I had been on the fence for a while about introducing gardening to my kids. Sometimes I thought that they were too young for it, other times I thought about the dirt and laundry. The past year, however, has been quite interesting for us. With so much time to spend at home and very little to do, I decided to start gardening with my kids. I can honestly say that we all have had so much fun bonding in the middle of dirt, tools, seeds, and crops. Most importantly, I have seen changes in my kids since we began gardening that have amazed me. Because of this, I am here to tell you why gardening is healthy and a perfect activity for your homeschooled children.
Gardening is a Fun Way to Exercise
While simple gardening tasks don’t seem like they can break a sweat, they actually help kids
exercise their body muscles for healthy growth. The pulling, stretching, and bending involved in gardening are enough to harness their muscle development. You can have the young ones help you with simple activities such as digging, raking, selecting seeds, watering, harvesting, and repotting plants among others. Older children and teens can be tasked with composting, adding fertilizer to the soil, transporting the harvest to the house, and much more.
Gardening Encourages Children to Eat Healthy Foods
I’ve always had a problem getting my children to eat veggies. This is something that has changed since they started helping me grow them. Anytime we are harvesting the ready crops, I’ve noticed that they are always happy to dig up or cut the food that they planted themselves. The next minute, they want to help cook and are very curious to taste them. With so many concerns about health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, it is very important for kids to eat healthily. Gardening with your children might be all the help that you need to get them munching on those green salads.
Gardening Boosts Mental Health
It is easy to downplay the issue of stress in kids since you think that they aren’t dealing with
much in life. However, the truth is that children also experience stress. I’ve realized that
when my children are moody and grumpy, a few minutes in the garden can shift their moods and they become happy and active. Being around nature has a way of clearing the mind and elevating our mood. Get your teens off the TV or phone and have them garden for an hour. Horticultural therapy is likely to make them happier, focused, and more attentive afterward.
Gardening Improves Sensory and Motor Skills Development
Gardening is an activity that involves all of the senses. When your homeschool students are
- They see the colorful flowers and butterflies in the field.
- They feel the texture of the seeds and soil.
- They can smell the different scents of flowers and crops.
- They hear the different sounds of birds chirping, grasses rustling against each other,
- They get to taste the sweetness of the food after harvesting.
Without even realizing it, the development of these senses is enhanced. In addition, as
your children identify different tools for different tasks, they harness their cognitive skills. Lastly, gardening involves a lot of balancing and coordination. As they dig or harvest, they have to coordinate their hands and eyes for better results. They also practice their balancing as they move in between crops. All these come together to harness their soft motor skills. You will soon realize that your students have become better at writing and typing.
Gardening Teaches Important Life Skills
Perhaps the most interesting thing that I’m enjoying as a parent is seeing my kids develop life skills that are hard to teach. They have become more responsible, independent, and
hardworking around the house. How does gardening help in teaching these skills?
- Cooperating in completing tasks in the garden teaches teens about teamwork.
- Tasking kids to care for plants teaches them responsibility.
- The time plants take to mature teaches them patience.
- The act of digging, planting, watering, weeding and harvesting teaches them to work
hard to get what they need in life.
- Figuring out ways to solve the problems in their plants teaches students valuable
- Learning about new and exciting ways of gardening teaches them creativity and
After seeing the above benefits of gardening for kids, you are probably asking how you can make it possible if you don’t have a backyard for an outdoor garden. Well, indoor gardening is as effective as outdoor gardening. You can grow plants in containers with the help of artificial gardening lights. If you don’t have enough space, consider adding a home addition. Home additions are great at creating extra space that you can utilize for your
Since we started gardening as a family, I’ve seen my kids grow into happier, well-rounded
individuals who are eager to help and who are responsible. Convincing them to eat fruits and vegetables is also no longer difficult. I’m happy to know too that I’m allowing them a
chance to exercise their body and their senses, as well as develop their motor skills. If you want the same effect on your children, introducing gardening might just be the way to go.
More About the Author:
Catherine is a teacher and part-time writer, and has been teaching kids for 8 years now. She is young and ambitious, and she hopes to share her knowledge and experience with anyone willing to learn something new. She decided to become a teacher because she believes that knowledge is power, and she gives her best to educate her pupils.
More About Homeschooling and Learning Outdoors: