The Backyard Homestead is a core part of our outdoor science and environmental education program at The Homestead Schoolhouse. Students will have the opportunity to study nature, learn work habits and develop appropriate social attitudes through our extensive garden-study program. The school garden will put a large emphasis on hands-on learning and active participation.
Gardening is a skill children can use for the rest of their lives that promotes better health and wellness. The Backyard Homestead will play a large role in the adoption of healthy living habits for children. Students will have a chance to harvest a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, which will help improve their attitudes towards these foods. As students gain excitement about growing their own fruits and vegetables, they will be more likely to eat them and they will grow a greater appreciation for how food is grown. Homestead students will also learn about processing and proper storage through making applesause, jam, and baking bread. They will also plant flowers, plants and put together flower arrangements in pots and hanging baskets in our Homestead Greenhouse.
Composting is another dynamic of The Backyard Homestead. Children who compost become aware of organic wastes as potential resources rather than just as something “gross” to be thrown away and forgotten. Food scraps will be thrown into the compost bin or fed to our chickens in the backyard. Students will learn through direct experience that they personally can make a difference and have a positive effect on the environment.
The Backyard Homestead will also have chickens as part of our outdoor science program. Students will have a chance to study chicken behavior, collect eggs, and quite possibly witness the life-cycle of a chick’s egg.
The Backyard Homestead Program will benefit students in several ways. They are:
- Improving environmental attitudes
- Improving social skills
- Promoting good nutrition
- Building classroom relationships and school spirit
- Increasing physical activity
- Creating an appreciation for team work
- Teaching patience and responsibility
- Increasing self-esteem and self-worth
- Teaching students to work cooperatively
- Beautifying the school environment