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As the weather turns cooler, many of our children wander back inside leaving the beauty of nature waiting until next spring. For children, watching a seed grow and flourish is like watching a miracle.
I am convinced that most children are on screens and other forms of media excessively because of the lack of good indoor activity that can be happening. We need to cultivate home environments that invite children to grow and learn in their atmosphere.
"There is no education but self-education."
~ Charlotte Mason
Growing a mini window herb garden is one way to occupy our children's time this fall/winter and provide edible herbs to dry, grow, and eat. Children learn best through doing. I heard once, "We retain 50% of what we see/hear. But we retain 90% of what we DO. I remember hearing that years ago when I first began homeschooling. The little phrase like that has stuck with me all these years and I've tried to implement them.
Allowing your young children to plant a seed, care for a small plant, watch it grow is a wonderful productive activity.
What herbs will grow in a windowsill?
These seeds may do well in a windowsill box:
Due to the reduced sun-light in the winter, some plants grow better indoors with a grow light lamp.
If you look around in the fall, you will see many stores discounting gardening supplies. We have found wonderful deals this way. Clearance aisles are full of summer items right now, and that includes gardening items and seeds.
There are numerous reasons to involve your children with gardening (indoor and outdoor)
Research shows gardening increases alertness in children and cognitive abilities. Children with more "green space" perform better mentally.
Children learn to relax when gardening. Research shows a significant reduction in cortisol (Stress hormone) when children are gardening and in "green space". On the other end of the spectrum, children that spend too much time on screens are experiencing record numbers of depression and anxiety. Read here.
Why not bring green space inside this fall and winter?
Charlotte Mason said, "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life". As the months get colder, and our children are inside more, let's bring the outdoors in and watch our children thrive, just as the plants do.
Are you interested in including more nature into your life and your children's lives? Discover "Our Outdoor Hour" a nature study for families to work through together...