Get Out of the Winter Blues, Get Ready for Spring!

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Winter Blues

February is a bit of an oxymoron. It is the shortest month, yet most homeschoolers feel like it is the longest month of the year. We are often in a slump after coming out of the holidays. We are back in full force, in the grind of full schedules and doing our best to get everything done. 

I don’t know what the weather is like where you live right now, but in Colorado we are in the thick of winter and spring feels so far away. It is exciting to begin March and start to look forward in anticipation of new growth and warm weather. 

March is a time when things are beginning to change… if not just yet physically in our lawns and flower beds, our hearts are stirring for a time of new growth, beauty, and refreshment. 

Let Your Garden Grow

This is a great time to start planning a garden (or two) with your kids. These could be for vegetables, flowers, wildflowers, butterflies, containers, or herb gardens. The only limit is your budget and what you and your kids can imagine together. 

The entire process of gardening is full of life truths and holds deep and rich lessons in character development, moreover it provides a wealth of learning opportunities that are hard pressed to duplicate outside of nature. 

The learning process begins with exercising analytical skills while plotting the location, drawing up plans for dimensions, deciding on supplies needed, and calculating amounts of soil, seeds or starter plants that will be required. Gardening weaves real life problem solving skills through the entire process of learning how to care for the garden from cultivation through harvest.  

Character traits learned through cultivating gardens 

Planning, planting, and caring for a garden gives all of us great character development and physical benefits. While we work, wait, and watch expectantly these are just some of the character traits that are developing within us. 

Character traits we gain through gardening: 

Patience

Perseverance 

Responsibility 

Self-discipline 

Hard work 

Attention to detail 

Appreciation 

Resourcefulness

Analytical Skills 

Delayed Gratification 

Physical and Mental Benefits of Gardening

The physical and mental benefits of grading are so rewarding! It can be an escape from stress of every day life, escorting us to a place of solitude in our own back (or front) yard. We feel so much better when we move our bodies and take a break from the hard realties of life! We have more energy and can cope with everything better when we eat healthy food that we grow ourselves or when we surround ourselves with floral beauty. 

Health Benefits:

Exercise 

Fresh air 

Vitamin D 

Get grounded through working with soil 

Get Calm/Chill out 

Eat Healthier food 

Stress relief 

Steps to Planning a Garden in your homeschool 

  1. Decide what kind of a garden your family wants. Be sure to check your growing season for where you live. Go here to enter your zip code to find out your approximate first and last frost dates. 
  1. Make sure that your property has a place where it will get the right kind of sun or shade requirements for the plants that you want. 
  1. Make a plan. Draw a map of where you want your garden to be and how big you want it, most importantly do you need to build some kind of barrier to protect it from animals?
  1. Choose a tentative planting date. Be sure to keep it flexible in case you have a late frost, you don’t want all of your effort to go to waste, above all you don’t want your littles to be discouraged if your plants get ruined by late, bad weather.
  1. Decide if you will start your garden with seeds or starter plants. If you want to start early, you can plant seeds in Dixie cups and keep them in your oven on a cookie sheet with only the oven light turned on. You will get little plants sprouting in no time! Be sure to keep them inside and once the weather gets warm, be sure to transition them slowly to outdoors over a few weeks before planting them into the ground so they can acclimate themselves to their new environment. 
  1. Prepare your supplies 
  1. Check out library books your family can look at together about how to care for gardens. Topics you will want to be sure to learn about are how often to water, how to correctly weed the garden, which bugs are good and which ones are bad for your garden, and how to protect it from wind or hail (if you live in an area that gets hail storms). If you are planting a vegetable garden you will want to learn about how to know when it is time to pick your food! 
  1. If you are planning a vegetable garden, be sure to find recipes for the food you are growing. Better yet, have the kids help choose the recipes and prepare the meals! 

Lay the Groundwork

Let’s be realistic, it will require pre-planning on your part so you can direct the kids to what is reasonable and realistic for your climate, property, and your budget. Save precious time and help keep your kiddos on track while you do the pre-work. While you get the ground work going for your garden planning set up your kids for excitement and success, let learning bloom with this fun word search. Be sure to check out Education.com for more learning resources. They have over 450 Springtime activities to keep your kids learning and having fun! There are even complete lesson plans already done for you to help you save time planning their school work so you can spend more time dreaming and planning your garden! 

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