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17 June 2016

School Outside

I've heard people talk about doing school outside, and wondered how they did it. I still don't know how I'd make it happen at the park. But we're figuring out how to do it in the yard, and it's very pleasant.

Recently, I've been much more careful about my lesson plans, even going so far as to lay out our books the night before. It's not much trouble, but it smooths out the day remarkably. We can go smoothly from one activity to the next, without stopping to search for our books. And because I put away the books as we finish, they're in their right places when I go to lay them out last thing at night. (If I could be as on top of my dishes, I'd be golden!) So when we decide to do outside school, it's a simple matter to grab the piles and take them to the outside table. Read alouds, poetry, memory work, and all similar work are easily carried to the swing set and happen while the kids are climbing and swinging. It took a few tries, but we've got the hang of that. It's a bit slower than doing it inside, but it gets done, and the extra sunshine and birdsong are totally worth it. 

The thing we're working to figure out now is the seat work. It's harder to sit and concentrate outside. Math and maps and so on.  On these days I usually offer the kids the option of working in or out, and they've been choosing outside. No surprises there. So they're learning to sit and work for brief periods while they're outside. It's nice to be able to both be outside AND avoid the summer slump from taking too long off. Setting up the work, especially the math, the night before, is critical to our recent success at being outside so much more. We don't do it all the time, but when we do, it's so nice.

Being outside more is a win in my book!

1 comment:

Anne Chovies said...

Extra sunshine and bird song add a lot! I'm glad it's working for you!


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