Today while my eldest daughter was at the park with me, she noticed a picnic table in a secluded area with trees around it and said, “Look mom — that would be a nice place for us to do school one day.” This was a simple reminder that one of my favorite ways to give our homeschool new life at this time of year is to take our education outdoors.
When you’re struggling with homeschool burnout, it’s a great time to take it outside: Pack up your schoolwork and go somewhere outdoors. If it’s nice outside, you can simply hit the park — or even just your yard. Enjoy the birds chirping and other outdoor critters, or do some earth science and explore. If it’s cold, find a library to change up your scenery. I’ve even taken the girls and my laptop to McDonalds on a rainy day, that way my youngest can play and the older girls can do their workbooks while I get things done online.
Because I was homeschooled my entire life, I did a lot of my education on the road with my parents while they traveled. We visited places like Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, and Virginia Beach. I remember naming off the layers of earth at the Grand Canyon and talking about how the red dirt in Oklahoma was the Pennsylvanian layer… when I look back at those experiences, it’s hard to top my father’s ability to bring my education to life! However, I remember how important it was to learn beyond the books.
One of my favorite spots to pack up our science books and do school is at the Tulsa Zoo. We recently read through our Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals book and then walked around the zoo and pointed out interesting facts about each animal we saw along the way. Just looking at everything there is to see outside, including the trees around them, we find things they want to know more about. My goal is for my girls to grow up loving to learn and try new things!
Learning is not always easy, but it should always feel rewarding. After all, life is just like one big field trip: Each day full of new information and learning experiences. The more you can breathe new life into those days by changing your environment, the more your children will look forward to what’s next, making it easier to finish up the school year.
For more ideas on how to cope with homeschool burnout, see my sister Rosanna’s recent post on this topic. What are some of your favorite places to take your homeschool outdoors?