How are you feeling about homeschooling as we transition from April to May?
We’re quickly nearing the end of the traditional school year as we enter the month of May. This might mean that you’re eager to end your homeschooling year with gusto or you and your kiddos might be limping towards the finish line.
Either scenario is normal!
We’ve all heard the saying, “April showers bring May flowers”.
And if you live in the northern hemisphere, May is a time when we often get to experience an abundance of flowers in all of their glory.
It’s also a time when it’s common to feel full of anticipation as we sense summer just around the corner.
Wherever we find ourselves, there are plenty of simple ways to celebrate NATURE this month!
Quick note: For my friends in the southern hemisphere, I realize you’re experiencing fall this time of year, so feel free to bookmark this post for your spring!
1. focus on flowers
In the spirit of “April Showers Bring May Flowers”, let’s focus on flowers!
Here are a few fun activities involving flowers. Do one or all of them, or get inspired to create your own projects!
Color Changing Flowers:
This is a simple and fun activity. Here are the supplies you’ll need as well as instructions:
- Some white flowers
- A small glass container or vase for each flower
- Warm water (200 mL of warm water for each container)
- 1 tsp sugar (to add to each container)
- 1 tsp white vinegar (to add to teach container)
- 15-20 drops of food coloring (to add to each container)
- Cut the flower stems at a 45-degree angle
- Fill each glass container with 200 mL of warm water
- Add 1 tsp of sugar to the water in each container
- Add 1 tsp of white vinegar to the sugar and water mixture
- Place 15-20 drops of food coloring in each container
- Place a flower in each container
The color will slowly begin to spread to the tops of the flowers, changing the color of the petals!
Check out this video from Bearded Science Guy. He does a great job of explaining scientific concepts in quick, simple, and easily understandable ways. I highly recommend checking out his YouTube channel for all of his videos.
Draw or Paint Flowers
You may also want to draw or paint pictures of flowers.
Simply grab some paper and pencils and head outside to sketch the flowers you see. Or gather up some paint and paintbrushes and have fun creating.
If you’ve got a yard, get some flowers, gather up some soil and gardening supplies, and plant away!
If you don’t have a yard with much space, don’t let that stop you! Simply get a few small pots and plant some flowers to place on your front porch, next to your front door, or on an outdoor walkway or balcony.
Enjoy looking at and creating flowers!
2. go on a hike
If you live in a rural area or a place with access to hiking trails, this one shouldn’t take too much research.
But if you’re a city dweller, or simply not aware of the hikes, trails, and walking paths in your area, this might involve a bit more planning.
But this doesn’t need to be complicated!
Ask around for recommendations or check out All Trails where you can look up trails around where you live. Or simply take a walk around your neighborhood or nearby park.
Notice the signs of spring all around you. Listen to the birds, look at the flowers, and pay attention to the changes in weather.
Whether it’s a hike or a stroll around the neighborhood, get outside and enjoy spring!
3. have a picnic
Gather up some of your favorite, easily transportable food, blankets, and chairs, and go have a picnic!
If you’re overwhelmed, just throw a big blanket in your car, hit the drive-thru, drive to a park, set yourself up, and call it good enough!
The point is to keep this simple and enjoyable as you picnic outside.
4. enjoy learning about Pollinators
Spring is the perfect time to focus on the importance of pollinators, like bees and butterflies
Here are a couple of picture books about pollination that you might want to check out:
What if There Were No Bees? by Suzanne Slade and Carol Schwartz
And for older kids and adults, this is a great one:
100 Plants to Feed the Bees: Provide a Healthy Habitat to Help Pollinators Thrive by The Xerces Society
One of our favorite spring activities over the years has been ordering a Butterfly Garden Kit and observing the process of caterpillars turning into butterflies.
This kit includes several caterpillars stored safely in a cup where their food is also kept, a pop-up mesh “habitat”, and everything else you need to witness the complete metamorphosis from caterpillar to chrysalis to Painted Lady butterfly. It is super easy to set up as soon as your kit arrives.
The entire process takes a few weeks from start to finish and once complete, you release them outside to venture forth and pollinate!
Pollinators are critical to our environment and spring is the perfect time to learn more about them.
5. engage in mindfulness
The reality is that ALL of us have experienced at least one mental health concern in our lives. Whether we ourselves have suffered from an issue, or we know someone who has suffered, we have all been impacted at some point, (even those who don’t realize it.) Between family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and community and faith leaders, mental health impacts us ALL.
This is a great time to check in with each family member and see what joys, challenges, and concerns are coming up for each person.
Young kids can grasp the concepts of worry, fear, and sadness. You can talk about these feelings in gentle and authentic ways.
With older kids, you might want to dive deeper into the specifics like anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and other specific mental health issues.
Depending on the age and developmental stage of your children, there are many ways you can set a foundation of honest communication and mental health awareness.
Here are specific suggestions for how to do this:
This doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. Just a few minutes of casual meditation each day has the ability to calm the mind and increase resilience. This simple practice can have a remarkable impact on mental health and overall mood.
If you have no idea how to get started, check out my post, How do I Start Meditating?
An excellent way to process thoughts and feelings is through mindful journaling. Simply grabbing a notebook and freewriting is a healthy way to get any overwhelming thoughts out of your mind and down on paper.
If you’d prefer a journal with prompts and exercises, I highly recommend the following:
Both of my children have the Teen Edition and it is an excellent journal full of helpful, relevant, and easy-to-implement tips and exercises!
Yoga, pilates, and stretching are all examples of mindful movement.
Basically, anytime you move with awareness and intention, you are practicing mindful movement. Choosing an enjoyable way to move your body releases stress and provides a great physical, mental, and emotional outlet.
In summary, here is your simple list of ways to bring inspiration and motivation to your May homeschooling:
- Focus on Flowers
- Go on a Hike
- Have a Picnic
- Enjoy Learning About Pollinators
- Engage in Mindfulness
I hope that you have a chance to enjoy some of these activities with your family while enjoying spring!
Also, be sure to check out the following posts to help you with homeschooling throughout the year:
- January Homeschooling
- February Homeschooling
- March Homeschooling
- April Homeschooling
- June Homeschooling
- July Homeschooling
- August Homeschooling
- Septemeber Homeschooling
- October Homeschooling
- November Homeschooling
- December Homeschooling
I hope these posts offer you plenty of inspiration and encouragement to support and encourage you each month.
Here’s to a wonderful month of adding plenty of nature to your May homeschooling!