Homeschooling – A Gardening Unit Study
Gardening is a great way to bring nearly any subject alive. In addition, gardening is a fun and hands-on learning opportunity that teaches responsibility, teamwork, and a sense of pride in accomplishment.
Learn about seeds and gardening with this unit study designed for homeschooling families! With lessons for students of all ages and abilities, this gardening unit study covers topics from plants to pollination to self-sustainability.
A unit study provides a great way to combine hands-on activities with deeper learning opportunities. In this post you will find resources to help your kids learn about gardening and plants, including a garden lapbook, a plant journal, and more.
This unit on gardening is perfect for homeschooling families and includes lessons at three different levels of difficulty, so you can meet your child where they are academically instead of forcing them into a grade level box. It explores everything from what seeds need to grow to planning and planting a garden, as well as the history of gardens and seeds.
This poster by Fiddlesticks Education illustrates the parts of an ant colony, and would be great to display during an ant or insect unit study. Also check out this set of mini beast flashcards by Raising Up Wild Things.
Homeschool garden unit studies can incorporate a wide variety of learning topics. Some focus on gardening itself, with kids learning about planting seeds and transplanting plants. Others include the history of agriculture and the life cycle of plants.
Visiting a local greenhouse or nursery is an excellent way for students to see the amazing variety of plants that can be grown. Children can also observe how these plants are handled and cared for by professionals.
A great activity for older students is a comparison of genetically modified (GMO) crops to non-GMO crops. This allows students to develop a position on the GMO debate and form their own opinion. This is an excellent opportunity to teach critical thinking skills.
Soil is the loose, unconsolidated material that contains air, water and micro-organisms. It provides a medium in which plants grow and supports many natural processes, including the recycling of nutrients and the exchange of gases with the atmosphere.
Soils are made of mineral particles, a mixture of gravel, sand, silt and clay, as well as organic matter. The best soils have large pore spaces. They are also well-draining and hold onto water to be available to plants when they need it.
Learn more about your soil by getting a soil test done at your county cooperative extension office. A sample of your garden’s soil will reveal its pH, macronutrient and nutrient levels. It will also tell you how much organic fertilizer to add if it is low in any of these nutrients.
Pests and Diseases
Many garden pests and diseases are controlled through good cultivation practices. However, a sudden change in weather or wind can encourage an explosion of disease or insect problems.
Several soil-dwelling insects, including grubs and cutworms, can limit harvest and destroy plants. Some can be tolerated in low numbers, but larger populations need to be controlled with pesticides.
Observe and note any pest or disease symptoms on a weekly basis throughout the season. Look for insect excrement, twisted leaves, holes in foliage, spotting and discoloration of fruit or stems. Fungus and viral diseases tend to appear sporadic and more uniform across the garden, so may be less troublesome than insect damage. Encourage beneficial insects like lacewings and lady beetles that will feed on aphids and other harmful insects.
When, how, and where you water your plants can have a significant impact on their greenery and blooms. This is an important lesson to teach your children, especially as they begin gardening in their own backyards.
Whether you’re planning to grow vegetables, flowers, or herbs, these garden unit study resources will help your kids learn about all the aspects of caring for plants. From ant and butterfly studies to a tomato plant mini unit, this post contains garden-themed math, science, reading, writing, and handwriting activities for kids of all ages!
Get your kids outdoors and learning about seeds, gardens, and food with this Spring Garden Unit Study. With adaptable lessons for ages 6 to 13, this unit covers everything from what seeds need to grow to the importance of self-sustainability.