Have you ever done school outside?
There was this one morning… I couldn’t get a second to finish my coffee, the kids kept arguing, and no matter what I was trying to do I could not get them to focus on their school work. I think I had swept cheerios up three times already and the dog kept getting into the dustpan and spilling it. That’s when I had had enough. “That’s it! Everybody… OUTSIDE!” I sent them all outside. The older kids, the toddler, the dog. The house was quiet, I reheated my coffee, finished it in peace, quickly scooped up some handwriting books, crayons, coloring books, and a reader. I grabbed a blanket and took it all outside.
The kids couldn’t believe it when I brought their school work outside. They quickly stopped playing and ran up to me when I laid the blanket down. This is when I knew that a change of scenery by being outside would refresh our day and give us a new start!
Here are 10 ways a change of scenery can refresh your school day:
1. It gives mom a new outlook
Don’t get me wrong, I love being home with my babies, but there are some moments when it feels as if the walls are caving in. When that happens, I take it outside. The fresh air, the sweet giggles, God’s nature, no spilled cheerios or sticky floors. It really does help! After being outside for just a few minutes, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle on the rest of the day.
2. It stops the bickering
I have noticed that when my girls are at each other all morning it is usually over material things. When I take them outside, the bickering stops almost instantly. Maybe it’s the Vitamin D from the sun, or so much nature to explore, but not arguing over petty things is a lovely side effect of being outside.
3. It keeps the babies and toddlers happy
I don’t think I have ever met a baby or toddler that wasn’t happy being outside! I remember when my littlest one was just a few weeks old. There was a moment when she was so fussy and I was walking around the living room in circles. Then I decided to take her outside and she stopped crying. It was amazing! Little ones love being outdoors. There is so much to see, smell and hear. It is much more fun than being indoors!
4. It keeps the kids from being bored with school
Some times those math worksheets and phonograms can just get boring! When you are outside you can review math facts and letter sounds while jumping on the trampoline or laying on a blanket in the soft grass. Even if you just go outside to breathe, I have noticed that when we go back inside to finish school, the kids seemed more focused and ready to tackle their subjects.
5. The fresh air helps them focus
It could just be the change of scenery, but I really believe that the fresh air helps them to focus better. I have noticed that they pay more attention when I am reading on a blanket under the clouds than sitting on the couch or at the kitchen table! They are more focused on their schoolwork when I give them their books and they will quickly finish them without complaining so they can play.
6. The distractions are a welcomed learning experience
Little rolly poly bugs, earthworms, and new flowers and dandelions popping up in the yard can all be turned into a learning experience. Just playing with bugs and picking flowers your kids really are learning! Take it a step further and give them a little notebook. Have them draw what they find and write it’s name on their paper. Have them write a sentence about the specimen they just found and if they are still interested do some research or read some books when you get indoors.
7. If you have a garden you can incorporate that into your schooling
Gardening is such a great learning experience! We love learning where our food comes from, watching it grow, learning how to harvest it and cook with it. Herbs are especially fun to learn by smelling them!
8. You can get some exercise in
Take a nature walk, jump on the trampoline, play fetch with the dog. Being outside is a great way to sneak in some daily exercise.
9. With no distractions inside you can give the children your undivided attention
There are so many daily inside distractions. Computers, telephones, to do lists and chores. When you are outside with your children you close those distractions inside. It is so nice to forget everything else inside and just read a book with my kids cuddled up on a blanket, exploring nature by taking nature walks and just spending quality time with them.
10. After plenty of time outside, the little ones are usually ready for a nap!
Remember that fussy baby or toddler that prevented you from finishing your coffee or giving a spelling test? Well now, they are happy and relaxed from being outside and they are probably a little dirty and tired! Come inside, get a big glass of water, wash them off in the sink and put them down for a nice nap. Then you can finish school with the big kids and tackle the rest of your day!