomes! Time is important! There are so many things we can do with our time, but we need to learn to discern what’s important and what isn’t. We need to learn to set priorities. Just like we need to invest time in our gardens, we need to invest time in those people who are important to us. We need to set aside time for important activities. We need to love ourselves and our families enough to spend our time wisely.
5. Patience is necessary.
And finally, patience is necessary! Gardening requires us to slow down. There’s really no way to speed up the process! Through gardening, we see the God-given concept of time, growth, and development. We simply must learn patience!
Patience is a lesson we see exhibited in our gardens time and time again! It requires time for vegetables and flowers to reach their full potential. If we try to rush the process by using too much fertilizer or watering too much, our produce won’t taste very good or look very pretty. Patience and care are the only things that will bring about a bountiful harvest.
Have you learned any life lessons from your garden? Do you enjoy gardening with your children? Is it something you’d like to try? Please let us know in the comments!
In the coming days, we’ll be sharing more information for your garden, and we’ll share some garden-related resources for your homeschool!