A Natural Education

We’ve gardened with our son since he was very small, but as he’s grown our discussions about planting and nurturing our plants has changed. We’ve also begun to expand upon his education with our garden as a touchstone for social studies, science, reading, and math.

It’s easier than you’d think. Let me show you.

This year, for example, when we planted our heirloom Cherokee Trail of Tears beans, we discussed what happened back in 1839. Earlier this week, when the plants first burst through the soil, we read and discussed the classic Jack & The Beanstalk story.

Later today we’ll watch these two time-lapse videos which do an excellent job of showing what happens as seeds germinate. (We’ll make a special note that seeds “grow down” with their roots before we see them at the soil level.)

I’m considering replicating the second video experiment at home, just so he can see seeds sprout “in real time.”

If you’ve got older kids, you can also check out videos featuring photosynthesis, too.

Finally, I’ve mentioned this several times on Twitter and Facebook, but The Classroom Victory Garden Project launched a few weeks back. Created by The National World War II Museum, the new site’s an excellent way to connect the garden to U.S. Victory Garden history. Just because it says “classroom” in the title doesn’t mean that the content can’t be adapted for home use!

Explore More:
• Who says that every yard needs a pre-fab playscape? As Richard Louv has pointed out, there’s something to be said for looking to nature for fun–and he’s helped build an organization to promote that idea. Read too this thoughtful essay from Mommy & The Mist for inspiration in your own yard. Finally, if you’re like me, you may find yourself giddy over the ideas and (pricey) materials promoted by Rusty Keeler on his Earthplay site. (I really, really want that slide.)

Red, White & Grew promotes the victory garden revival and other simple, earth-friendly endeavors as bi-partisan acts in an age of uncertainty. Interact with us on Twitter and Facebook.