Homeschooling is much more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. As your child’s lead teacher, you have the unique opportunity to also include eclectic courses like backyard foraging. Keep reading to learn how to teach foraging in your homeschool.
How to Teach Foraging in Your Homeschool
Learn the basics of foraging.
Before Bryan wanted to start teaching our children about foraging, he learned some of the basics first. I’m not saying you have to do this same thing; however, it makes teaching your children these skills a bit easier. I just so happened to be the type of teacher-parent that likes to learn with my children, but either way works.
The basics of foraging are actually quite simple:
- Understand the land you are foraging (in this case, your backyard).
- Be cautious.
- Do not taste or touch something until you can identify it.
- Walk lightly.
- Forage responsibly.
These are just a few, but some of the most commonly spoken of basics in every book, on every website, and in every video you find about foraging.
Gather reliable resources.
Reliable resources for foraging can be a number of things. We like to use a combination of books, websites, and videos. Below are the ones we use most often:
- The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies
- The Forager’s Guide to Wild Foods
- Foraging for Beginners
- How to Get Started Foraging (video)
To help our children learn, we bought each of them a binder for all things botany-related. This is where they put any handouts given, take notes, draw pictures, and even keep a bit of what was foraged (in Ziploc bags). These binders become a keepsake and something they can hang on to for years to come!
Create lesson plans.
Most homeschooling parents cringe at the idea of creating lesson plans, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds. All you need are a few reliable resources and some paper (or a planner) to jot down your plans. Below is an actual lesson plan Bryan had put together for our children:
Monday: Introduce 3 popular plants that can be found in our back yard (dandelions, plantain, and clover). This consists of printable copies from our The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies book that gives an introduction to the plants, their benefits, medicinal uses, recipes, and more. They also head outside to the back yard to try and identify some for themselves.
Tuesday: Review the plants and continue identifying them in the yard. Show an education YouTube video (or 2) about the plants.
Wednesday: Use the plants foraged to make something, usually a tea. Color pictures of the plants.
Thursday: Review and small (fun) quiz. Bryan will usually ask the children to tell him 1 thing they remember about the plant and have them go outside to find it.
You can easily come up with your own lesson plans!
Have fun learning together.
This is the biggest joy of homeschooling – having fun and learning together. You don’t need to know everything before teaching your children about something, especially with subjects like these. When you’re learning with your children, there’s a sense of accomplishment mingled in with doing something as a family. Enjoy the process of learning and having fun!
Backyard Foraging Workbook: A Resource to Help You Get Started
Save 50% on your copy today and pay LESS THAN $5.00!
Offer ends September 24th!
Introduce your homeschoolers to a unique class with this Backyard Foraging Workbook. Geared toward middle and high schoolers, this workbook features 5 of the most common backyard plants to forage plus printable worksheets for in-depth learning. There are detailed pages for purple violets, dandelions, wild onions, wood sorrel, and plantains. Each page features:
- an overview
- spotting and harvesting
- medicinal uses
More About This Resource
You’ll also find a blank template so your student can continue their search with other backyard plants they find and want to research further. Additional printables in this workbook include:
- backyard plants t-chart
- active foraging guide
- plant identification
- botany book tracker
- 5 backyard foraging journal pages
This workbook features a beautiful watercolor theme that every student (and you) will enjoy! There are 33 pages total. You are permitted to make as many copies as needed for your family only.
Final Thoughts About How to Teach Foraging in Your Homeschool
Teaching your children how to forage is a life skill that will follow them throughout adulthood. Imagine equipping them with the skills to be able to forage for food, natural medicines, and more. Things like this are often overlooked as valuable education, but they shouldn’t be.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you teach foraging in your homeschool, or any other unique subject? Let me know in the comments below!