As many of you know we homeschool our boys. We are on your seventh year! Sometimes that is hard to believe.
My husband and I both attended public school for our entire school education. We both remember an organization called 4H. Do you remember it? I think school age kids all over the US have heard of it. It is a council that began over 100 years ago and over the years it has become the nation’s largest youth development program.
The premise is very simple. It is all about helping young people and their families gain the skills needed to be proactive forces in their community and to foster development of ideas for a more innovative economy.
So, how does 4H encourage children and their families to do this? When you are part of the 4H initiatives, you get involved in hands on activities that focus on things like health, science, citizenship or agriculture. Parents or adults mentor and guide children through these activities.
As entrepreneurs, my husband and I certainly appreciate this! We have six boys at home and we constantly have conversations about HOW they can improve the future, how they can lead their own future, and utilizing their God given gifts to do so.
While we chose to do a STEM inspired activity as a family, the options are pretty much endless. You could do any activity that involves agriculture, healthy living, community service, etc. Think- anything that helps kids gain skills that encourage a successful life. And, it’s fun!!
Want to know what we did? We planted an herb garden at our brand new (to us) home. We literally are just starting to move in this week. And before we moved one stitch of furniture in, we planted an herb garden!! My kids THRIVE off of stuff like this, especially one of my 12 year old twins, Luke. Even our littles got involved. I love teaching them to grow the things they want to eat. I think when they help put the hard work and elbow grease into things like growing their food, it naturally does a couple of things for a child. First, it encourages patience. Waiting for food to grow can take time. But, it is so rewarding. And second, it will make them thing twice about being wasteful. I think we live in a world where things seem to be at our finger tips and readily available all the time. We want our children to be grateful for the things they have and less impulsive. Believe me, this certainly can be a struggle at our house. Hands on, family activities such as growing a garden together is an amazing place to start!
Here is what we did. We made a trip as a family to the local home improvement store to shop for plants. Here is what we decided on; basil, thymes, sweet banana pepper, red bell pepper, spearmint, tomato, a miniature lemon tree and a miniature lime tree.
We came home and cleared out one of the flower beds from the existing owners. Luke did such an amazing job, I am so proud of him.
He identified with my husband that the existing rose bush that was in this bed, was dead. He removed that plan, dug deep to ensure all of the roots were removed (some of the root had extended into an attached bed) and turned the soil thoroughly.
He worked so hard at it and probably did a better job than I would have at the age of 12.
I love how much a pays attention to details and cares to always give 100% when he works on a project.
Once the soil was completely turned, it was time to start added the plants.
Luke and I mapped out where each plant would go in the bed.
We put the larger plants towards the back of the bed.
We read each container and the depth and spacing suggestions for each plant.
Even the baby helped handing us plants as we were ready to remove them from the containers and get them into the ground.
Here is Jack handing Luke the container of German Thyme. He was so proud of himself for helping.
Luke was fascinated with the rooting that had taken place inside each container as we removed them to plant them in the ground!
We talked about the hard work out into each plant being as healthy as it is before it makes it into our garden.
Look at those roots! Luke was genuinely amazed!
Here is how our bed looked when we were done.
Back row from left to right: tomato, red bell pepper and sweet banana pepper.
Front row from left to right: 2 sweet basil plants (I love basil!), thyme and spearmint.
We decided we would plant the two miniature fruit trees in pots so we can move them into the garage should there be a freeze. I have read they can handle up to 30 degree temperatures, and our new home is in San Antonio where we does not get very cold, but I wanted the flexibility to move them if need be. We may decide in the future to plant them into the ground. We have multiple existing bed options in our backyard.
Luke watered the plants one by one.
As a mama who has watched my kids learn and grow every single day, I am here to tell you projects like this not only leave lasting memories with your children, but hands on is one of the best ways for many children to learn.
I want to encourage parents out there to get involved in your local 4H group. You can do this if you are in public school or if you homeschool. The impact that is left on our children will last a lifetime!
Encourage your children to be doers! Will you be a part of the 30 Days of Doing your kiddos? Trust me, it is something you will not regret!
Be a part of the 30 Days of Doing Contest. You could win a $10,000 scholarship for your child!
This is a sponsored post. All views, ideas, opinions are my own.