Learning to Homeschool on the Homestead


| 8/7/2020 4:41:00 PM


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Fourteen years ago, when we first started homeschooling, I never would have imagined that there would come a time where so many kids would be schooling at home due to a pandemic. But, as we close in on the start of a new school year, students across the nation are facing a new way of schooling - from home. Whether a family is choosing to use the virtual schooling through the public school system, or choosing a more traditional homeschool method, or a combination of both - due to COVID, families are having to adjust to having the children in the home instead of away at school all day. If you have a homestead or backyard farm, this is an excellent opportunity to include the many life skills and lessons from the farm alongside their more formal education.

First and foremost, get the kids involved as much as possible in the homestead. This will look different depending on the age of the child and the type of homestead you have. Younger children will enjoy working alongside you as you teach them about the things you are doing together. Whereas older children will enjoy the freedom to take charge of a certain aspect of the farm, research and learn about it, and make it their own. If you have a garden and some chickens in the suburbs, that will offer different opportunities than a several-acre backyard farm in a rural area. Either way, giving the kids a break from the screen and the school books and getting them outside or in the kitchen to help with homesteading activities will be good for their bodies and their minds.

Kindergarten to Middle School Grades

The homestead is full of awesome, real-life, hands-on learning experiences that include a lot of math and science. In the garden, kids can learn about seeds, germination, pollination and pollinators, the life cycle of plants, soil composition, worms and insects, weather and water. Add in some art or composition by letting them sketch plants and bugs from the garden, or write a nature journal or poem. Take your harvest into the kitchen and learn about measuring, cooking, canning, freezing, dehydrating, root cellaring, and nutrition. Throw some history and geography in there by learning about preserving and using food throughout history and across the world, and cook something from a different culture for fun. In the barn, students can learn about animal classification, animal life cycles, basic biology and anatomy, treating illness or injury in animals, animal reproduction, and basic animal nutrition.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time putting together lessons about these things, the learning will just come naturally as you work together around the homestead and will supplement the formal education they are getting. Children are so curious and eager to learn new things. As you are working together, they will ask questions. If you don’t know the answer, go look it up together online and see what you can learn about it and then expand on the idea and learn even more. Kids learn best when they are being taught about a topic they are interested in. One question leads to another and then another and all of a sudden you will realize that together you have learned more than you thought you would ever know about something that started as one simple question from your child.



 East Friesian Lamb





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