Elementary students are some of the hardest students to teach because they can become fidgety, restless and may quickly start daydreaming. Homeschool parents have to learn to read these signs and then decide how to handle their student to avoid wasting time in the school day and to promote the maximum amount of learning possible. Scheduling breaks between each subject during the day is a good idea that allows the student to walk away from their work area for a few minutes. This permits their brain a chance to refresh before starting the next topic. Another idea for the restless student is to hold classes outside in the backyard, at a local park/playground area or other special outdoor location when the weather is nice.
Studies have shown that fresh air and sunshine stimulates the mental and emotional parts of individuals, including younger children and teens. When you homeschool 5th grade every day at the kitchen table or in the designated school room, students may get bored and become disengaged from their studies. By taking them outside, the change of scenery rejuvenates them and gets them excited about doing something that is different and unique. Their friends in a traditional school can’t have class outside, yet they can because they are homeschooled and this creates an excitement about their education. Everyone expects PE class to happen outside; but, when regular classes are held outdoors, it’s new and students get interested in doing outside classes more often.
Another benefit of taking classes outdoors is the ability to incorporate nature into lessons. This can happen in different ways. Science is the most obvious when teaching about nature, but what about choosing a historical location to discuss history, talking about God’s handiwork as seen in nature during Bible class or simply counting things as part of math. There are plenty of outdoor objects and things to use in teaching lessons that can be applied to any grade. And, lessons of this type help provide a hands-on experience that solidifies what the child is learning through their formal homeschool curriculum.
Parents can easily supplement information and expand on the lessons with creativity and fun by going out the front door. Lastly, students are shown that studying and education can be done anywhere which opens their mind to seeing solutions that are outside the box. Whether you homeschool 5th grade, kindergarten and/or high school with the best accredited online program, there are opportunities to personalize the experience with special events, field trips and outdoor activities instead of always staying inside at a desk or table. Students with both print curriculum and electronic devices can take advantage of this and find a favorite study tree or spot that inspires them to think and learn.
Whether this is your first-year homeschooling or you have been teaching for several years, find ways to make learning fun and interesting. Even if your children are enrolled in an accredited online homeschool program and taught by certified teachers, the outdoor classroom experience can still leave them ‘refreshed’ with changes in schedule, unexpected or planned field trips or simply changing the scenery every now and then from the normal routine. Homeschooling puts families in charge of the education both in curriculum and in the total environment.
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