The Outdoor Classroom


  1.  As much as possible, weather permitting, your classroom should be outside in natural surroundings.  Use a table or home-type desk for the student to work at when inside.  (You will need a place to store books and materials.)  Use a chalkboard that is of medium size and portable.  It can be used for illustrations when cooking, canning, meal planning, doing science experiments, mathematics problems, etc. Actually, the entire house is to be used for your teaching experiences. Homeschooling is meant to be done in natural surroundings where children learn “naturally.”
  2. Use clipboards and small hand blackboards for writing on when outside.
  3.  A picnic table is nice for outside school.
  4. Teaching outside will keep younger children better occupied while you teach the older ones.
  5. Teaching outside tends to quiet hyperactive, nervous, or restless-type students.  At first, there may be moments of distraction, like watching every bug or turning away at every sound, but these moments will pass as the student becomes accustomed to being outside.  Even these distractions can often be turned into lessons.
  6. Teaching outside opens to the students what should have been their very first lesson book – the lesson book of nature – the wonders of God’s creativity in land, water, and sky!
  7. Teaching outside will improve the five senses.  Students will improve the five senses.  Students will become more sensitive to seeing detail, hearing quiet sounds, smelling fragrances, feeling breezes and changes in temperature, and tasting nature through its smells.  This will help develop in them a sensitivity to people, their needs, their loneliness, and their fears.  It will also help them develop a discernment of people’s faces as they pay attention to details in nature.  In their time of trouble it will be the little things that will help them to know how to respond to a friend or an enemy.
  8. Teaching outside offers time for personal prayer, thoughts, and meditation.  It offers opportunity for the Holy Spirit to speak gently to students through nature.


Excerpt from Ten Principles of True Education, pp. 2-3

Published by ~Melissa

Homeschooling mom of 5 girls (2 married) and Mimi (Grandma) to four, by God's grace in northern Iowa. Life is always changing...ever seeking God's will in each new day.

3 thoughts on “The Outdoor Classroom

  1. Hello,I have been looking into the curriculum of SEM and going to start using them this coming term,  I have two sons who will be using this curriculum age 13 and 14 but in Australian classroom they are in grade 8 and 10. What would you suggest for them to start the lesson with from the grade 2-8 programmes?  Thank you for your valuable suggestiin. BlessingChristina
    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


    1. Hello Christina, It is good to hear from you. I apologize for delaying in responding, I simply wasn’t able to answer easily from my phone. Have you tried asking for help from Paul, from our Australian Office? He is willing to help families with questions from SonLight Education Ministry and would likely be more helpful to you since he would understand the specific needs that you have. His contact information is:
      Paul Pannekoek
      4541 The Bucketts Way Kundibakh NSW 2429 AUSTRALIA
      Phone: 0265506180/ 0410 289981

      Please let us know if you need further assistance!


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