Homeschool Winter Lessons: Bring the Classroom Outdoors!
Did you know? Studies have showed that academic performance rises when children are allowed to do their lessons outdoors! Homeschooling is a great way to encourage outdoor education. During warm, dry weather, it's quite easy to take homeschool outdoors – my family has a table on our back porch, and all our supplies on a rolling cart. During the spring, summer, and fall, we just take it all right out the back door and we are good to go! But when it's cold, books can easily become water-damaged and pencils are hard to hold with mittened hands. So, what’s the key to successful homeschool winter lessons? The simple answer is: bundle up and ditch the paper and pencils!
Here are some ideas by subject that my family loves for our outdoor winter lessons:
Science is all around us! So, in my opinion this is the easiest subject to take outdoors. Some homeschool winter lesson plans my family have done include:
- Snow Volcanos
- Experimenting with Freezing Bubbles
- Making Snow Candy
- Nature Studies (snow, ice, clouds, animal tracks, pinecones, stars)
Even math can be done outdoors during the winter! Here are two great ways we’ve embraced math in our outdoors lesson plans:
- Graphing Temperatures
- Measuring Snowfall
Looking at nature as a medium for artwork is a great way to expand creativity and diversify your homeschool winter lessons. Some of my family’s favorite winter art projects center around:
- Snow Painting
- Ice Ornaments
- Ice Lanterns
You can find lots of history surrounding you! Local history can link your students to wider lessons, which connects them to regional and global themes. Some of the historical things my family seeks outdoors for our homeschool winter lessons include:
- Visiting Monuments
- Touring Historical Sights
- Visiting National or State Parks
- Attending Local Festivals
When you hear “Language Arts”, you’re not alone if you immediately think of pencils and paper. Here are a couple ways to incorporate this subject into your lessons outdoors without ruining supplies!
- Reading Around the Campfire
- Writing in the Snow
Even with snow on the ground, there are so many ways to stay active outside! During the winter, my family enjoys designing our physical education homeschool plans to include:
- Winter Hiking
Homeschooling during the wintertime can become monotonous, especially when you spend every day indoors. However, my family has found that bringing the classroom outside can be an exciting way to break up the dark days of winter. Whether it’s freeform sensory play or more organized learning activities, there is so much to learn and explore outdoors during the winter!
Christy, Alaskan homeschooling mother of three