by Megan Mora Fuentes, Home Educators Association of Virginia

A favorite summer homeschool activity for many families is camping and hiking–and California is blessed with glorious outdoor adventure opportunities. Make them your favorites with hands-on, fun, educational activities. You can teach outdoor survival skills, logic, and more, without ever setting foot in a classroom. Even if you don’t homeschool year-round, you can make the great outdoors your classroom for your summer homeschool!

Summer Homeschool Adventures

Learn how to use a compass to navigate in the wilderness, orient a map, take and plot your bearings, and more, with Outdoors Generations’ “Ultimate Guide to Navigation.”

Put those compass skills to use by taking a geocaching field trip. A combination hike and treasure hunt, geocaching incorporates mapping skills, geography, art, science, math, and more into one fun outing. Not familiar with it? Get the basics of geocaching with kids here.

Put these 10 hiking tips from Wilderness.org to the test and make your hiking trip an activity that the whole family will love. Learn how to stay safe, plan, pack, and dress for all of your wilderness adventures.

A fun thing to do while out in nature is to identify animal tracks. You can use the Animal Tracks Identification Chart from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

This eye-spy nature scavenger hunt is a great alternative to traditional scavenger hunts that generally involve collecting specific items. You can teach your children to care for and respect the nature and wildlife they encounter by documenting it with a camera or sketchbook and leaving it right where it is! (This is especially important in national parks where it is often illegal to remove plants or wildlife from the park.)

About Megan Mora Fuentes

A homeschool graduate, Megan earned her associate degree while in high school. She has worked as an office manager for eight years. In her spare time, Megan enjoys kayaking, writing, and baking cookies for anyone who will eat them. She and her husband live in her hometown of Winchester, VA.

This article was originally published on the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV)’s blog in June 2022. Used with permission.

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