It’s that time of year where the smell of pumpkin lattes, apple orchards, and crisp autumn air fill our senses. It’s a wonderful season where kids can enjoy fall festivals, fall activities, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, Halloween, and so much more.
But with so many fun activities and changes, how can we keep our children focused on their studies? Why not allow some exploration time and the ability to try some new experiments that incorporate what’s going on outside?
Here are our top 4 fall activities to help your kids interact with the changes of the season!
- Simmer Down, Halloween. In our society many people focus on Halloween and forget all the other amazing experiences and important dates throughout October and November. Why not take some time to learn more about these and help your child experience them? One idea is to create a “Pumpkin Patch” bulletin board with a different topics written on each pumpkin such as: Leif Erikson Day, Columbus Day, Dictionary Day, The Dedication of the Statue of Liberty, The Great Chicago Fire, Election Day, Veterans Day, the Beginning of Advent, Thanksgiving, and many more. Your children can select their pumpkin of choice, research and explore the content, and write a short report on the topic. Kids may be surprised to learn that the season is about much more than candy and costumes!
- Have a Harvest Party. This can be an activity laden with real-life math learning experiences. Start with a budget. Have your homeschoolers do the shopping with you, and select fresh harvest-time vegetables such as pumpkins, gourds, squashes, corn, and whatever else interests you. Use math skills to stay on budget. Once you are home, make four learning stations: measuring, weighing, estimating and counting seeds, and sink-or-float predictions. It’s great for math and science lessons, and is an excellent hands-on tactile learning experience! And you can even make some fun themed food like pumpkin or candy corn rice crispy treats, white chocolate covered strawberries, or hot vanilla milk! Or check out these 64 Halloween and Fall snack ideas.
- Study Trees in Autumn. Have your homeschooler learn about the different types of trees that grow in your area, and study the leaves up close with magnifying glasses. Don’t forget to have them study the types of bark as well – it is an excellent indicator when identifying a tree. Students can also keep a “tree journal” by choosing several nearby trees and collecting various samples of the leaves as the weather changes and gets cooler. Make the lesson more interactive by discussing the science behind why leaves change color in the fall. Then create your own experiment with photosynthesis and pine cones. Wrap up the unit by raking and playing in the fall leaves!
- Start a Weather Station. This is a wonderful idea that can be implemented now, and studied year-round, becoming more complex as your student ages and matures. Your weather station can be built to track temperature, rainfall, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, and humidity. Data can be analyzed in a variety of mathematical ways, such as writing a procedural manual, making predictions, and using averaging over time. You can also create your own weather in a jar so that kids can learn how weather works in a controlled environment!
Above all else, enjoy this time of year with your family and help them experience learning through self-directed learning and experiments. If you would like to learn more about our interactive online classes, click here or call us at 800-863-1474.