Friday 24 January 2014

Homeschooling Essentials: the big outside

Today is the last day of the Homeschooling Essentials series.

Day 1: a reason to home educate.

Day 2: a support network

Day 3: a place

I was going to write about essential equipment and talk about computers, printers and maybe, even my laminator but if push came to shove, I could manage without these. Managing without going outside is quite another issue.

Going outside seems like an added extra but has tremendous benefits:
  • exercise
  • general well being
  • nature study
  • place to meet with others
  • history
Most of these benefits happen with very little effort, particularly for younger children. Sadly many children haven't had the regular experience of spending time outside. 

Charlotte Mason suggested spending at least two and up to six hours a day, in summer, outside. OK, managing six hours a day outside might be challenging but two might be a more realistic goal. 

Where to go? Certainly in England, there is so much choice
  • gardens
  • parks
  • woods
  • beaches 
Local councils will have lists of parks and some other open spaces but also see
What about the weather? We don't go outside if there is a severe weather warning but apart from this, in England, going outside is fine in most weathers with the appropriate warm and/or waterproof clothing. Wellington boots have become an essential for my younger children. It means that they can enjoy mud and puddles with me laughing not scolding. For very young children, waterproof trousers and all in one suits make going outside much easier.

What to do outside? The children will run, find trees to climb and roll down hills but for further inspiration look at 

What do your children like doing outside? 

Do visit some of the other blogs writing around the theme of Homeschooling Essentials.

or pop over to the Schoolhouse Crew website for more.


  1. I miss the outdoor time we had when we live in the UK there are so many great opportunities there. Here in the states the winters are too cold to be out and parts of nye summer are too hot:(

    1. We are really privileged here-there is so little time when we really can't go outside.

  2. We love to school outside and, since we live in Florida, we get the chance to do that most of the year.

  3. We need to make an effort to get outside more often. We are kind of spoiled and like our comfy indoors. Maybe I'll make it a goal to get us all outdoors more often. Thanks for your post and your encouragement. - Lori

  4. When we first started homeschooling and were city-dwellers this blog was just what I needed: - we used the Getting Started page and we were off and away! Now we live in rural Kent and have a dog so the outdoors and nature study are a daily fixture for which I'm very grateful :-)

    1. That blog looks really useful. Thank you for the link. I love walking in rural Kent-a great way to get outside!