5 Ways to Teach “Going Green” to Your Homeschooler
Everyone today is working to live a greener lifestyle. Homeschoolers have unique opportunities to teach their children about conservation on a daily basis. And those lessons can be incorporated into just about any subject. Here are five great ways to incorporate “going green” into your daily homeschooling lessons.
The most obvious subject for green living is science. The federal EPA site, as well as many state fish and wildlife sites, offer great lesson plan options for public schools and homeschoolers alike. The EPA has a great section of their website called “Planet Protectors.” This section includes activities and lesson plans for children from kindergarten to 12th grade. For example, use your household garbage to teach a lesson on composting and how it can prevent garbage from going into a landfill.
It may seem tricky at first to determine how to incorporate green initiatives into math lessons, but it really isn’t. It just requires a little creativity. Mixing in Math offers some fun creative ways to incorporate “going green” into math lessons. One example is planting seeds and measuring each week how much the plant grows. Another idea is taking your child with you food shopping one week and use only the plastic bags offered by the store. Make sure your child keeps count of ever bag used. The next time you go shopping, use only bags you bring with you. Use that information as a basis for a math lesson on how many plastic bags will go unused each year by just one family when reusable bags are used for food shopping. Look up what it costs to manufacture plastic bags and what it costs to recycle them. If that money is no longer needed to create and recycle these bags, what could be done with that money instead? It is certainly a great way to combine math with creative thinking!
Once you and your child have figured out the math related to not using plastic bags, why not write that up into a report and send it to your state’s EPA office? Have your child write a letter explaining your project and that you wanted to share your findings with their office. This is a great project to work on improving your child’s writing skills. Zaner-Bloser offers a variety of different lessons to help teach writing strategies to homeschoolers. Some of the digital support materials that come with the writing strategies are grammar games, proof reading activities, writing tutors, and much more.
For older students that are starting to think about college and career options, have your child research different careers in environmental and waste management. What schooling is required to prepare for these different careers? Reach out to your town’s public works department or local EPA office and ask if you can bring your child in for a tour and talk to some of the employees to learn first-hand about what they do.
Many children today suffer from diseases and conditions that can often be tracked back to pollution or environmental factors. Learn about a particular disease, such as asthma, and all the contributing factors to developing asthma. If there is a member of your family or a friend that has asthma, ask if your child could “interview” them to learn about when they developed asthma, their triggers and what they have done to prevent attacks. Maybe ask if you could bring in your child to talk to your family’s pediatrician about how asthma is treated today. By associating a particular medical issue to the environment, it could prove to be an enlightening experience for your child.
And if you really want to start early……