As part of our homeschooling we get to follow our own schedule, this also means we are not confined to the 9am to 3pm routine that schools follow. Learning can be fun at any time… especially night time!
Much to, no doubt, our neighbours amusement, we are often found in the garden when the sun goes down. Summer is a great time as you get to see all kind of animals you wouldn’t during the day, hedgehogs are a firm favourite with the girls and as long as you sit quietly enough they will come quite close and are super cute. Bats are another you can see on Summer nights, flitting around the top of the houses and between the trees!
Listening for sounds while sitting outside is a great way to learn all about nature, it’s not just animals etc that make noises during the night, there is a whole world of activity. Listen to the rustle of leaves, music coming from passing cars, aeroplanes off on an adventure and make up stories of where they may be heading and what they will do when they get there. Use it all to fire up the imagination, if you hear music ask them what their favourite song is or learn a new one together, if you hear dogs barking, talk about having pets and the care you have to take with them, use each noise as a platform for opening up more conversations.
During the Winter when the nights are darker you can see and hear a lot more. There are way more stars in the sky than during the Summer, and appear much earlier too. Now, mid November, it is only 4pm and starting to get dark, so a great way to spend the early hours of the night is to wrap up warm in blankets and cosy up in our garden gazebo as we listen to the sounds of the great outdoors. Investing in a gazebo from garden-camping was the best thing we did! If it is a dry night there is nothing to stop you taking out your blankets and pillows to set up a star gazing platform, where you can all lie and see which constellations you can spot. We picked out the big dipper the other night and Amelia, being 4, then proclaimed to have found the chicken dipper a little further across!
You can bet we will be using that one for years to come and we had such a laugh, we realised this is what learning is about. It’s about discovering new ways to educate and finding fun in what you do, the girls will remember these ways of learning and these facts. These will hopefully stick with them as great memories, perhaps more than a lesson looking through books would.
Try it tonight, wrap up warm and get outside to see what you can discover too, I bet you have more fun than you thought you would and its a great way to connect with little ones. Why not take a hot chocolate and some marshmallows to toast too – make a night of it, the best part about it is a cost-effective way of making memories and spending time with loved ones!!
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