Learning From Nature during Covid19

Do you live where you can get out into nature? Nature can provide amazing learning experiences. Start in your own backyard, or even a square foot of lawn/soil just outside your door if you can be there alone, or explore a mud puddle, or look up, up, up into the sky—or even step out on your apartment deck or gaze out your window, if you’re on full quarantine—or check out those cobwebs or dust bunnies indoors. Nature is everywhere!

Of course, if you can get out and about in natural spots where you can keep a good distance from others, nature has so many “lessons” to teach—far better lessons than your children will get by filling in workbooks!

But: be sure to practice social distancing, please:

According to the health updates this morning: if you do go out, only go with people who live in your house, and only in groups of 5 or less. If you come across other people on your nature walk, stay at least 2 meters (2 yards) from each other and ideally just nod, smile, and keep going rather than stopping to chat. If your area has stricter rules, including staying indoors, be sure to follow them! That said...

Keeping a record of your family learning is fun and provides great memories!

When we lived on Haida Gwaii, we did home learning for a few years and the kids kept track of their nature activities in our “Home school nature notebook.” You can do the same thing! Here are some examples from my Haida Gwaii Building Bridges site to get you started:

Bird Sanctuary

Forest Discoveries

Culturally Modified Tree

At The Beach

Weather Changes

Haida Gwaii Nature Notebook

And, if you’re interested in Indigenous perspectives,

… you might like to explore my Haida Gwaii Building Bridges site more. You can check it out here: https://haidagwaiibuildingbridges.com/ Besides nature learning posts, there are all kinds of Indigenous-related posts, poetry, photos, stories, environmental thoughts, and more.

Want to share your children’s/family’s writing and photos on the Haida Gwaii Building Bridges (HGBB) site?

If you’re from Haida Gwaii, or if you’re of Indigenous heritage and you have perspectives that fit that site, I’d love to post writing and photography from your children, youth (and whole family) during this time. You can send me items to post by using the “Contact” button at the top of the HGBB site. If you’re curious about some of my perspectives, who I am, and why I created the HGBB site, check out the “About Me” page as well.

What nature learning activities are you doing during this time when your family is home together more than usual? Be sure to share your ideas in the comments (click on the speech bubble by the post title above). Thank you!

Want to read more great ideas for home learning during Covid19? Check out all the posts in this series:

https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/17/parents-can-tutor-easily-during-covid19/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/18/tutoring-during-covid19-and-alternatives/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/19/math-tips-and-tricks-and-fun-and-games-and-freebies/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/22/lifelong-learning-and-home-from-school-activities/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/22/learning-from-nature-during-covid19/

Lifelong Learning and Home-From-School Activities

Learning At Home is Fun and Creative: Record Your Memories

Encourage your kids to keep track of their learning–and by learning, I mean everything they learn from during this “stuck at home” Covid19 time. How? Create a scrapbook, keep a notebook, make a simple website and/or blog, take photos and create a photo album (paper or online) with captions and/or short paragraphs for each picture, record memories by writing or personal artwork … in other words, be creative! When things get back to normal, your children will have wonderful memories to look back to … and maybe they’ll have become lifelong learners. Maybe your whole family will see “education” from a new, much broader perspective.

Yesterday, for example, I kept track of my day on a Facebook post that I kept updating all day … and in the process, got lots of responses/comments from my Facebook friends. Here are my own comments and a couple snapshots:

  • It’s lovely to have the time to really sit still and watch the skies and nature!
  • Watching geese fly north across the sunrise 🙂
  • Now a jet stream drawing a line across a perfectly clear pale yellow-blue sky. Some planes are still flying!
  • Now the sun is high enough in the sky that it’s streaming into my window. Good for vitamin D … and for health generally in this time! Window open, fresh air streaming in, too 🙂
  • Just hauled a couple lawn chairs out of the shed and set them up in the west-facing gazebo … will enjoy the afternoon sun from there … meanwhile, going to sit out at my east-facing bistro set and soak up some sunshine while sipping hot tea (and wrapped in a blanket! Still chilly out there 4 C but warming quickly!)
  • Just planted a bunch of seeds indoors for later transplant. Need to clean out the greenhouse and shed next!
  • Fluffy little cotton clouds drifting across a spring-blue sky! (While I sit and catch up reading I’ve been putting off … and taking some useful notes for my blogs and my freelance work 🙂 )
  • Out for a walk by the oxbows. A week ago they were still frozen, today totally clear of ice, ducks swimming around, turtles sunning themselves on logs! Then home and cleaned out the shed and greenhouse, and sat in the gazebo with hubby soaking up some sunshine. What a perfect day this has been 🙂

 

Other ideas for recording your learning and creating memories:

Check out these other posts for ideas of learning activities your family can do together. Some of them you might have to adjust a bit to the current situation, but you’ll find useful tips in each one:

https://penandpapermama.com/2017/01/24/follow-your-childs-passions-and-interests/  Instead of thinking “school subjects,” think about what your children are most interested in, and let them follow those interests as far as they can. You’ll discover that in doing so, they’ll probably be covering all those “important subjects” you are worrying they are missing out on!

https://penandpapermama.com/2018/01/26/practical-and-fun-ways-to-use-songs-and-poems-in-learning-la-and-math/ If your children love music, this is a great way to learn all kinds of things!

https://penandpapermama.com/2017/02/28/important-activities-parent-tutors-can-do-well/ Tips for learning together as a family–even if you as a parent feel you’re not “qualified” enough.

https://penandpapermama.com/2017/03/10/developing-individualized-tutoring-tips-for-parents/ If you want to do “learning sessions” because you feel your child needs a “school-like environment” at least part of the time, here are some how-tos–and some surprises and relief!

https://penandpapermama.com/2017/03/21/home-tutoring-resources/ Do you think you’re not set up for home learning? It might surprise you. Your home might already be a great learning space, even if it isn’t full of desks and books and things.

https://penandpapermama.com/2017/04/11/all-kinds-of-learning-activities/ It’s a week into home isolation and you’ve run out of ideas? This post will come to your rescue with dozens of ideas for math, reading, writing, and many other general learning activities.

https://penandpapermama.com/2018/01/09/distractable-or-imaginative-and-creative/ Is your child “distractable” and won’t sit still for reading, writing, and math? Here are some great tips to change your methods and take advantage of the energy and creativity of kids.

https://penandpapermama.com/2017/05/19/home-math-tips-games-and-family-fun/ Loads of family learning activities in so many different ways you may not have thought of–with an emphasis on fun family learning.

https://penandpapermama.com/home-education-tips/ Looking for tips for specific subjects (math, reading, writing, spelling, study skills, organization and time management, creativity tips etc.? Here’s the list of links you need.

Over to you: How are you recording this Covid19 home-learning adventure? Please do share your ideas in the comments! If you’d like to create a post to add to this series, send me your ideas using the Contact form.

Want to read more great ideas for home learning during Covid19? Check out all the posts in this series:

https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/17/parents-can-tutor-easily-during-covid19/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/18/tutoring-during-covid19-and-alternatives/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/19/math-tips-and-tricks-and-fun-and-games-and-freebies/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/22/lifelong-learning-and-home-from-school-activities/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/22/learning-from-nature-during-covid19/

Math Tips and Tricks and Fun and Games–and Freebies

Math is useful—and fun!

Do your kids struggle with math? Do they have a terrible time memorizing their math facts? Do they dread math classes? Let’s change all that. This is the perfect time to fill in those “math gaps” and make math fun and useful. After all, we use math basics every day in so many ways.

So here are some math freebies from me to you.

Normally, I charge a small fee for some of these items—but for the next while, as your kidlings are stuck at home, I’m providing them all for FREE! I hope you’ll find them useful. When you click on the link, a download button will pop up on your screen—probably down in the bottom corner. Click on the button, the PDF will open, and you can save it or print it (or both).

Mult and Div facts tricks etc This downloadable PDF is packed full of great tips and tricks to help your children learn their multiplication and division facts–and have fun doing it.

Easy to Learn Arithmetic Tips and Tricks Download this booklet and discover lots of ways to help your child learn arithmetic basics.

easytolearnadditionfacts Easy to Learn addition facts booklet

easytolearnsubtractionfacts Easy to Learn subtraction facts booklet

Skip Counting by 2s (odds and evens) Chart

Skip Counting by 1s, 5s, 10s, 25s and Money Counting Chart

There are lots of great math tips on this site, too.

Here are some math posts you might want to check out. Just click on the link and it will take you to the post right here on this site.

Ways to relax and overcome math anxiety
Simple tips to solve your child’s math problems
A Math tutoring report with practical suggestions
Practical and fun math learning tips
Everyday math fun for families
More fun hands-on math activities
Step-by-step Plan to Solve Math Word Problems

Games and family fun
Manipulatives
Charts and tables
Books and workbooks
Online sites
Tips for kinesthetic learners
Unit studies

Fun Hands-On Math Activities (part 1)(Use dominoes; use dry noodles and craft glue; multiplication; geometry; fractions [and division and multiplication]; negative numbers; probability and statistics; math and mapping and landscaping; perspective)
Fun Hands-On Math Activities (part 2) (Many different uses of a specific number; measurement systems; using calendars for more than checking the date; dominoes and other games with mathematical uses)
Fun Hands-On Math Activities (part 3) (More on math, mapping, and landscaping; outdoor explorations and nature notebooks; more fun with geometry)
Fun Hands-On Math Activities (part 4) (Learn to use an abacus; bowling and other sports are a good way to practice math; math for young artists; build and use a geoboard; probability experiments and travel tips)

I hope you’ll find all this information helpful! Enjoy! And remember…

If you have any questions–or suggestions…

Post your questions (and suggestions) in the comments (just click on the speech bubble up top beside the post title), and I’ll be sure to answer.

Want to read more great ideas for home learning during Covid19? Check out all the posts in this series:

https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/17/parents-can-tutor-easily-during-covid19/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/18/tutoring-during-covid19-and-alternatives/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/19/math-tips-and-tricks-and-fun-and-games-and-freebies/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/22/lifelong-learning-and-home-from-school-activities/
https://penandpapermama.com/2020/03/22/learning-from-nature-during-covid19/