Pace Academy recognizes children can have short attention spans, so instructors like to incorporate as many subjects as they can into one lesson. If students are listening and engaged in the classroom for 30 minutes, it’s beneficial to relate to the subject in ways that are both practical and purposefully academic. When it comes to gardening, it’s actually not that hard.
Pace students have the opportunity to work on a variety of horticulture projects. Children generally enjoy nature and benefit from being outside, delving into hands-on learning. A typical gardening project looks something like this:
The objective: establishing a layout for a garden
- How many square feet will the garden need? What is the perimeter of the garden? What is the area of the garden?
- Concerns: Are there plants that cannot grow next to each other because it introduces possible obstacles? Are there some plants that would thrive on top of or near each other because they’re so beneficial to one another?
- Organizational skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Grammar-sentence structure
Each mathematical question will require solving the corresponding formulas. What is the formula for area or perimeter? How long is it? How wide is it? The perimeter will tell how much fencing we will need, and the area will tell us how much soil we will need. We may also introduce volume because soil has depth. If we want 2 inches of soil on the entire area, then how much is that?
One lesson in gardening includes research, organizational skills, science, math and proper use of sentence structure when written in our workbooks.
And it’s fun because it’s gardening! Students are engaged like never before because their eyes aren’t just reading about gardening in a textbook — their hands are getting to construct and create something they can later take pride in. Students have shown such gratification towards building in the backyard, and they take home practical skills when learning is active.
This type of hands-on learning is how Pace Academy instructors like to construct their lessons, allowing students to become physically engaged. When they get to run, spread the soil, or plant the seeds, those are elements that aren’t present in a traditional classroom experience. Students get to go outside and have some fun!