The fourth weekend of June brings up a great opportunity for family fun time. What is it? The Great American Campout! I don’t know about you, but my family and I love spending time in the great outdoors. We camp a few times a year. And by camping, I don’t mean camper and electricity. I mean pitching a tent and really camping. Why? Because there is SO much that can be learned by spending time in the great outdoors.
One may even call it homeschooling?
Don’t believe me? Take a look!
Life, survival, and cooking skills– Camping allows us all to learn many things that can carry on for the rest of our lives. Things like cooking over an open fire or using a camp stove. Knowing multiple ways to start a fire and then put one out. Storing food safely outdoors is important to keep critters away. How do you pitch a tent and take one down? What about keeping hands clean when there’s now running water or staying warm without electricity? These are all things one can learn while camping.
Botany-Take along some books on plants and leaves and see how many your kids can collect and identify. Which plants can you eat? Which plants do you avoid? These lessons can be learned in the woods while camping.
Hiking and Mapping-While camping you can teach your kids how to use a compass while taking a hike in the woods. Along the way you can show them how to follow a map (if the trail has one) or you can teach them to read the campground map. Show them how to not get lost while hiking, or even how to find your way back if you do get lost. These are all important skills that many kids now a days don’t know.
Stargazing-Have you ever looked at a night sky without all the hustle and bustle of the city or the sounds of neighboring houses? You can do this while camping. Find the Big Dipper and the North Star. See what other constellations are out there. Kids love this and it’s not something that you can always do in your own back yard.
Contentment-Food, water, shelter. Really that’s all one needs right? Camping helps you learn that you really need very little to survive. After spending a few days roughing it outdoors everyone will be happy to have the comforts of home.
In addition to the above kids can also learn while fishing, they can bird watch, play in the creek and learn about rocks (Geology), they can find animal tracks, identify critters they see along the way and much more.
Camping is an affordable, fun and memorable vacation opportunity for many families. So, head out there this month and take advantage of the many things you and your family can learn while camping! And while you’re at it call it school ;)
Misty Bailey is a work at home homeschool, mom. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.