Homeschool and Gardens… Ohh the possibilities!

We have been planting vegetables! The kids did their own research all about the different vegetables we planted around our yard. I asked them to look up information about tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, lettuce and basil. I kept it simple and gave them three simple questions to find the answers to.

 

  • How does it grow?
  • What vitamins and nutrients are in it?
  • What do those vitamins and nutrients do?

 

The Assignment

Initially the kids used the internet. They started by just copying and then pasting the information into a word document. Well… it was a start. but we all know that isn’t the best way to really learn anything (not to mention it’s plagiarizing). So I taught them one sentence at a time how to read it, think about what it means and go through the process of rephrasing it into their own words. This actually forced them to make the effort to think about what it meant and the challenge of being able to express the original idea in their own words.

 

The Potential Benefits

Think of the benefits of that one exercise alone! To be able to express an idea is not common today. Consider the number of people that just believe anything that is put on the television or even YouTube. “Well, it was on Facebook, so it must be true!” The ability to analyze what we are reading/watching/hearing is the first step to being able to think for ourselves. It can be the difference between accomplishing mediocre things and great things.

 

The kids helped do the planting. Then they drew what the plants looked like at this first stage of being planted in their art pads. The goal is to watch the plants progress over the next few months until harvest time and periodically draw the plants at different stages of growth.

 

I hope this activity will engage the children in helping to take care of the plants and give them a sense of pride and accomplishment when it is time to reap the rewards of the harvest.

Here is what Paden learned about the plants we are putting around our house. He had to research this information on his own and then write up what he learned.

TOMATOES

Seedlings need to be watered every other day. Needs warm fertile soil. Space them 20 to 35 inches apart. Takes 72 to 80 days to mature. Once matured, water every 3-4 days. If possible, keep in a trellis. They save space and keep the fruit off the ground. Contains vitamins A, C, K, and E. vitamins A and C help with your eyesight and your immune system. Vitamin k helps with normal blood clotting and may prevent cancer. Vitamin E helps prevent heart diseases and chest pain.

 

BASIL

Plant 6 to 10 inches apart. Plant in quick draining light soil is a warm condition. Water the plants daily. Contains vitamins A, C, K, and E. vitamins A and C help with your eyesight and your immune system. Vitamin k helps with normal blood clotting and may prevent cancer. Vitamin E helps prevent heart diseases and chest pain.

 

CUCUMBER

Needs warm fertile soil. Plant 36 to 60 inches apart unless using a trellis. Then plant 1 foot apart. Cucumbers grow fast and don’t demand a lot of care. Just keep dirt moist with one inch of water per week (unless the temperature is really hot or it doesn’t rain much). Inconsistent water will end up in weird looking fruit and bad tasting fruit. Contains vitamins A and C. vitamins A and C help with your eyesight and your immune system.

 

SQUASH

Usually plant in the summer for summer squash or when the temperature is about 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Needs 6-10 hours of sunlight and lots of room to grow. Well draining moist soil. Good source of vitamin C, A, and K. vitamins A and C help with your eyesight and your immune system. Vitamin k helps with normal blood clotting and may prevent cancer.

 

LETTUCE

Although lettuce grows fastest in full sun, it is one of the few vegetables that tolerates some shade. In fact, a spring crop often lasts longer if shaded from the afternoon sun as the season warms. You can grow lots of lettuce in a small space, even a container.Lettuce will need fertile, well-drained, moist soil with a lot of good nutrients. Lettuce grows when the temeperature is from 45 to about 80 degrees. The most common lettuce pests are aphids. They love the soft leaves and like to hide underneath them and in the crown of the plants.

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