Farm-to-table seems to be the theme of hands-on summer learning for quite a few families. Students are involved in feeding farm animals, preparing soil, choosing and planting vegetables, and taking care of the growing plants. Several families included recycling, composting, and pest control too. Later, in the kitchen, kids use the harvest in meals.
“We incorporate math and science when we make homemade jellies and syrups,” one parent told us. Another family immersed their student in planning meals and doing the grocery shopping.
During warm summer days, parents also get their kids involved in nature and science activities as they camp, hike, kayak, and more. Said one parent, “We love to go on hikes and collect leaves, rocks, and other neat things we find in nature. We have pocket-sized books that show different species of plants and animals native to our area, and my children use those books to identify what we see. We also use a telescope to look at the night sky. I will usually look up videos online to answer any questions they have and expand on what we find.”
Family do-it-yourself projects become summer learning opportunities for children too. “We work on the farm mostly with our horses and baling hay. We have hands-on projects that require directions, measurements, and visual problem-solving,” one parent explained. Other families taught kids to use hand or power tools for building, plumbing, or electrical projects.