While some schools have gardens for educational purposes, many are left without the space and/or resources to successfully do so. Whether you have made the decision to homeschool your children, are looking to enrich your child’s learning, or need to supplement their learning during our nation’s current “social distancing,” then creating a home garden is an excellent way to expand core content.
Planting an educational growing space can be done easily under a wide range of conditions.
Why School Gardens are Important
While curriculums vary among students and regions, the garden provides an active and tangible learning environment that can serve children with a wide range of learning needs and styles. Some studies have even shown that time spent in garden classrooms can positively impact behavior and attitudes of students towards assignments. Additionally, with this hands-on experience, many learners show signs of greater motivation for participation, as well as accountability connected to garden-related coursework. Gardens also foster skills like teamwork, responsibility, and work ethic.
Beyond these values, students who are actively engaged in garden learning are often shown to demonstrate marked improvement in the classroom. Though many state education standards require knowledge of plants or information directly related to agriculture, garden learning easily extends across the curriculum to assist in the development of reading, writing, math, and critical thinking skills – even science.
Planting an Educational Home Garden
Planning an educational garden at home can be quite easy, though each growing area will vary. Gardens for educational purposes come in all sizes. Determine how much space is available and then go from there. While many people can utilize a small yard, those with less space might consider the use of raised beds, containers, or even a bright windowsill.
Choosing seeds to sow or plants to incorporate will also play a major role in the success of your classroom garden. Edible vegetable plants are best, as they can also be eaten as the growing season progresses. Feedback from students will be essential in order to build anticipation for upcoming garden projects and related formal or informal lessons. As a first-time grower, look for seeds that are easy to direct sow and will germinate readily. More experienced gardeners may opt to grow crops that require more care and attention. Regardless of the crops selected, growing your own educational home garden is sure to be a memorable experience.
Currently homeschooling or using gardening to teach your kids? Feel free to share tips for others interested in creating school gardens of their own.