Outdoor Play: Essential to our Homeschool!

First of all, have you heard our happy news from earlier this week? We finalized adoption of our two youngest kids! That’s exciting, of course, but today’s post is about how outdoor play helps our homeschool — and keeps this mama sane!

Outside time improves moods!

A couple of weeks ago, we got a new playset. Our old one was literally falling down. Since we got that one free years ago, we couldn’t complain; however, when I found a playset place selling their demo sets at a huge discount, we decided it was worth forgoing a new shower to get this. Plus, it felt appropriate to celebrate the upcoming adoption day! Of course it’s not necessary to have something like this for the kids to enjoy outdoor play, but it sure does help encourage them to stay outside. There have been days, now that the weather is not so sweltering, when they’ve played outside 5 hours or more!

Homeschool Outdoor play at See Jamie blog

We’ve discovered that outside play helps everyone’s mood. On days when we play outside, the kids are better behaved because this is a natural, healthy way to expend an abundance of energy. Outdoor time has been proven to help reduce depression — and the color green (grass! trees!) has even been shown to increase creativity! Kathryn has learned this; when she’s feeling crafty but running low on inspiration, she’ll seek some outside time, or at the very least spend some time looking out her window at the trees and such.

heart design woven bracelet handicraft

Even on a somewhat busy day, if I sense the grumpies creeping in, I send the kids out to run and play for at least a few minutes. I usually follow them out with a cup of tea in hand because time in nature helps my own sanity as well.

Unplanned nature study abounds!

Just this week, the kids have watched cicadas — and even saw a “cicada killer” wasp catch its prey! They’ve collected leaves, and observed butterflies and bees and lady bugs. They’ve laid on their backs in the play set and looked up at the trees. Scout and Jem can already identify some of the many birds in our yard. Hummingbirds frequent our feeder on the back porch, and we all enjoy watching them.

Of course, there’s always WonderDog to study, too!

We do a few things indoors, too!

We’ve been easing into homeschooling the past few weeks, and introducing new things a little at a time. Two weeks ago, I started adding in poetry. Every morning before we do our morning board, I read a couple of poems aloud. They love it. It’s entirely new to Scout and Jem. I have a number of poetry books on our shelves, but the one currently getting the most use is The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. It’s a happy collection of child-friendly (but not twaddle-ish) poems.

Homeschool Poetry books

I’ve wanted to do some sort of poetry study with Kathryn, too. Nothing too formal, but more than just random reading of poems. Thanks to my cousin Jonnia, I discovered Royal Fireworks Press curriculum and decided to try Building Poems. I’m enamored with it. Long ago I used to attempt to write poetry (Jonnia still does), and this is inspiring me to want to give it another try. We’re not far into it, so I can’t fully speak for it yet, but I’ll share more as we’re further in.

Kathryn’s concert band class has begun, and we also started Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. So far we’re still enjoying our Georgia state history, and have plans for all sorts of field trips this year. Even a little trip to a nearby town square earlier this week provided a bit of local history!

Best year yet.

I am more excited about this homeschool year than I have been in — well, maybe ever. Having Scout and Jem involved takes it to a whole new level. I don’t anticipate this year being easy, but there are so very many things to look forward to. For example, days that look like this:

I’ll be joining these link-ups:

– Mary’s “Collage Friday” at Home Grown Learners
– Kris’ “Weekly Wrap-Up” at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

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Congrats on finalizing your adoption! Your backyard looks like a great place to hang out in the great outdoors!


Oh yes, even mommy needs outdoor time. After we school, my kids try to go outside with their friends that get home from traditional school. Sometimes we finish before they come knocking on our door, sometimes we don’t. Also, the kids are in organized sports which helps. Unfortunately becuase I work outside the home, I stick to the schedule otherwise we woudn’t finish our school work til 11pm, lol! But either way I do give them time to get air since I need it.


Our playset has proved to be a worthwhile investment too! Love anything that helps us enjoy the great outdoors!

Jessy at A Great Balancing Act

Congrats on finalizing your adoption of Scout and Jem! Outside time does wonders! Just the other day I was feeling particularly stressed so I put leashing on the dogs and went for a long, leisurely walk through the woods…and came back refreshed and collected. Green does wonders!


Lovely news about the adoption.
I couldn’t agree more about the outdoor play especially for busy litle boys!


Such happy news about the adoption! Outside time is wonderful when the weather cooperates. We always want to spend more time outside, but somehow it doesn’t happen. We need to try better since we always feel refreshed after an outdoor stint.


I’m so happy for all of you, Jamie. All of your children are so very blessed!
I love everything from Royal Fireworks Press, by the way 😉

Have a great weekend!

Lucinda @ Navigating By Joy

Congratulations on finalising the adoptions – you must be so pleased 🙂
I love reading about nature in other countries. Hummingbirds sound so exotic to me! We have a very similar playset which my children have enjoyed for years and still do.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Lindsey@Kindred Spirit Mommy

We spend a lot of time outside. 🙂 I’m wanting to get a trampoline for Christmas for the kids, hope it works out because my little guy would love it! He never stops moving and is forever doing crazy flips on our couch. Definitely agree about the outside time, we are enjoying the nice weather while we can before it starts raining all Autumn.

Annie Kate

Congrats on the adoption! That is a huge, happy step.

We love outdoors too, and it makes such a difference when it’s nice out. Cold days are coming here, with double socks and closed windows, and I’m not looking forward to them! In the meantime, we’re outside as much as we can be.

I hope you’ll have lots of happy outside time with your wonderful new playset. I can see why your kids would love to be outside and stay outside!