Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Homeschool Files : Gardening Plans

Up till now the children have helped in the garden in a very random way but all that is about to change this year as the two older kids, Maya and Noah want to plant their own vegetable patches with full responsibility for what goes in them. 

Maya and I began planning her plot a few weeks ago during our weekly one on one time. I was eager to use this as an opportunity to do some measuring and drawing to scale. I was really pleased with how this activity turned out. Motivated by the idea of concretising her imagined veggie patch Maya threw herself into it, searching out ruler, pencil, rubber and the right paper. 

We decided on the dimensions of her plot and spent quite some time figuring out how best to draw it to scale on her paper. This opened up a discussion about why we use different scales of measure - mm, cm, m, km and mg, g and kg. We laughed about trying to measure the distance to our nearest town in mm or weigh out teaspoons in kg.

Once we'd decided on a scale and drawn the plot, we talked about what she wanted to plant and how to divide the plot into equal sections. We watched a video about square foot gardening and talked about its advantages and disadvantages. Her plot is loosely designed in this style. 

We then calculated how many seedlings she could fit into each section of her plot. This was interesting math because we had to look at the spacing required around each seedling and from that calculate how many could fit in her sections. So for example, while only two salads will squeeze into her 30 by 60 cm rectangles, 130 radishes will fit into the same space. 

Our afternoon spent on this part of her project was really rewarding both in terms of the subjects it opened up for us and the satisfaction it bought. Maya was really proud of her plan, showing it off to her dad and grandparents. She couldn't wait to mark it out on the ground, get digging and planting and watch her plants grow. What more can a home educating mum ask for? Oh yeah, that she please, please pick up her dirty laundry and wash the cat's bowl!

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