Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Our Outdoor Classroom
Since we're homeschoolers and we have the flexibility to do so, we often take a quilt out into the yard and do some part of school outside. Typically, that's snack or lunch and read aloud. Occasionally it's bookwork.
But today- today with the sunshine filling up my soul (and addling my brain, my husband feared) I decided that we could move our shelves outside and do all of our (Montessori) work time out there. Now, the ground was way too wet after days of rain to even contemplate a quilt on the lawn, so here's what I did:
We had an old rug in the basement that I brought up for our floor, and I just picked up two of our shelves from the schoolroom, and set them up as-is. They were already packed with our activities for the day (I try to do that the night before), so it was a simple task. I added the beanbag for relaxing, the plant for aesthetic value, and the pumpkin for natural world exploration (and because we are going to be working with it tomorrow in science and I wanted to pique their interest today). The music basket came out to provide a little free exploration for Ellie as I worked with Ava. But, as you'll see below, everyone played with the instruments today.
Are you curious about our school morning outside? Ben was at swimming lessons with Grammie, so the girls and I had the run of the place. Here's what we did:
Exploration of the prepared environment happened as if it were the first time they'd seen these materials. Probably because everything seemed so different out in the sunlight!
[The lines between each girl's materials is blurred when we do school together, which was a source of stress for me for quite a while. I worried when, like below, Ava used Ellie's things for fear that she wasn't challenging herself. Conversely, I worried when Ellie used Ava's materials for fear they were too challenging and she'd feel defeated. I no longer worry- I let each child choose their materials each day and trust that they're doing work which is enriching to them in some way.]
In case you're wondering, we are going to do this again. A lot. Set up and take down was surprisingly simple and the pay-off was huge. I can't wait until it stops raining again... next week some time. (Smile.)
Do you learn outside on occasion?
I'm linked up!