If you have ever wondered how to take you homeschool learning from normal learning to extraordinary, outside-of-the-box learning, you’re in the right place. Homeschooling your kids gives you so many advantages one of those is learning local plant life in your homeschool.
I won’t try to sell you a lie, when it comes to homeschooling I am ALL ABOUT teaching kids those old, lost and even nearly forgotten skills. Yes, every kid should learn math and reading, but what about teaching these kids to identify native plants and how they can use them. What they can eat, what they can use as a medicinal plant and what can harm them.
What if the average kid grew up knowing and learning what plants were medicinal, edible and poisonous? Would that child have skills that could help them throughout life?
Most certainly events like natural disasters, mass (public) illnesses, job losses (loss in pay) these things will always happen. Teaching a child how to not only survive but also to thrive in the midst of chaos is a LIFE LONG gift!
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.Maimonides
Learn to identify plants
Check out the National Wildlife Federation native plant finder to help you identify plants local to your specific area. If you are looking to take your learning to the next level while learning local plant life in your homeschool then the National Wildlife Federation is one amazing resource.
There are also many wonderful apps that can be used from a phone that allow you to take a picture and give you a list of possible matches to that plant.
Fun ways to study
wild plant life
I always like the kids to make learning their own. I also think this helps is to stick in their memory better. Sure I could make up a worksheet, and they could temporarily memorize certain answers… but where is the fun in that.
One of my favorite homeschooling resources is Notebooking Pages. They come in very handy in so many ways. Most especially when diving into plant life. I love the many options of note booking pages on trees or the pages dedicated to flowers and weeds. If we are studying something like yarrow that does not have a premade page dedicated to it, I can simply make one or let them use a blank one which I like the most cause it allows us to be even more creative!
We like to flatten a piece of the plant in-between the pages of a heavy book. Use wax paper to protect the book. Then attach the flattened and preserved piece of the plant right there on the notebooking pages or a journal you make on your own. Then as you study out the plant, its uses, history, lore and more they get to notebook and learn. As they do this that flattened plant, their drawings, and notes… I guarantee they will not forget about that plant.
To this day my kids can tell you all about yarrow, they can identifying it as it barely begins to come up in the spring. They know the way it smells, and they know that it can stop bleeding. So now when they are out free-ranging as kids often do, and they get a skinned knee, they are more likely to pick some yarrow and rub it on that bleeding knee than they are to run inside for some semi-chemical concoction out of a bottle.
Foraging for wild edibles with kids
When it comes to studying wild plant life, it does have to be all pen and paper. No! There are many ways you can take your learning local plant life in your homeschool to gathering food for eating, too. It may sound crazy to some but you can easily learn how to forage for wild edibles with kids.
Imagine how much more involved your kids might be if an afternoon of learning was foraging for dandelion flowers to turn into a jelly or henbit to add to tonight salad? Not only will they remember the experience they will also remember what is a food. Food has a way of making us remember things (wink, wink).
Learning about plant life does not have to be boring, or limited to watching a bean sprout in a jar and labeling the plant parts. Learning local plant life in your homeschool can be so much more than that. Adding this rich, rewarding and life-long skill to your children’s list of knowledge is not only fun its a gift ♡♡♡
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From our family to yours, thanks for stopping by
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Beth is a mother of 6 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.