Benefits of Playing and Learning in a Natural Environment

Benefits

Nature-deficit disorder is the human cost of alienation from nature, according to author Richard Louv, who wrote Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Some of these costs are the diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and emotional illnesses. In contrast, some of the benefits he describes for children who play and learn in nature include

  • increased creativity
  • greater attention span for those with ADHD
  • greater physical and emotional health.

Nature in Your Own Backyard

When I was a kid, I went outside almost every day. My parents didn’t take me to nature parks, … Read more

Book Review: The Kids’ Nature Book by Susan Milord

If you’re looking for nature activities to do with your kids, I highly recommend The Kids’ Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities & Experiences by Susan Milord. I found this book at the library, and after looking through it, I had to get the book for myself.

Layout

The activities begin on January 1st.  Each week has a theme, and every day has an activity to go along with that theme. This week’s theme is rocks, and the activities include two field trips, two science labs, two art projects, and a rock collection. Other themes list poems and stories to … Read more

Meaning of Environmental Education

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Meaning of Environmental Education

Environmental education is the study of the natural and the manmade environment that we live in. It includes forests, fields, lakes, and the ocean as well as buildings, roads, and city parks. It’s also the study of the way people interact with the environment by making it better, making it worse, or having no impact on it.

Relevance to Homeschool Curriculum

If you’re looking for an interdisciplinary approach to homeschooling, then environmental education is a solution. The main subjects that relate to environmental education are science and … Read more

How To Register Your Child for Homeschool

How To Register Your Child for HomeschoolHow to register your child for homeschool varies from state to state and sometimes among school districts within a state. As an example, in Ohio and Florida, parents need to notify their local school district superintendent of their intent to homeschool. Ohio’s Department of Education (DOE) provides a recommended notification form to fill out, while Florida’s DOE gives a list of the information that should be included in the notice of intent.

Notice of Intent

A notice of intent to homeschool generally requires basic information like the parents’ addresses and the child’s name and date of birth. Parents may need … Read more

Find Nature – and Its Benefits – Near You

Find a Park

Have you looked at your county or regional park website recently? If you go to it and find the list of parks near you, you might be surprised by how many opportunities are available to you to experience and enjoy nature.

I knew there were some parks in my county, but I didn’t realize how many there were until I began to research places where I could teach homeschool classes. The website listed a description for each park, and many of the parks had nature hiking trails. The same is true for the county where I grew … Read more

Container Gardening With Native Plants

container gardenWould you like a way to add some curb appeal to your house and teach your kids about the environment at the same time? Why not plant natives in a container garden next to your front door?

Native plants benefit the environment because they provide food that native animals need. They benefit you because they’re adapted to the climate where you live. Once they’re established, they usually need less maintenance than non-native plants.

Container Garden Ideas

Since I’m new to gardening, I did some research about how to make container gardens. Here are a few simple ideas I picked up:… Read more

What is Place Based Education?

what is place based education homeschoolingJuly’s theme at EI4K is place-based education (PBE). PBE gives you the tools to connect your child with a specific place in your community, help them to understand this place, and take action to improve it.

Environmental Education Connection

PBE ties in to environmental education because your child learns about the environment nearest to them first. The empathy gained for the local environment will gradually extend to the entire Earth as your child grows and becomes aware of the world around them.

Through PBE, your child can learn about the environment, history, and culture of a place. They can also … Read more

Naturalist Notebook

A few days ago, I found pictures I had taken when I worked as an environmental educator in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. In this collection, I saw one of my favorite photos from that year. I had taken my class to one of the ponds, and the students were sitting along the bank. They had their notebooks open, and they were writing about what they had observed during our recent activity.

Out of the three boys in the picture, two heads were bent down in concentration, and the third boy looked out ahead, as if he was … Read more