It’s that time of year again when summer is coming to a close and school has either started or is just around the corner. A thick nostalgia hangs in the air and falls with the leaves as the back to school season is upon us again. As we enter and send our loved ones back into the routine of learning (either online or in the classroom) keep in mind the helpful habits that have been adopted over the past few months of being close to home.
This year, the back to school season is unique in that it provides us with new opportunities to grow. This school year, get into a fresh routine while you or your family endeavor learning from home or in a socially distanced classroom, and a new style of studying.
Make Gardening a Part of your Day
If gardening has become a regular part of your daily routine this summer, there’s no need to let go of that ritual because the school year is beginning. In fact, continuing to incorporate gardening into your day, or your family’s day, is a great way to keep everyone engaged, happy and healthy.
If the summer passed and you have not given gardening a try it’s not to late. Fall is ideal for growing leafy greens, rooted vegetables and seasonal herbs.
The practice of gardening is the perfect opportunity to focus on prioritizing relaxation and discipline; the garden is a place where you can go to become grounded with the earth and with yourself. Prioritizing taking these peaceful moments throughout the school day is a great way to develop discipline and routine.
This practice is also a fantastic way to instill the value of being kind to yourself; giving yourself a 5 minute moment of peace in the garden between classes is a great way to focus, reconnect and re-energize. If you or your little one is having a particularly difficult moment, try encouraging them to take a deep breath outside in the garden. Take a look at this article for more information on why sitting still in your garden is a great addition to your school day.
Remote learning is new for a lot of families and it can be stressful on the child and the parents. We found this great article covering tips on how to adapt to remote learning and make it a success!
How Gardening Positively Affects Learning
Checking on your garden throughout the school day is a wonderful way to keep your brain engaged. On top of keeping your hands or your little one’s hands busy and in the dirt, actively gardening throughout the day helps to significantly decrease feelings of depression and anxiety.
Being outside alone creates feelings of relief and freedom. When you pair that sensation with gardening, you are able to refocus your energy on something positive and meditative. In addition, when dirt comes in contact with the skin, it has the ability to release endorphins to the body such as serotonin and dopamine, which increase general happiness!
When you feel happier and less depressed or anxious, you have more room to focus on learning and storing information. Anxiety can be extremely distracting; gardening is a great way to take a breather from the school day and relax. Gardening can also help you focus while decreasing negative feelings.
If you or your children struggle with anxiety from being in an educational environment, learning from home might be just the positive adjustment that you needed. If you have struggles focusing while transitioning into this new learning environment, consider using gardening as a way to redirect busy minds and bodies. Especially if you are a kinesthetic learner, having something to keep your hands busy actually helps the mind to retain information! Take this quiz to find out what you and your family’s learning styles are.
Fresh Food for Lunch
When it comes to lunch time, food really is fuel! With school being based from home at the start of this year, what better an opportunity to use your fall harvest for lunches.
The more fresh veggies and greens that you and your family are consuming, the more nutrient-rich and healthy your eating habits will be. This is an important aspect of learning, as the brain needs to be fueled with nutrients and vitamins in order to function at full capacity.
The more sugary and processed food you can replace with fresh herbs and veggies from your home garden, the better you and your family will perform in classes. By consuming more greens, you are likely to have more energy, have a larger capacity for memory, and be able to focus more. Take a look at this article about how diet and nutrition can impact a child’s learning, by The Public School Review.
You and your family deserve an opportunity to celebrate a success during the school day! Take a moment to enjoy the beautiful garden you have grown together. Whether this means harvesting the fruits (or veggies) of your labor, or simply enjoying the peaceful space you’ve carved out, you deserve to celebrate.
Positive reinforcement is a great way to boost self-confidence for yourself and your loved ones this school year; congratulating someone, or yourself, based off of their efforts in the garden is a fantastic opportunity to positively contribute to their day.